Sunday, December 7, 2008

Settler violence in Hebron must stop

Read Avi Issacharoff's harrowing account here:

Hebron settler riots were out and out pogroms - Haaretz

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Torture in Mumbai

Ben Cohen at Z-Word has a digest of the see-sawing reports concerning whether the Mumbai Chabad House vicitims were tortured. Read it here: Torture in Mumbai at Z-Word Blog.

Here's part of what he has to say:

(T)he New York Times reports that torture did apparently take place:

Gruesome new evidence also emerged Thursday suggesting that some of the six people killed at the Jewish center in Mumbai had been treated savagely. Some of the bodies appeared to have strangulation marks and wounds on their bodies did not come from gunshots or grenades, the police said.

More details will doubtless emerge in the coming days. But I can’t help thinking about something which Sandra Samuels, the heroic nanny who pulled Moshe Holzberg to safety, recounted about the rescue: “When I got upstairs all the terrorists were apparently on the roof. I found Moishe standing next to his parents. Everything was full of blood. I grabbed him, went outside the room and ran outside.”

New report casts doubt on claim that Jewish vicitims in Mumbai were tortured



Monday, December 1, 2008

Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum, killed by Jihadis in Mumbai for being a Jew, was anti-Zionist

(Hat tip: ENGAGE)

from Z-Word: Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in Mumbai

We hear a lot these days, from assorted boycotters and human rights campaigners, that there is no connection between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, that the two positions have as little to do with each other as supporting Manchester United has with a passion for philately.

It’s a pity the news didn’t reach the Mumbai terrorists before they murdered Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum. Had they known that he was neither a Zionist nor an Israeli, they would surely have asked him to step to one side as they conducted their slaughter. Or perhaps they did know, but Teitelbaum failed to clarify his political views fast enough to save his life. I mean, what’s an honest jihadi to do? In the heat of the moment mistakes get made.

Maybe the anti-Zionist human rights campaigners could get together to draw up a quick reference card for jihadis - to be carried with them when they set out on an operation - that would help them to rapidly distinguish those Jews who deserve to live from those who don’t.

from Ynet: Satmar family: No State involvement in son's funeral:

Hasid killed in Mumbai attacks recognized as terror victim by Israel, but his family begs government not to send representatives to funeral, cover his coffin with national flag, saying he belonged to anti-Zionist haredi stream.

The State has decided to recognize the Israelis murdered in the Mumbai terror attacks as victims of terrorism and pay for their funerals, but not all are happy with this decision. The family of slain Hasid Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum has informed the government that it would like the State not to intervene with his funeral.

According to a family member, "Holding a Zionist funeral for Teitelbaum, who was a Satmar Hasid, would desecrate the dead man's honor." The family demanded not to have a government representative at the funeral and that the casket, which will be flown into Israel today, would not be covered with the Israeli flag.

They also asked that Teitelbaum's body would be released immediately upon the plane's arrival, so that they would be able to hold an intimate funeral for him as soon as possible.

Shmuel Pfenheim of the Haredi Community anti-Zionist stream told Ynet: "I'm sending a message from the family. We don't want the State to meddle in our grief. Suddenly Israel has an interest to show the world that it is also a victim of global jihad, so it decides to throw a big ceremony with a coffin wrapped in a flag. We object to this. It pains us and offends our values."

'Not an envoy of the State'

Pfenheim, who attended the same yeshiva as Teitelbaum, added: "He wasn't killed as an envoy of the State or as a Zionist person. He simply went there as a kashrut supervisor on behalf of an American kashrut system. He himself was an American citizen, and although he was a resident in Israel he wasn't an Israeli national.

"The mere fact that he was living here, in a closed congregation, doesn't give the country permission to exploit his death.

Despite their protest, sources in the Haredi Community stressed that they did not plan to create havoc over the matter. "We are not like Neturei Karta. We conduct our struggles peacefully, and are simply begging the minister in charge and the police – the man has suffered enough. He's been there for almost a week. Let us bury him according to the family's will."
Aryeh Leib Teitelbaum was a member of the family of the Satmar rebbe (read here).

UPDATE: Teitelbaum had deep roots within Satmar chassidus as a patrilineal descendant of an earlier Satmar Rebbe and the son-in-law of the Rebbe of Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, a branch of Satmar. Teitelbaum was the son of the Volover Rov of Boro Park, Rabbi Nachum Ephraim Teitelbaum, who is Av Beis Din (chief judge of a religious court), and who heads a U.S. kashrus organization.. (Read more here and here and here and here.)

