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December 01, 2008

Linking the Jews with the Indians

The alliance between Jews and Indians has become closer as we've watched the face of evil in Mumbai this past week.

In its modest way, the [Indo-Jewish] coalition attests to the deepening bonds between Jews and Indians, whether in Israel, India or the United States; and this week’s events demonstrate perhaps the most visceral and grisly element of connection, though far from the only one.

“I am seeing that there is some natural affinity being developed between India and Israel and Jewish people,” said Mr. Anighotri, 48, who owns technology and consulting companies. “Because both these countries and people have been affected by this kind of terror — killing of civilians, something despicable that is happening year after year.”

Cedric Suzman, who until recently was co-chairman of the Atlanta group, echoed the sentiment. “In times like this, you suddenly realize that you’ve built bridges,” Mr. Suzman said in a telephone interview. “So instead of recrimination and accusation, you have a huge coming together of sympathy and understanding.”

The affinity of which both men spoke extends well beyond the shared experience of being the target of Islamist terrorism, or the resulting military and security ties between India and Israel. The softer tissue of human experience — culture, religion, values — also binds Indians and Jews.
That link can only be stronger after the news that the terrorists attacked specifically Jewish targets and tortured their Israeli victims before killing them.

It's certainly time to work together for the future. As a friend of mine says, "A billion Indians and Israelis can't be stopped."

But first, we have to lay the responsibility where it belongs, to use appropriate language in speaking of this atrocity, and to reject the pernicious idea that it's our own fault.