Why is India deporting Rabbi Zalman Shneor and his wife Yaffa Shenoi ?

Rabbi Shneor told the Chabad website Tuesday, “I have no idea how the Indian intelligence officials reached their conclusions. Maybe there has been a mistake because it is clear that that the allegations are baseless.

“I was invited here by the Jewish community and my sole duty is to work with it night and day.”

He estimated the source for the allegations may be libelous statements from a local non-Jewish neighbor who simply is jealous of the community, which has been successful in opening up a large synagogue and expanding Jewish activities in the area.

The intelligence report noted that “a group of people turned up at the couple’s rented house regularly and held meetings,” but such activity is not only common at Chabad centers around the world… it is one of the purposes for which it operates. That is — providing a meeting place for Jews.

The report added: “These meetings lasted for hours in the night. They were under close surveillance.”

The newspaper said the couple had been tracked for a year, and strangely noted, without making any connection to the rabbi, “Central intelligence got an alert about a covert operation being carried out by suspected Israeli agents after the 26/11 terror attacks in which south Mumbai’s Chabad House came under attack and six Jews, including a Rabbi and his pregnant wife, were killed. A communication was sent to all states and it was our wing in Kerala that traced this couple at Fort Kochi.

So why is a Rabbi and his wife being deported for merely conducting the Chabad?

Here are some of the reasons:

Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) – A banned murderous Islamic Group operates 12 front organizations in Kerala, one based in Kochi. SIMI which is proscribed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, is an Islamist fundamentalist organization, which advocates the ‘liberation of India’ by converting it to an Islamic land. It is organisation of young extremist students who have declared Jihad against India, the aim of which is to establish Dar-ul-Islam (land of Islam) by either forcefully converting everyone to Islam or by violence. Reliable sources believe that elements from this organization have targeted the Jews in Kochi and elsewhere following the success in the terrorist attack in Mumbai where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed. The Israelis were upset with the Indian commando operation to free the Rabbi and his wife, which led to their murder by the terrorists. It is conceivable that Israeli units are camping in the country to keep a watch on the activities of such organizations like SIMI. But to deport a Rabbi and his wife from Fort Kochi for the abovementioned reasons does not make sense. It could be that this is a political move to placate the right wing Muslims supporting various political parties (in the ongoing elections) in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. 

Kochi is known to be the hotbed of Islamic fundamentalists. Last year a Christian preacher was pulled out of his car and his hand chopped off. Intolerance to other religions is being fueled by operatives of SIMI. It could be that these very operatives instigated the authorities through misinformation to deport the two Israelis based on suspicious activities because they feared the Israelis were successfully revitalizing their religious “presence” …as there has been an increase in foreigners making the pilgrimage to Jew Town to reconnect with their people.

India has unfortunately porous borders. Its security forces/agencies are stretched thin. Coupled with this is the fact that it is a democratic country so certain legal procedures have to be followed. Inspite of this they have arrested the Most Wanted Former President of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) Sainulabudeen at the Kochi international airport while he was trying to slip into the country, on 4th Feb. So was this a trade off for deporting the Israelis?

Some surmise that the Indian government received information that the cover of certain Israeli operatives in the country was blown and to preempt undue publicity decided to deport the Rabbi and his wife who have nothing to do with suspicious activities let alone being a threat to the security of the country.

This is truly a sad day for India-Israel Relations. It is apparent that Indian politics has played a role in this matter and this has nothing to do with the perceived accusation that the Rabbi and his wife were involved in suspicious activities.