Baby Moshe


Dr Ravi P Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

22 Jan 2018 – The Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi has been travelling to almost all parts of the world and making friends with the political leaders of different countries. He travels abroad and invites Presidents, Prime Ministers to visit India for trade, business relations including investments and defence deals.

The latest leader is the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu who is paying a return visit along with his wife after Modi’s visit to Israel in July of last year.

While the two leaders and their large delegations talked of serious matters especially the purchase of defence equipment from Israel by India and also Israel’s technology in agriculture, the media devoted a considerable attention to Moshe Holtzberg, an eleven-year-old boy.

What is special about Moshe?

When he was two years old, his parents were among the many people killed in a ghastly terrorist attack in Chabad House (home to the Jewish Community) in Mumbai (Bombay) nine years ago. Baby Moshe could also have been killed except for the astuteness of his Nanny who escaped with him to another building. Subsequently Baby Moshe and his Nanny went to Israel to be with Moshe’s grandparents.

When Modi had visited Israel, he had met Moshe a sprightly bespectacled 11 year old boy and had invited him along with the Israel Prime Minister when they visited India.

Netanyahu’s large delegation to India also comprises Moshe. After signing many bilateral accords with India, the Israeli Prime Minister and his wife went to see the heritage Taj Mahal in Agra and then went to Mumbai to see the building that had killed Moshe’s parents nine years ago. Moshe  also went to that building although he would not remember that tragedy.

Many people are happy to see the   Israeli Prime Minister in that building. In a certain sense there is a closure to that tragic episode. But some people are critical of why Moshe is being subjected to all the glare. He is a young boy of 11; will this publicity have an adverse impact on him? The idea is not to hide the gruesome killings of both his parents in that building, but the glare could have been avoided by taking him to the building quietly without the clicking of cameras. Perhaps Moshe despite his young years is unwittingly being made to act as a goodwill ambassador between our two nations.

We hope that the impact of seeing the building where his parents died on 26/11/2008 is not unsettling on him. He may perhaps well cherish the meeting with the Indian Prime Minister and his officials when he grows up. Let us wish him well so that he becomes an intelligent and peace loving citizen of the world.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, an educationist and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 22 Jan 2018.

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