From a posting by Michael Danby, Australian Government Member for Melbourne Ports, on Wednesday December 3, 2008 in which he reports on a speech to the Australian Parliament on an important aspect of the terrorist attack in India, that has been under reported. 9 of the 20 foreigners murdered there were Jews, including the Rabbi, his wife and others at the Chabad House (synagogue/outreach) centre in Mumbai:
Mr Danby (Melbourne Ports) (9.36a.m.)- London's Times asks today: "So why kill the rabbi?" Indeed, why kill any rabbi? All Australians were outraged at the murder of our countrymen Brett Taylor and Doug Markell and the other mainly Indian citizens murdered in Mumbai a few days ago.
I cannot surpass the insights of the columnist from the London Times David Aaronovitch about the people he calls "explanists", who make excuses for those who, with murderous ideologies, single out people who are Australian or British or American, or who are Jewish. Mr. Aaronovitch says that we cannot equivocate the heinous crimes committed by the terrorists with their struggle against Hindu aggression or Indian oppression. He says that there is no justification in killing innocent people, Christian, Hindu or Jew, or British, American or Australian.
The fact that nine people died in a synagogue, an outreach centre called the Chabad house in Mumbai is a particular tragedy for many Australian Jews. It is especially tragic for those who knew the couple who ran the centre, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah, both of whom were murdered there.
Terrible reports on various international news wires indicate that some of the victims were all tortured before they were killed. This kind of beastality is hard to face but we must because it is being discussed in the international press.
This young religious couple were a paradigm of kind-hearted and dedicated Chabad emissaries serving the tiny Jewish community in Mumbai, and helping people who were suffering from drug addiction and poverty. They offered their hospitality to Israeli backpackers and Jewish visitors, and treated them with uplifting spiritual experiences. Their Chabad house, their synagogue, served as a safe haven and an island for yiddishkeit for Jewish people travelling through Mumbai and India. They could stay at the centre and were offered free kosher meals, and could participate in services over Shabbat. Reb Gavriel and Rebbetzin Rivka represented the ultimate in human kindness and selflessness. Their presence in Mumbai and on earth will be sadly missed....
Follow this link for the full report.