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2008 Mumbai terror attack survivor delivers special message to new Israeli parliament

2008 Mumbai terror attack survivor Moshe Holzberg reciting Psalms at the swearing in ceremony of the new Israeli parliament (Image courtesy: Embassy of Israel in India)

In a heartwarming gesture, 2008 Mumbai terror attack survivor Moshe Holzberg recited Psalms at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Israeli parliament on Tuesday.

16-year-old ‘Baby Moshe’, as he is known in India, read a chapter of Psalms from the book with which his parents prayed as 120 lawmakers of Israel’s 25th Knesset were sworn in.

The gathering included Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu who shares a special bond with the child.

Moshe was only two when rampaging Pakistani terrorists attacked the Chabad house in Mumbai, killing his parents – emissaries Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka.

The couple was among the 25 foreign nationals and 166 civilians and security personnel who lost their lives in the dastardly 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuels, Moshe now lives in a city in northern Israel along with his grandparents Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and Yehudit Rosenberg.

In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Moshe, then an 11-year-old, during his historic visit to Israel in July 2017 when he became the first PM from India to visit the country located in the Middle East, at the junction of three continents – Europe, Asia, and Africa.

At the invitation of PM Modi, Moshe then accompanied Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to the Chabad House in January 2018.

26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack
PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu with 11-year-old Moshe Holzberg in Jerusalem in 2017 (File image courtesy: PIB)

Netanyahu and Moshe toured the latter’s former room and the site of the 2008 attack. The Israeli PM also marked his present height on the wall where Moshe’s late mother had indicated his height when he was a toddler.

“My heart beats, my heart is moved, to return to my parents’ home, the Chabad House that has been rebuilt and refurbished. Here I was born, and here I spent two years. I have absorbed my beloved parents’ sense of mission,” an emotional Moshe said then.

Last month, Moshe’s recorded video message was played at a special meeting of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai to pay tribute to victims of terror attacks.

“Your gathering here in Mumbai is very important. It is very important that you find new ways to counter terrorism, so that no one will have to go through what I have gone through,” Moshe urged in his statement.

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