33 thoughts on “Indian Militants Kill Chabad Rabbi and Wife – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. According to your twisted logic, Muslims were especially seeking Jewish targets in India, were Jews are such an infinitesimal minority, only to make a point to Indians. I don’t get it.

  2. You are so blind, it is sickening. If this was not an obvious act of anti Semitism by radical Islamists, why than would you blame any Jewish organization for not having security “in a city where there had been previous Muslim terror attacks and not provide ironclad security for it?” Why don’t you urge for Catholic organizations to do the same?

  3. @Avi: Kashmiris were undoubtedly saying to the U.S. and the rest of the world: either you solve our conflict or we will take the conflict to you. And not just to your cities like Mumbai, but also to ethnic groups like Jews, for whom such Kashmiri Muslims would not have any great love.

    But again, I do not believe that Kashmiris seriously care about Israel or Jews. We are just a convenient tool for them to use in advancing their agenda before a shocked world.

  4. @Mini: Of course it was an act of anti-Semitism. But there are many types of anti-Semitism. There is the anti-Semitism of the confirmed Jew-hater represented by a figure like Hitler; and there are those who glom onto anti-Semitism as a convenient crutch to advance other interests having little to do with actual Jew-hatred.

    The proof of the pudding is that Kashmiri terror groups have never, until now, targeted Jews. Either they are making a radical departure from their previous strategy & have become out and out confirmed anti-Semites; or they are merely ratcheting up their rhetoric to make a point related not so much to anti-Semitism as to pleading their cause before a shocked world audience.

  5. Your article was close to grasping the point of the matter, but it still felt short, in my opinion. Yeah, there was the issue with Kashmir, which i am somewhat familiar with, being from Pakistan and all. But for a long time, India has been trying to blame a lot of its problems on the Pakistani government, particularly on the question on rebellion/violence in India’s Kashmir. But The Muslims in India, although a hefty 14 % of the population, are amongst the more deprived communities in India, alongside the Dalits and smaller tribes. And while there is Islamic extremism, there is also Hindu extremism. Hindutva groups, like the RSS or Shiv Sena, have been involved in a lot of violence against the non-Hindu minorties, including the Christians in Orissa, but more notoriously for the Gujarat progroms in 2002, where thousands of Muslims were killed, with compliance with the police. Such violence has never seriously been investigated into. To me, that provides the background for where these terrorists come from. Not that it gave them the right to go on this rampage.

    As for targeting Jews or Israelis, News reports that i’ve read from Australia and Singapore say that they are targeting foreigners, not exclusively Israelis or Jews.

  6. You are tell us that there are “may types of anti-Semitism”. This is just too rich; like, what else is new? You have never met or talked with any of the terrorists in Mumbai, but you already know that “Kashmiris [do not] seriously care about Israel or Jews.” Nevertheless, I am now so glad to know that the victims in Mumbai were just another case of many in the history anti-Semitism, of “just a convenient tool for them to use in advancing their agenda before a shocked world.” I am sure that the victims are now much more comforted in their graves.

  7. Richard, if this was about Kashmir, why would Jews be targeted? Having traveled in Kashmir, I can tell you that the local population have little problem with Jews or Israelis. Israelis dominate tourism to the area, despite silly travel advisory warnings. There are Hebrew signs throughout Kashmiri towns. The Islam of Kashmiris themselves is of more of a Sufi bent. I think it’s time that we understood that India isn’t just being targeted because of Kashmir (although, of course, it’s policies in the state have generally been appalling).

  8. I’m not sure if the folks at Chabad were chosen for attack because they are Jews, or because they are – or are perceived to be – foreigners, just like the Western victims in the hotels. In reference to the latter, nobody is talking of “anti-Christianism” (if in fact they were Christians). If the point was, as you say, to advance an agenda that has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism, it makes little sense to single out the Jewish victims.

    In addition to the dispute between Pakistan and India there are also no few actual Kashmiris – including Muslims – seeking independence. Certainly Kashmiris are just as diverse a bunch as Indians or Americans, and to tar them all with the same brush is neither just nor helpful.

  9. Imad – if this is about Indian Muslim domestic Indian disenchantment, why were the terrorists shipped in from elsewhere? And why targeted places associated with foreigners? Sure, it’s seems likely that there must have been some logistical support on the ground, although that could have taken any form. In addition, if it’s foreigners per se, then why go for Chabad House?

