Mumbai, Jan 18: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday visited the Chabad House here along with Moshe Holtzberg, who as a two-year-old was orphaned in the carnage there during the 2008 terror attack.
Sporting the trademark Jewish small brimless cloth cap, ‘Kippah,’ Netanyahu was warmly welcomed by the present Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky and other officials of Chabad House in the afternoon.
The bespectacled Moshe, now 11, also sporting the ‘Kippah’ and a dark suit, had an emotional ‘reunion’ meeting with the Israel Prime Minister, as his Indian saviour nanny Sandra Samuel and grandparents flanked them in a small room in the Chabad House, in Nariman House, Colaba.
The Prime Minister warmly held onto both Moshe and Samuel, flanked on his left and right side respectively, and they posed for the paparazzi, while Moshe’s grandparents Shimon Rosenberg and his grandmother watched and smiled.
The Chabad House was one of the targeted sites of the brutal 26/11, 2008 Mumbai terror strikes in which the toddler Moshe’s young parents – Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka were gunned down.
Seven others, mostly Israeli nationals, were the other victims in the Chabad House attack. The 2008 terror attack lasted for 60 hours and left a total of 166 dead in different parts of south Mumbai.
This is the first-ever visit by any high ranking Israeli dignitary to Chabad House, which reopened in 2014, and is likely to be partly converted into a Living Memorial.
Announced in July last year, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Israel, Netanyahu’s visit to the Chabad House came on the final day of his six-day visit to India.