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India recalls Mumbai attack on anti-Semitic violence issue

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

Voicing concerns over the rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide, India has recalled the attack on a Jewish centre during the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes and asserted that the international community needs to act against foreign terrorist fighters.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, speaking at an informal plenary on the rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide, said the vibrant Jewish community has left a lasting imprint on India's landscape.

Mukerji shared Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message of solidarity with the people of France in the wake of the terror attacks against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

He said that "unfortunately" one of the major architectural landmarks of Mumbai, the 'Nariman House', which houses the Chabad Centre, was "thrust into international prominence in November 2008 when a terrorist attack by foreign terrorist fighters" killed more than 160 persons in the city, including six people at the centre.

"It is a symbol of the resilience of the community, and of India, that in August 2014, the Centre was reopened inthe presence of 25 rabbis of Chabad centers from across Asia.

"Based on our own experience...We join other member states today in this informal plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to address concerns of a rise in anti-Semitic violence worldwide," Mukerji said.

Highlighting the close ties between Indians and Jews, Mukerji noted that following the creation of Israel, over 70,000 Indian Jews migrated to that country, where they constitute almost one per cent of the population.

The largest synagogue in Asia outside Israel, called Lal Deval, is in the city of Pune in Maharashtra in western India, he pointed out.

"India's tradition of tolerance and universal acceptance enabled us to provide shelter to those who were persecuted in other parts of the world," he said while mentioning Swami Vivekananda's address to the World Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 when the great Indian thinker noted that Israelites had taken refuge in Southern India.

First Published: Fri, January 23 2015. 14:00 IST