  10. I have not read of your blog until today, but if the above post is any indication, then I must sadly say that you exemplify the very worst of classical liberalism–namely that you believe there are no bad people in the world. You look to victimization as the cause of everything and you promote a culture of victimization. You not only equate the Kashmir dispute to that of Israel and the Palestinians but you manage to almost excuse the violence and murder against Jews in Mumbai as arising from that equation-however false. I don’t get you, but perhaps this paragraph is most telling, so I’ll simply quote you:

    “I want to make clear that I am not making any judgments about which side in the conflict over this territory is in the right and which in the wrong. I’m not well-versed enough to do that. I’m merely commenting on the similarity of the grievances between Kashmiris and Palestinians.”

    Oh no, don’t fool yourself into believing you are not making any judgments, but you are right about one thing–you are not well-versed. But we knew that already.

    So what exactly is your point? Could it be that there are no bad people and that when Jews are attacked and killed it must be because of something that Jews did to deserve it? In other words, through your twisted beliefs in victimization, you are somehow finding everyone in the world to be a victim–except Jews, even though in reality, Jews are the ultimate victims. And, having not figure that out, you feel that when Jews are attacked, it is not because they are victims but because they have victimized others? Am I reading this right?

    I get this from reading your statement that, “Israel’s ultimate conflict has nothing to do with radical Islam and everything to do with its Occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. The solution to this conflict has nothing to do with eliminating radical Islam, jihad or Muslim terror. It has everything to do with resolving a political and national conflict.”

    In other words, everyone who currently hates Israel and Jews only does so because of events since 1948 and they will come to accept, if not love Israel and Jews if they were to simply leave all the occupied territories? But if it is so political–what exactly are the occupied territories? And how has leaving Sinai and Gaza contributed to peace? Will giving up more land bring about peace? And finally, did these Jews in Mumbai deserve to be killed by terrorists because of political realities thousands of miles away? Jews were singled out. Hundreds died but along with all westerners, Jews were singled out and you still believe there is not a global war between radical Islam and the West? You are one deluded soul–and while I would not dare to call you a self-hating Jew, I think your main problem is you want everyone to like you and you are upset that some people hate you and your people because you are Jews. You cannot face this, so you have to construct this artifice that there must be another reason. Yeah–it’s the occupied territories and you’re not really like those other Jews who are oppressing you. You really dig those Palestinians and Arabs and just want to live together with them but those other Jews won’t let that happen, so they deserve to die, but not you–right? Feel better now?

  11. This is not a first time that Pakistani nationals are attacking Jewish targets. Let me remind you of the attackers in Tel Aviv in 2003 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_/ai_n12582892

    Of course Jews were specially targeted. In order to reach the Chabad House the terrorists had to breach through security; Chabad House is located in a gated community, and the terrorists filtered in by driving a police vehicle. Now Imad and Richard, please explain to me why would the terrorists spare any resources to go through all this trouble for aiming at a “tiny” target which produce “only’ 6 dead Jews, in a city which provides endless opportunities for softer and much larger foreign targets? Where is the logic?

  12. @PM4:

    you exemplify the very worst of classical liberalism–namely that you believe there are no bad people in the world.

    Gee, where do I begin. I’m not a “classical liberal.” I don’t believe “there are no bad people in the world.” And classical liberalism doesn’t believe that either. Other than those few errors you’re spot on.

    You not only equate the Kashmir dispute to that of Israel and the Palestinians but you manage to almost excuse the violence and murder against Jews in Mumbai as arising from that equation

    That’s not at all what I said, but rather yr distorted version of it because you can’t seem to read anything except through your own narrowly ideological lens. I said that the Indian occupation of Kashmir and the Israeli occupation of Palestine were suggestive and might have certain similarities in terms of the grievances of the victims. I didn’t “equate” the 2 situations, nor did I “excuse” the murder of Jews as you claim. Do me the favor of reading what I write & not putting words in my mouth. If you do so, I will call you out for it.

    The murder of Jews is a heinous act. I have not condoned it. I have not defended the terrorism in Mumbai nor the attack on Chabad. But unlike neocon ideologues like you, I recognize that terrorism isn’t irrational and doesn’t arise from nothing. It derives from real grievances of real human beings. YOu simply cannot extirpate terrorism by pure military means. YOu need political strategies as well and that involves negotiating an end to such conflicts.

    And that is the diff. bet. you and me. You see the only solution to such situations as blood for blood–kill ’em all. That’s the solution of an automaton, not a human being. Or at least not any human being for whom I have any respect.

    I don’t get you

    Indeed you don’t. But I’m not the only one you don’t get. You simply don’t get reality because it won’t conform to your own narrow insular ideological view. Which is part of the reason you get things so utterly wrong.

    don’t fool yourself into believing you are not making any judgments

    That is a lie. I said I wasn’t making an ultimate judgments and that’s what I meant. If I did make judgments then point out what they are. And if you can’t do so then don’t lie. I did not say that the Kashmiri Muslims are solely in the right in their conflict. And I did not say this both because I am not an expert in this conflict and because undoubtedly the Indian version has some legitimacy as well. That is what my view is and any other distortion of you create is a lie plain & simple.

