26/11’s Baby Moshe, Benjamin Netanyahu to visit in January, PM Modi looks at a stop in Palestine

Besides Delhi, Netanyahu, who will be accompanied by his wife, will visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and will also go to Ahmedabad, Mumbai.

Written by Shubhajit Roy , Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2017 7:18 am
Moshe Holtzberg, Benjamin Netanyahu, Baby Moshe visits India, 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, Netanyahu visits India, PM Narendra Modi, Palestine, Jerusalem, Indian Express PM Narendra Modi with Moshe Holtzberg, one of the survivors of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel. (PIB/File)

Nine years after two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg left Chabad House in Mumbai, after his parents were killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, he is likely to visit the city mid-January, during Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India. In a balancing act, South Block is working towards scheduling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Palestine in February — within a month of Netanyahu’s visit.

Modi had met Moshe in Jerusalem in July this year, when he visited Israel. The 11-year-old boy, in an emotional meeting with Modi at the historic King David Hotel, had said, “I want to ask you something from all of us: Please continue to love me forever. Thank you. And always remember my parents. I live in Afula, but I remember our connection to Nariman House… I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai and when I get older, I live there.”

Following that conversation, the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv, in August, issued 10-year multiple entry visas to the young Israeli survivor of the Mumbai terror attacks, Moshe, and his grandparents. Sources told The Indian Express that his trip to India would be one of the highlights of Netanyahu’s visit. Moshe was just two when his parents, Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg, serving as emissaries of Chabad in Mumbai, were killed along with six others by terrorists at the Nariman House, also known as Chabad House.

He now lives with his grandparents — Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and his wife Yehudit Rosenberg — in Israel, and attends a yeshiva (religious school). He is still very attached to his Indian nanny, Sandra, who works in Jerusalem and joins the family over the weekends.

Besides Delhi, Netanyahu, who will be accompanied by his wife, will visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and will also go to Ahmedabad, Mumbai. Modi is likely to accompany him for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai leg of the visit.

“The two leaders will be carrying forward the relationship from Modi’s July visit, and will take it to the next level,” said a source. Netanyahu is expected to meet business leaders as well those from the Indian film industry, as Israel is trying to get Bollywood to shoot at some of the locations there. He is also likely to address the Raisina Dialogue, a conference organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation on January 16.

Palestinian envoy shares stage with Hafiz Saeed, angers India

While India will put cooperation on defence and security in top gear with Israel, South Block is working towards scheduling Modi’s trip to Palestine. Sources said his visit to Palestine is likely to be clubbed with his visit to the United Arab Emirates in February.

Modi is expected to lead the Indian delegation to the World Government Summit from February 11 to 13, hosted by the UAE, where India has been invited as the guest country, a source said. This will be his second visit to the UAE, which has emerged as a key strategic partner of India. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, visited India twice — once in February 2016 and then as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year.

South Block is learnt to be working with Palestinian officials to schedule a visit by Modi to Ramallah — before or after his UAE visit. This will be a reciprocal visit by Modi, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited India in May this year. Sources pointed out that both Netanyahu’s visit to India as well as Modi’s trip to Palestine will be “standalone visits”. “Just like PM skipped Palestine, while visiting Israel… he will be visiting Palestine only, and not Israel… the idea is to complete the de-hyphenation,” said the source.

The visit will take place in the backdrop of India’s vote at the UN against the US move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Arab envoys lobbied hard with New Delhi to vote against the US move, and the BJP-led NDA government played along, voting in line with its principled stand, as followed by previous governments in Delhi in the last seven decades, including the UPA government. This came as a surprise to many, since the incumbent Modi government was perceived to have reached out to Israel in a much more proactive manner than the previous governments.

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  1. Satish Batra
    Dec 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm
    As Subramaniam Swamy said, the UN vote in favour of the resolution was a big mistake. India should have abstained. Netanyahu accompanied Modi during his entire visit to Israel. Modi should reciprocate it during Netanyahu's visit to India and be a good host. After having seen the picture of the butcher of Mumbai who has killed hundreds of innocents with the Palestinian ambassador (after 7 decades of Indian support), we should be foolish to support these fanatical people.
    1. Sham Vaid
      Dec 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      The politics of the Modi govetrnment towards Palestin is becoming rather un-trustworthy. Yesterday, after the newspapers published a foto of Palestin Ambassorder to Pakistan with the most wanted terrorist, the MEA was fuming. Now it is said that "South Block is working towards scheduling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Palestine in February — within a month of Netanyahu’s visit in a balancing act". Ît means government of India is rewarding them with this visit. The fact is that Palestin has ALWAYS voted against India in the UN and at the Association of the Muslim countries. This is not a balancing act but an act of appeasment. It is sometimes better to call a spade a spade, otherwise we may lose a very good friend Israel.
      1. Satish Batra
        Dec 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm
        Very true. When will this appea t stop?
      2. seer rishi
        Dec 30, 2017 at 11:59 am
        India should also move its embassy to Jeru m. Not even once Palestine supported India on Kashmir. Kashmiri boys imitate Palestinian tactics of stone throwing and violence. On top of this all these who support Islamic terror are part of the same brotherhood. We just saw Palestinian envoy with Hafeez Saeed. Palestine has made its choice and it is high time India did
        1. Michelle:: Vedic::human
          Dec 30, 2017 at 11:43 am
          history of RAMALLAH in Palestine,--You have to know that Hindu civilization goes at least 32 000 BC while Islam came into existence in 700 AD. Indian science and culture was very popular in the past before Greece. For example it had the first cities of the world in Harappa, Mohanjodor's and Dwarka. All these go back from 6000 BC to 32 000 BC. Ity is quite possible that when people there converted they still kept the Lord Rama's name. Like Ram-daan which means donation in the name of lord Rama or Ram Allah (Ram which is Allah). People forget but names stay.---Jai hind
          1. Michelle:: Vedic::human
            Dec 30, 2017 at 11:42 am
            Mufti Muhammad Ilyas of Muslim body (Jamaat Ulama-e-Hind) recently said Lord Shiva was the “first prophet of Islam” and Muslims are “followers of Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism)”.As part of a delegation of clerics that visited Ayodhya to garner support for a communal harmony seminar - National Qaumi Ekta Conference -Ilyas told journalists, “Lord Shiva was first prophet of Islam and Muslims are followers of Sanatan Dharma.”He even went on to add that Muslims should have no reservation in accepting that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are their creators. “We are all Indians and not SAUDIS,--even prophet Mohammed was a DEVOTE of lord shiva in the Kaaba temple and we are children of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and there should be no reservations in accepting the truth,”--Mufti Muhammad Ilyas,--(Jamaat Ulama-e-Hind),--Jai hind.
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