November 28, 2008, - 10:53 am
“They’re All Gone”: Where Have We Heard That Before? Mumbai 2008 is Munich 1972 for Murdered Jewish Hostages
By Debbie Schlussel
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet–Blessed is the True Judge/the Judge of Truth.
That is the phrase we Jews say when we inform others in our community that a fellow Jew has died. We say it because even though we are very sad that the person died, we know that only G-d–the True Judge/Judge of Truth–knows what is in his plan and can decide our proper, ultimate destiny.
It is very tragic and sad to read and hear reports coming out of Mumbai, India that Islamic terrorists murdered all of the Jewish hostages taken at the Lubavitch Chabad House–a center of Orthodox Jewry. Five dead bodies were found as Indian authorities finally took control of the Chabad House.
That Was Then . . .
This Is Now . . .
Just like in Munich in 1972, the Indian government let things go on too long before they made even the first (unsuccessful) attempt to storm the Chabad House. Tragically, the Jewish hostages, targeted and taken only because they were Jews, met the same fate as their co-religionists in Munich. We will never learn. Whether it is the incompetent German police then, or the incompetent Indian ones in the last couple of days, they treat Islam and terrorists with kid gloves. Yes, India is far tougher on Muslims than we are. But still not enough.
While India was tougher than anyone against Somalian Islamic terrorists a/k/a “pirates”, the country was meek on its own soil. It’s disappointing that a country headed by a Sikh–who must surely have learned something from decades of Muslim attacks on Sikhs (and Hindus)–does not crack down sufficiently on his country’s Muslim population. At one time, Islam was a much smaller percentage of the Indian populus. Now, it is 10-15 percent and growing–so it matters not whether or not these terrorists were homegrown or snuck in from Pakistan. India has its fair share of Islamic terrorism supporters, such that tennis player Sania Mirza canceled her doubles partnership with Israeli Shahar Pe’er, lest she offend Muslims by playing alongside a Jew.
And now, it may be too late to crack down on Islam in India. But surely, there should have been swift stormtrooping on the Jewish center. Yes, some may have died. But now, all of them have been murdered.
Just like in Munich.
The Munich Olympians and the Mumbai Chabadniks had little in commmon. Most of the Israeli athletes were secular Jews. The Mumbai hostages were devout Jews. But that didn’t matter to the Muslim one-drop rule. They were all Jews. And therefore, they were deemed less than human and slaughtered at the hands of Islamic murderers.
And by the same token, it makes no difference whether or not the Mumbai terrorist were from Al-Qaeda. The Munich terrorists were from Black September, a P.L.O. group. But, whether in 1972 or 2008, they all have one thing in common: Islam. So, now Black September (though not named for the month in which they did, in fact, slaughter the Jewish athletes, but the month in which the Hachemite King Hussein slaughtered Palestinian Muslims led by Arafat) is Black November.
The Bible was so right when it said, in Genesis, that Ishmael (and his descendants) would be wild asses of men and live lives of “manlike wilding.” They continue to show us on a daily basis their wild savagery against innocents around the world.
And yet, the organized Jewish community continues to embrace these people and speak of them as a “religion of peace” and about how “hijackers hijacked the religion.” I suppose now, we are supposed to say that “hostage takers and murderers took hostage-took and murdered the religion.”
Whatever. We know that these never-ending acts of violence and bloodshed are not accidents of a few who “don’t represent Islam.” NO, they are the actions of those who represent the epitome of Islam and whose actions are already being cheered on the Islamic street around the world.
A word about Chabad Lubavitch, some of which repeats what I’ve already said on this site over the last few days. But it bears repeating.
Chabad House is a project of the Lubavitch sect of Chassidic Jews, known as Lubavitchers. They are known for their kindness and charitable works to Jews and non-Jews. They make it easier for Jews to practice our religion in the most remote of locales, such as Mumbai and other locations far more exotic and/or deadly and depressing. As I’ve noted before, I have a special place in my heart for the Lubavitcher Chassidim because they went out of their way to help make it easy for me to practice my religion when I was in college and grad school.
Lubavitch Chabad, over the years, has cared for AIDS-stricken homeless non-Jews and given them shelter and food. Yesterday, they provided a free (kosher) Thanksgiving dinner to almost 1,000 indigent, non-Jewish Los Angeles residents at a party for them at the Hard Rock Cafe. Since Judaism is not a proselytizing religion–in fact, we discourage conversion to our religion–there is no ulterior motive. There never is with Chabad. They really are saintly people. They epitomize the word, “mensch.”
