Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made an impromptu visit to the grave of Theodor Herzl, who is considered as the founding father of Zionism, at the suggestion of his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. Modi, who visited the Yad Vashem Museum and honoured the victims of the Holocaust, was suggested by Netanyahu, apparently spontaneously, that they visit the grave of Herzl born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl – which lies adjacent to the memorial.
Prime Minister Modi agreed on the suggestion and the two leaders visited the marble tomb at Mt. Herzl. Modi placed a small rock on the marble tomb as Netanyahu watched with a smile.
“PM Netanyahu and @PMOIndia Modi visited Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, and paid their respects to the founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl,” the official Twitter account of the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel tweeted. It also posted a brief video that showed Modi placing his hand on the tomb.
“Before departing the Yad Vashem complex the leaders visited the Grave of Theodor Herzl – Chozeh HaMedinah (lit. “Visionary of the State”),” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted. Herzl was an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who is considered the founding father of Zionism – a movement to establish a Jewish homeland.
He died in 1904 at the age of 44 and buried in a cemetery in Vienna. In 1949, his remains were moved from Vienna to be reburied on the top of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, named in his memory.