    Could it be that there are no bad people and that when Jews are attacked and killed it must be because of something that Jews did to deserve it?

    No it couldn’t because once again I didn’t say this and you’re invoking a calumny against me. You’re perilously close to getting banned from further commenting. I simply do not abide people who try to turn me into what you’re trying to turn me into.

    in reality, Jews are the ultimate victims.

    Of course. Now you’re showing your true colors. I hear the plaintive strains of the violins playing as scenes of Holocuast mayhem are projected before our eyes. People like you invoke Jewish victimization at the drop of a hat. We are victims. We never do anything wrong. The whole world is against us. Vay iz mir. Gevalt un Gott in himmel. Really, this whole shtick is beyond pathetic.

    when Jews are attacked, it is not because they are victims but because they have victimized others? Am I reading this right?

    No, once again you’re not. That’s a pretty good batting record: .000. You haven’t gotten a single thing right in yr entire comment. But why should we be surprised?

    I never said the Chabad victims victimized anyone nor did I justify their death. But I do believe along with many other Middle East analysts that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a powder keg that fuels much Arab hatred in the Middle East. I do believe that if the conflict was resolved peacefully that a good deal of Muslim anger would be assuaged (besides the fact that such a peace agreement would be good for Israelis as well). That does not mean that I justify terror against Jews. It means that I observe that ongoing war and bloodshed involving the Occupation fuels hatred against Israel. This does not mean that Gavriel Holtzberg is guilty for his own death–an opinion you disgustingly attribute to me. It means that Israel could do a good deal to avoid future Gavriel Holtzberg’s would it resolve the I-P conflict.

    I think your main problem is you want everyone to like you

    Oh no. I don’t want everyone to like me. I don’t want you to like me and I don’t want Kashmiri terrorists to like me. I’m quite content to be unliked by many people who are the enemies of peace as you and they are.

    You really dig those Palestinians and Arabs and just want to live together with them but those other Jews won’t let that happen, so they deserve to die, but not you–right?

    Hey congratulations. You’re banned. I was waiting to read till the end of your comment to see how disgustingly you would twist my views. But by claiming that I believe that Jews deserve to die–you yrself have just died a little death here.

    In another comment thread here I was conducting an argument with someone who claimed that I viewed Jews as having base beliefs. Not at all I pointed out. There are individual Jews who hold base beliefs. And you are a perfect example of one.

  13. Some of your comments on this tragedy have mentioned parallels it has in common with the Israeli – Palestine conflict; there is remarkable symmetry to be found in both these areas. One is US attempts to focus some measure of control within each theatre of combat. These certainly appear to lack the necessary vision and understanding of the forces and mindsets involved. The West, the US in particular, may be perceived as too biased, too self-serving to act as a genuine, impartial mediator in either war zone. Too much baggage, historical and political, now weighs us down.

    As I have come to believe, the only approach that might yet yield significant and long-term results is one in which bias and self-serving are best left to the combatants themselves.

    In reply to an infamous dictator puzzled by the worsening situation in what had been, hitherto, a very successful military campaign, a famous general advised him to ‘change his methods.’ He did not and, subsequently, he and his people paid the ultimate price for that failure to do so.

    As we each gallop along on our own individual hobbyhorse in pursuit of peace and some possible end to all this mayhem, we might do well to reflect on modifying our ‘methods.’ Why not let the solution come towards us instead of always trying to ride it down as we have in the past? The more we attempt to force the issue, the further away it seems to recede. Today we still may not have all the answers but those we do will be of little use if we cannot stabilise the situation for the length of time it takes to apply any of them.

    Somehow we need to close this gap, acquire the stability needed to throw a bridge over these chasms of chaos as they become ever wider, ever deeper.

    http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

    JY

  14. Mr. Silverstein was able to read the minds of the terrorists in Mumbai and to report to us in no time that Jews were not the prime targets, since this was a local disopute about Kashmir.

    Too bad, Mr. Silverstein. You were wrong. Time to examine your logic. Here it is:

    “Azam Amir Kasab, a Pakistani, told Indian police that the terrorists targeted Nariman House, where the Chabad center was located, because it was frequented by Israelis, The Times of India reported Sunday. Israelis were targeted to “avenge atrocities on Palestinians,” the [Times of India] reported Kasab as saying.”

    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/30/1001254/terrorist-we-were-sent-to-target-israelis

    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/30/1001254/terrorist-we-were-sent-to-target-israelis

  15. @Avi: Yes, I read the original story. I note that this story anonymously characterized the information provided by Amir Kasab. So unlike you, I’ll wait to see whether a reliable source will be willing to attach their name to this information & provide a fuller statement from the terrorist.