Chabadniks a/k/a Lubavitchers are not “holy rollers”. Even though they are devout, they are not heavy-handed or judgmental and do not wear their religion on their sleeves. I have so many Lubavitch friends and have had several as teachers. They all have one thing in common–their eternal optimism, hearty spirit, and generosity and kindness without ever asking for anything in return. Most of them are people of little financial means. They do their work out of a sense of doing right and doing good and helping not just their fellow Jew, but their fellow American.
And one other thing: They are not “ULTRA-Orthodox Jews”, the derogatory term that has been used by the mainstream media (including ABC News’ Jon Berman) to describe them from the minute of the hostage-taking, and a term that is always used to describe all Orthodox Jews. There are never just “Orthodox Jews” in the media. Just “Ultra-Orthodox Jews.” Hmmm . . . Why don’t they ever describe the real “ultras”–Muslims–as “ultra-fundamentalist Muslims”?
In fact, Chabad Lubavitch is not only at the mainstream heart of Orthodox Jewry, because of birthrate and non-intermarriage, by the year 2076 (the TriCentennial), they will be the most dominant force in what is left of Judaism in America and many other places.
I mourn the deaths of these poor people, whose lives were untimely taken only because they were Jews. And I pray for their families.
It is ironic that, yesterday, as we were celebrating Thanksgiving, they were being murdered. Blessed be their memories, and may their souls have a special place in the next world.
Their late leader, the great Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi) Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of Blessed Memory, made this 1986 speech about Thanksgiving and his respect for the Founding Fathers. I posted it yesterday, and I repeat it here:
The foundation of this nation was laid by the Founding Fathers, who after coming to this country proclaimed a holiday of Thanksgiving to G-d, Creator and Director of the world, for having saved them and bringing them to a secure land where they could live free of oppression and decrees–to live as they see fit, beginning from practicing their faith in G-d as Creator and Director of the world, in their own times, in their own lives, and their own rescues. They even established it as a law that every year on that day, it must be remembered again, to thank G-d from the depths of our hearts, for having shown them His kindness openly.
It has been established even for non-believers–who in their hearts believe as well, but for whatever reason, boast that they do not believe, or they believe that G-d is far away, somewhere in the Seventh Heaven. But even they know that when a matter affects them seriously, they pray to the Superbeing, to G-d, for help. And certainly, they participate in the Thanksgiving celebration for the founding of this nation by the first gentiles who arrived here.
. . . [A]lthough there were Jews among them, the majority, who established Thanksgiving, were non-Jews. This faith has been celebrated from generation to generation, including our own generation. . . .
[T]he Founders began their life in this country by thanking G-d. . . . This is the foundation of this country, to save the righteous from the hands of evil.
Well, we may soon be unable to save the righteous from the hands of evil, just like in India, because Islam is gaining strength here that is irreversible.
May G-d give us strength to finally recognize that our enemy is Islam. And that it will never give us peace. Only take it away, along with our lives, like it did to Jewish hostages in Mumbai in 2008 and in Munich in 1972 and at many other times and occasions before and in between those dates.
And it will continue to do so, until we stop it.
We’ve come full circle from the Munich Massacre to the Mumbai Massacre, with a lot more to come because we’ve done nothing in the West to push Islam out.
They’re all gone.
—ABC sportscaster Jim McKay, announcing Islamic terrorists’ murder of Israeli athletes held hostage in Munich in 1972.
Five bodies of hostages have been found inside the Chabad House. We still don’t know whose bodies
—Israeli diplomate Haim Choshen, announcing Islamic terrorists’ murder of Chabad Lubavitch Jews held hostage in Mumbai in 2008.
**** UPDATE: My friend Rabbi Shea Hecht, a prominent leader in the Chabad Lubavitch movement and head of the National Council for the Furtherance of Jewish Education, released this statement:
Tragedy in Mumbai
Statement by NCFJE Chair, Rabbi Shea Hecht
The leaders of the free world must strengthen their resolve to pursue and eradicate terrorist groups like the one that committed the horrible massacre in Mumbai. The world has learned from years bitter experience that a lack of resolve and organization in this fight is paid for in the lives of innocents.
As a 5th generation American, I call first upon my President, George W. Bush and to the President-Elect Barak Obama to aggressively pursue this objective.
Our communities throughout the world are experiencing a profound sense of grief. Over the past two days, we united in pouring out our prayers on behalf of Rabbi and Mrs. Holtzberg, their companions and their families. That the millions of prayers and acts of charity that were undertaken on their behalf should go unanswered is terribly painful. At the same time, we must pause to thank G-d for sparing Moshe Holtzberg.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone who was touched by this tragedy to continue to increase in acts of charity in the merit of those who were murdered.