“Dear PM Modi, I love you”, said an 11 year old Israeli boy upon first meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the widely respected leaders in the world. According to a survey, he was named 2019’s most admired man in India. Narendra Modi has a massive fan following not just in India but across the world too.

PM Modi visited Israel at the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. During his visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Moshe Holtzberg, the Israeli child who was just two years old when he lost his parents in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and his family to India and offered them long-term visas as he met them here.

In 2017, PM Modi met Moshe and his grandparents as well as Sandra Samuel.

“Namaste, aapka swagat hai hamare desh mein (welcome to our country),” Moshe said, reading out a short and emotional message for PM Modi, flanked by both prime ministers.

Moshe gifted Modi a collage and said, “Dear Mr Modi, I love you and your people in India.” The Prime Minister kept his arm around Moshe as he talked briefly about India and invited him to India and said, “You can visit India anytime,will give you & your family long term visa.” 

There were smiles and hugs as the Prime Minister met Moshe, who is now a little over 14 years of age. Moshe lives with his grandparents in Afula, around 90 km from Jerusalem.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also present at the meeting between Modi and Moshe. Netanyahu told Moshe, “PM Modi invited me to India and you will come with me.” 

He lost both his parents in the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008, shortly before his second birthday. The whole nation knows what happened in Mumbai on the dark night of 26/11 as the city faced one of its worst terror attacks in history. 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists infiltrated Mumbai by means of a sea route from Pakistan and executed a string of shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The terrorists took over Mumbai for four days as they murdered 166 people and injured over 300.

Moshe was an infant when he was caught at the Nariman House on November 26, 2008, when terrorists attacked Mumbai. He is, therefore, popularly known as Baby Moshe.

While his parents Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah were brutally killed by the terrorists, Moshe was taken away by his nanny Sandra Samuel, who managed to escape. Sandra ran from the Nariman House with Moshe in her lap to save him and herself from the terrorists. Eight Israelis lost their lives in the 26/11 attacks.

Later, Ms Samuels was given honorary citizenship by Israel. Moshe does not remember the time that he spent in India since he was a little baby then. However, he says that he wants to go to India and visit Nariman House like his parents did.

“I love to play, I try to be a good student…Please continue to love me, always remember my parents,” Moshe said.

“I hope I will be able to visit Mumbai. When I live there I will be the director of Chabad house.”

PM Modi, holding him close, assured, “Anytime you can come to India. Anytime you can go…”

Moshe was “excited and emotional” about the meeting with PM Modi, his grandparents said.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.