Sunday, November 30, 2008

Woman slain in Chabad attack will not be recognized as terror victim

Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich was murdered one day before making aliyah, but National Insurance Institute says her children not eligible for stipends. Livni: Mumbai terrorists targeted Jewish symbol

Yael Branovsky

Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, who was murdered in the terror attack on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai just one day before making aliyah, will not be declared a victim of terrorism.

Earlier Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies decided to recognize the Israeli victims of the Mumbai attack as terror victims.
The decision was later sanctioned by the Ministry of Interior and the Defense Ministry. Nevertheless, Shvarzblat Rabinovich, who was still a Mexican citizen at the time of her murder, was excluded form the decision.

While the Foreign Ministry officially named her among the Israeli victims of the murderous attack, the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII) said it will not offer her family the stipends allotted in such cases. The NII said it was simply "following the letter of the law."

Shvarzblat Rabinovich's son and daughter, who already immigrated to Israel, will have to rely on the Jewish Agency's Fund for Victims of Terror for financial assistance.

Norma, 50, was traveling across India for the past two months. She was supposed to fly to Israel on Monday to celebrate her son's 18th birthday.

Minister Jacob Edery, who heads the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies, said the situation was "unfortunate" and pledged to do everything in his power to help the family, should they seek his assistance.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday that the terror attack in Mumbai proved once more that "the radicals wish only to steal other people's rights instead of getting their own."

Livni, who met with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, added that the terrorists' goal was "to hurt those who represent the free world and this time they also targeted a Jewish symbol… the world must unite in order to face this threat."

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