Israel mourns, asks tough questions after Mumbai attacks

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israelis across the country on Tuesday mourned together with the family and friends of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg as the two victims of last week's terrorist assault on the Indian city of Mumbai were laid to rest near Tel Aviv.

The most heart-rending images from the funeral were those of 2-year-old Moshe Holtzberg, who through a sea of tears repeatedly called out for his mother.

Moshe was spared the fate of his parents when his Indian nanny very alertly snatched him up and escaped the Mumbai Chabad Jewish outreach center hours after the terrorists had seized control of the building.

The Holtzbergs had run the center for the past five years. Dozens of Jews from the Crown Heights community in New York City where the Chabad movement is headquartered traveled to Israel for the funeral.

Three other Israelis and one Mexican Jewish woman who was planning to immigrate were also killed inside the Chabad center. All were laid to rest in Israel on Tuesday.

A number of Israeli commentators and military experts have criticized Indian anti-terror forces for failing to more efficiently contain the attacks on the Chabad center and two nearby luxury hotels. The attacks lasted for three days and ultimately resulted in nearly 200 dead.

Meir Indor, chairman of the Almagor terror victims' association, said that while tough questions need to be asked, India should at least be credited for refusing to take any course of action other than eliminating the terrorists.

In a statement released to the press, Indor praised the Indian government for correctly understanding that "capitulating to terrorism, only means that there will be even more victims in the long run."

Nevertheless, Indor said that the Mumbai attacks clearly demonstrated the need for greater cooperation between nations like India and Israel in fighting terror, especially when an attack is taking place.

He faulted both the Indian and Israeli governments for failing to share real-time intelligence during the attack and to involve Israeli forces in the rescue operation.

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