Dozens of Moshes have been held hostage in Gaza by the Hamas, said the uncle of ‘Baby Moshe’, whose parents were killed by Pakistani terrorists at Nariman House during the Mumbai terror attacks 15 years ago, as he compared the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict to the 26/11 attacks.
Children held hostage in Gaza reminded him of what happened to Baby Moshe during the 26/11 attacks, said his uncle Moshe Holtzberg.
He was speaking to PTI in an exclusive interview from an undisclosed location in the United States ahead of the 15th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks carried out by Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.
Baby Moshe, who was two years old at the time of the attack, was rescued by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel when Pakistani terrorists killed his parents Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg and four visitors at Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Centre in Nariman House in Colaba on November 26, 2008.
Speaking over a Zoom call, Holtzberg said, “India understands the situation of hostages by just remembering what happened to Baby Moshe as he was held hostage during the 26/11 terror attack.”
“There are dozens of Moshes that are being held hostage right now and we all pray for the relief and release of all the hostages being held by the barbaric Hamas,” he said.
Speaking about Baby Moshe, he said, “Baby Moshe is not a baby any more even though the entire India knows him as Baby Moshe, who was incredibly saved by his nanny.”
Moshe is 17 years old and right now he is studying for a medical seminar, and pursuing Hasidic studies. He is walking in the footsteps of his father, Holtzberg said.
When asked whether he spoke to Moshe about the ongoing conflict, he said it was very important for him.
“He obviously understands what is going on as he is in Israel. It is not something that you just talk about, you live with it. You live with it because there are missiles being fired everyday,” said Holtzberg.
“It is not like there is a war just in Gaza. There are missiles falling on Tel Aviv and Central Israel and any other place in Israel, and people are hiding, and just because they have an iron dome and self defence techniques that doesn’t take away…,” he said.
The fact is that Hamas is guilty of murder. It is good that the country (Israel) has an iron dome. That saves civilians, but the reality is that terrorists from other sides are guilty as they try to kill people, and steps need to be taken to avoid murderers from shooting at all, he said.
When asked whether the family is still in touch with Indian nanny Sandra Samuel, Holtzberg said she is in touch with the family.
“Recently we went to my brother’s burial site at Mount Olsen in Israel. She goes there, she attends from time to time. Obviously there is a connection,” he said.
The fact that she saved Baby Moshe and the fact that my brother has an ongoing member and his family continues with his legacy. The Jewish nation and my family are grateful to Sandra and we wish her well, he said.
When asked whether he or any other family member plans to visit Nariman House in Mumbai in the near future, Holtzberg said, “This is something I have to make a decision upon…probably some family members are visiting.”
“Nariman House, that is continuing, and has the museum. I will recommend that every person, if possible, visit the museum in Nariman House. You can see all the names of those who perished in the 26/11 attack, ” he said.
This will remind them of what was going on in the world. To put things in respect and remind themselves how 26/11 happened, 9/11 happened and October 7 happened, he said.
When asked whether the world is a safer place to live, Holtzberg said, “The world is honestly not a safe place right now. We are seeing a situation in Israel from October 7, when Israel was terrorised, and as a result after that Jews in America are also feeling unsafe in colleges, campuses, even in tenements, just by the fact that they are Jews. They are really feeling threatened, intimidated and attacked.”
So the world is not a safer place. Terrorism is alive unfortunately, and has created such destruction and horror. Any human being would not have thought of the horror that happened with Israel on October 7, he said.
Comparing the attack on Israel with that in Mumbai, he said, “It is terrorism, it is horrifying, and it’s only for one reason, because terrorism cannot stand democracies, cannot stand countries that have democracies and cannot stand Jews.”
This is not a problem faced by Israel alone. It happened in Mumbai. The Indian nationalists, Jewish (victims) and that’s the way it was on 26/11 and October 7, it was Jews and not only Jews they were hit by barbaric terrorism, he said.
“The lesson is we can’t just pretend that we have to fight terrorism. It is very important to take a proactive approach to fight terrorism,” he said.
In a message to the world, he said, “The darkness will be chased away by light when Baby Moshe continues on with his father and mother’s footsteps.”
He is growing up despite what the terrorists try to achieve to eliminate a Jewish family. That’s exactly what they did on October 7. They tried to eradicate families just because they were Jewish and he is still continuing to find the odds. I think that is the message, the world will continue”.
“What terrorists tried to achieve on 26/11 was to eliminate Jews in India. The fact that by the help of his nanny and God, he (Moshe) was able to be saved and redeemed and continue on his parent’s footsteps and continue studying and the Jewish legacy and adding the light to the world,” he said.
“The message is, good will ultimately defeat evil and we have seen that in life. We should never forget because if we forget…terrible things will happen, ” he said.
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