    Second, I never said the attackers weren’t motivated by anti-Semitism. But I said that the attack seemed more a hijacking of anti-Semitism for the purpose of making their attack more stupendous and dramatic. Hardly anyone in the world outside Indian, Pakistan and perhaps the Muslim world cares about Kashmir. Yet another Mumbai terror attack might draw yawns in India. But kill a few Jews and then you’ve got the world’s attention.

    Nothing in the Times of India report contradicts my thoughts about this so far.

  16. “But kill a few Jews and then you’ve got the world’s attention.”

    Richard – are you suggesting that without the attack on Chabad House the world’s media wouldn’t have given such huge attention to the Mumbai attacks?

  17. Richard,

    Sorry that to debunk your entire theory. The admission that the terrorist were actively looking for a Jewish target appears all all over the mainstream media. Instead of challenging facts that do not add up to your theories, just use Google. You have egg all over your face. Admit it. And have a great day

  18. B”H
    Why do you call them “militants” can’t you say “terrorists”?
    What’s next a suicide bomber will be called an “armed political operative”?:-)

  19. @Alex Stein: It would undoubtedly still have been a big story. But killing Jews adds an enormous new dimension of drama & horror. I can see it at my own blog. My posts about the Holtzberg murder drawn HUGE traffic. Far more than the posts I wrote that dealt solely with the attack & didn’t mention the Holtzbergs.

  20. B”H
    Indeed to give credit where credit is due you use the words “millitants” 6 times in this article and the word “terrorists” 8 times.
    However you chose to use millitants in the headline and that is what caught my attention.
    Perhaps you should have used the term “armed community organizers” in the headline for even more PC effect.:-)

  21. When I read your laughably lame arguments, Richard, I think of a wonderful quote from Saul Bellows [sic]:

    “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

  22. @Ariel: Thanks once again for mischaracterizing my views completely. I do not support terror of any sort, no matter what the cause. And I include Jewish terror & incitement in this denunciation as well btw.

    I’d appreciately an acknowledgement that you have mischaracterized me. Otherwise, you are bearing false witness.

  23. B”H
    I wasn’t trying to imply you support terror rather that you justify leftist pilots refusing orders to bomb terrorist on disputed territories. (as you mentioned on another thread)
    You claim that according to international law gaza is ocupied territory and therefore hamas can shoot rockets from there yet it is illegal to send planes to bomb their leaders.
    I was trying to point out that you could have made a similar claim about India’s position in Kashmir had you been an ultra-leftist Indian having emphaty with with the foes of your country.

  24. Oh well, I guess I’m proud to be an “ultra-leftist” then, as I try to have empathy with every fellow human being, though not necessarily sympathy with their views. But then, it’s always been a hallmark of the “ultra-right” that they never want to know the difference.

  25. undefined fiddler says:
    November 29, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    I’m not sure if the folks at Chabad were chosen for attack because they are Jews, or because they are – or are perceived to be – foreigners, just like the Western victims in the hotels. In reference to the latter, nobody is talking of “anti-Christianism” (if in fact they were Christians). If the point was, as you say, to advance an agenda that has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism, it makes little sense to single out the Jewish victims.

    The answers in your statement. The Jews (Israel) aka ”Israelis” are NOT ‘native’ to or ‘natives’ of Kashmir they are ”foreigners” as you put it, so call them what you like ‘jews’ or ‘foreigners’ the important point not to miss is that they are essentially non natives of Kashmir i.e they Non-Kashmiris and are percieved as such so any attack weather on ‘jews’ or non-jews is essentially an attack on a ”foreigner”, but oh what a clever little game the so called ‘jews’ are trying to play on the Kashmiris.

  26. undefined fiddler says:
    November 29, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    I’m not sure if the folks at Chabad were chosen for attack because they are Jews, or because they are – or are perceived to be – foreigners, just like the Western victims in the hotels. In reference to the latter, nobody is talking of “anti-Christianism” (if in fact they were Christians). If the point was, as you say, to advance an agenda that has nothing to do with Jews and Judaism, it makes little sense to single out the Jewish victims.

    The answers in your statement. The Jews (Israel) aka ”Israelis” are NOT ‘native’ to or ‘natives’ of Kashmir they are ”foreigners” as you put it, so call them what you like ‘jews’ or ‘foreigners’ the important point not to miss is that they are essentially non natives of Kashmir i.e they Non-Kashmiris and are percieved as such so any attack weather on ‘jews’ or non-jews is essentially an attack on foreigners,its just a petty semantic game.

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