If any readers know more about the Teitelbaum family, let me know and I'll post it. By the way, to my knowledge, Teitelbaum is the second scion of a chassidic dynasty to die at the hand of Islamist terrorists. The first was Ari Halberstam, whose family leads the Bobover chassids (read here). Ari was shot to death by an Islamist terrorist at the age of 16 (read here). He was killed on the Brooklyn Bridge while travelling home from a speech by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in lower Manhattan. There has been speculation that the terrorist (whose name is Rashid Baz) had intended to assassinate the Rebbe, but, failing to get an opportunity to do so, chose a target of opportunity while driving home to Brooklyn: a van filled with yeshiva bochers.

Ari Halberstam

Jewish victims in Mumbai were tortured

from the Indian news website Rediff / India Abroad: Doctors shocked at hostages's torture

They said that just one look at the bodies of the dead hostages as well as terrorists showed it was a battle of attrition that was fought over three days at the Oberoi and the Taj hotels in Mumbai.

Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an IB source said.

Moshe Holtzberg

Dozens gathered at a synagogue in Mumbai for a memorial service for the Jews slain at the Chabad center. During the service, Moshe burst into tears and called out "Ima," Hebrew for "mother."

from Z-Word:

from Fox News:

from Fox News:

The 2-year-old orphan found drenched in the blood of his parents at the besieged Jewish center in Mumbai left India on Monday on an Israeli Air Force jet, accompanied by the Indian woman who rescued him.

Moshe Holtzberg's parents, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, ran the headquarters of the ultra-Orthodox Chabad Lubavitch movement in Mumbai — one of 10 targets besieged by gunman over the 60-hour rampage.

During the attack Thursday, Sandra Samuel, a nanny who worked there for years, had locked herself in a laundry room when she heard Rivkah screaming for her to help. Then the screaming stopped, and it was quiet, said Robert Katz, a New York-based fund-raiser for an Israeli orphanage founded by the boy's family.

Samuel cracked open the door of her hiding place and saw a deserted staircase. She ran up one flight and saw the rabbi and his wife, covered in blood and shot to death. The child was crying beside his parents' bodies, his pants drenched in blood.

She snatched the boy, bolted down the stairs and out of the building.

"She's been there with him throughout," Katz said.

Six civilians were killed in the center — all of them Jewish and four of them Israeli, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Andy David said. In all, more than 170 died in attacks on 10 targets across the Indian city.

Moshe was accompanied on the trip to Israel by his maternal grandparents, Yehudit and Shimon Rosenberg, who were reunited with their grandson when they arrived in Mumbai on Friday.

"It was pure raw emotion, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, incredible emotion, understandably out of control," said Katz.

Asked about Moshe's condition, he said: "I don't know that he can comprehend or that he will remember seeing his parents shot in cold blood."

Before the child's departure, dozens gathered at a synagogue in Mumbai for a memorial service for the Jews slain at the Chabad center. During the service, Moshe burst into tears and called out "Ima," Hebrew for "mother."

Weeping, Shimon Rosenberg delivered a eulogy for his daughter and son-in-law, reciting the Hebrew phrases from the Book of Job: "The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Moshe's father was a dual American-Israeli citizen and his mother was Israeli. The couple lived in Israel and Brooklyn before they moved to Mumbai in 2003.

Samuel, an Indian resident, will live with Moshe in Israel "so at least he has someone he knows and recognizes and loves," said Katz.

Though Samuel has no passport or papers, Moshe's grand-uncle, Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, helped arrange for her to get a visa to Israel. In a sad coincidence, Grossman is founder of the Migdal Ohr, which says it is Israel's largest facility for orphaned and disadvantaged children.

The Israeli jet that carried Moshe and Samuel also carried the remains of his parents and the others killed at the Chabad House, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

Government officials planned a small ceremony upon the plane's arrival.

"There are going to be thousands of people at this funeral," said Katz, executive vice president of Migdal Ohr's fundraising arm in New York. "This couple wasn't living in the West Bank. They weren't settlers. They weren't occupying anyone's land. They were killed because they were Jews, simple and plain."

The toddler has one older sibling who has Tay-Sachs, a genetic disorder particularly prevalent in Jews of Eastern European origin. He is permanently hospitalized in Israel, Katz said. The couple's first-born child died of Tay-Sachs.

from AFP:

from the New York Times:


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