- MELANIE PHILLIPS - ARPIL 10, 2023 -
On Friday, as the rabbi drove towards Tiberias in northern Israel for a Passover break with his family, the car following him carrying his wife Lucy (Leah) and two of his daughters, Maia and Rina, was ambushed by Palestinian Arab gunmen and crashed into the barrier.
The pain is made so much worse by the pusillanimity of the west
The heart breaks. The pain currently being felt by Rabbi Leo Dee and his family is unimaginable.
On Friday, as the rabbi drove towards Tiberias in northern Israel for a Passover break with his family, the car following him carrying his wife Lucy (Leah) and two of his daughters, Maia and Rina, was ambushed by Palestinian Arab gunmen and crashed into the barrier. The gunmen then approached the car and shot Lucy and her daughters at point blank range with 20 bullets from a Kalashnikov rifle. Maia and Rina were killed on the spot. Lucy was left fighting for her life. Yesterday, Rabbi Dee buried his daughters. “How will I explain to Lucy what has happened to our two precious gifts?” he wept. Today, Lucy died.
This unspeakable atrocity has united Israel in horror. Once again, Israeli Jews have been murdered for nothing other than the fact that they are Jews living in their ancestral homeland. Once again, a quiet, wholesome, blameless family has been shattered for ever by the forces of evil bent upon exterminating Jews.
Hours after the attack on the Dee family, an Italian tourist, Alessandro Parini, was murdered and several people injured in a car-ramming terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Since September 2000, Palestinian Arabs have murdered at least 1420 Israelis. Over the past year, at least 30 Israelis have been murdered in such attacks. For months, there have been multiple attempted attacks against Israeli citizens almost every day.
For Anglo-Jews, however, the attack on the Dee family isn’t just close to home. It is home. Rabbi Dee was a community rabbi in Radlett, just outside London, from 2011-2014 when the family moved to Israel. He and his family are well known and much admired in Britain’s Jewish community. The Anglo-Jewish world, both in Israel and in Britain, is numb with grief and shock.
The atrocity was unspeakable. What makes it all the more unbearable is the reaction from so much of the west to such horror. The Dee family lives in Efrat and the attack happened in the Jordan valley, all part of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria. Israeli Jews who are attacked in these territories tend to be dehumanised by western commentators as “settlers” in the “occupied territories” who were “asking for it”; or they are airbrushed out of media coverage altogether.
This is even though the Palestinian Arabs have been murdering Jews in Israel and these territories for more than a century, decades before the so-called “occupation of the West Bank” after the 1967 six day war, and decades before the State of Israel even came into existence in 1948. The west disapproves of Israeli Jews in these areas because so many westerners have fallen for the ludicrous fiction that the Palestinian Arabs were the indigenous people of the land — a status that belongs to the Jews alone.
Because so much of the west has swallowed the lie that has airbrushed the Jews out of their own history in the land, the sympathies of much of the world are even more unspeakably with the Palestinian Arab perpetrators of these attacks. Of course, people in the west don’t say as much. They may utter instead boilerplate pieties; but over the attack upon the Dee family, these have been perfunctory — or worse.
The initial response of the UK government was shocking. As Israel’s former ambassador to the US Michael Oren tweeted in disgust:
The British government was “saddened to hear about the deaths of British-Israeli citizens and the serious injuries sustained by a third individual” and called on “all parties to de-escalate tensions”. No mention of Palestinians or terror, no outrage. The sisters merely “died” and a third person was somehow injured. The citizens are not really British but a qualified “British-Israelis”. And “all” parties, including the Israeli victims, are urged to de-escalate. Shame on Britain. Here by contrast was Italian prime minister Meloni’s response to the murder of an Italian citizen last night: “I express deep sorrow and condolences for the death of one of our nationals, Allesandro Parini, in the terrorist attack that took place in the evening in Tel Aviv. Condolences to the victim’s family, to the wounded, and solidarity with the State of Israel for the cowardly attack that hit him”. That’s moral clarity and leadership.
The dead were from a British family. You might have thought the British government would be outraged at the murder of three of its citizens. You might have thought that it would seek to hold the Palestinian Arabs to account for their incitement and complicity.
But of course, the British government is itself complicit in this and in all the other attacks on Israelis. That’s because it connives at the incitement to murder Israeli Jews by continuing to insist falsely that Israel is in “illegal occupation”; it continues to sanitise or ignore fanatical Palestinian Arab Islamic incitement to murder Israeli Jews and steal their land; it continues to refuse to exert any pressure on the Palestinian Arabs to cease their war of extermination against the State of Israel. Instead, it calls on both sides to “de-escalate” — an obscene moral equivalence between terrorists and terrorised, which means in practice telling Israel not to take the action that’s necessary to protect its people.
In similar vein, the UN Special Rapporteur Occupied Palestinian Territory (sic) Francesca Albanese tweeted:
The loss of life in the oPt & Israel is devastating, especially at a time that should be of peace for all, Christians, Jews, Muslims. Israel has a right to defend itself, but can't claim it when it comes to the people it oppresses/whose lands it colonises.
The Jews are the only people with any legal, historical or moral claim to this land. That’s why in 1922 the international community enshrined in treaty law the pledge to settle the Jews alone in the whole of mandate Palestine — the land that is now Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza. The would-be colonisers are not the Jews. The would-be colonisers are, as they have been for decades, the Arabs.
These comments by Albanese and the UK government were sick. Alas, this is what passes for conventional wisdom among so many in the west and is unchallengeable dogma in liberal and left-wing circles.
After the death of Lucy Dee, and doubtless aware of the gathering outrage over the British government’s initial response, the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tweeted:
Tragic news that Leah Dee has also died following the abhorrent attacks in the West Bank. There can be no justification for the murder of Leah and her two daughters, Maia and Rina. We will continue to work with the Israeli authorities to end this senseless violence.
This was too little, too late, and still utterly vacuous. The attack on the Dee family wasn’t “senseless violence”. It was part of a century-old Arab strategy of extermination aimed at removing the Jewish presence from the entire land. Unless the UK government starts exerting pressure on the Palestinian Authority by reducing aid and diplomatic recognition until it stops its murderous incitement and rejectionism, all such protestations of sympathy for Israeli terrorist victims will remain merely nauseating hypocrisy.
And let’s not overlook as well the sly references by Lucy Winkett, Canon of St James Piccadilly, on BBC Today’s Thought for the Day slot on Good Friday (listen here on BBC Sounds at 1hr 50 minutes in) hours before the attack on the Dee family. Woven into rambling about being a good neighbour, Winkett — who has long-standing form as an Israel-basher — included lightly-coded trigger phrases about “an occupying army brutalised by its occupation” and the “killing of God”.
This was a veiled but unmistakable reference to the Crucifixion as a “deicide” — the lethal accusation against the Jews derived from medieval Christian supersessionsism, and which often provoked pogroms during Passover by precisely such sentiments voiced by the priests in inflammatory Good Friday sermons. Supersessionsism — aka replacement theology — was supposedly disowned by the church because of the thousands of Jews slaughtered across Europe as result by vengeful Christian mobs. It has, however, resurfaced in the Church of England and other “progressive” Christian denominations lightly disguised as support for the Palestinian Arab cause.