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Leo Dee urges end to PA funding, Palestinian chance to work in Israel

The rabbi, who lost his wife and two teenage daughters in a Palestinian terror attack, has urged unity in the wake of the tragedy.

Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were killed in a Palestinian terror attack, calls for the termination of all funding to the Palestinian Authority during a meeting of the Knesset’s Israel Victory Caucus, July 12, 2023. Photo by Michael Katz.
Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were killed in a Palestinian terror attack, calls for the termination of all funding to the Palestinian Authority during a meeting of the Knesset’s Israel Victory Caucus, July 12, 2023. Photo by Michael Katz.

Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two teenage daughters were killed in a Palestinian terror attack, called on Wednesday for Jerusalem to terminate all funding to the Palestinian Authority and to grant Palestinians the possibility to work in Israel.

The British-born Efrat resident, who garnered national and international headlines for his message of unity in the wake of the deadly April shooting, directed the impassioned plea at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting of the Knesset’s Israel Victory Caucus.

“The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist state, which finances murderers and terrorists,” he said, of the notorious “pay-for-slay” program, in which the P.A. doles money out to the families of terrorists.

“There is no two-state solution or future possible with an authority that bankrolls terror,” he added.

Dee–who in May was offered Israeli special envoy status to Jewish communities worldwide–said that foreign ministers and ambassadors from multiple Western countries have admitted to him that the two-state solution, which they have peddled for more than three decades, is no longer viable.

“Without exception, they have acknowledged privately that the two-state solution is a dead horse,” he said.

Dee said that a “new economic reality,” whereby Palestinians are both eager to work in Israel and disaffected with their leadership, is already in place and ought to be seized upon.

This would entail “unlimited access” to the Israeli job market for those without a criminal record, he said. He thinks that would ensure that Hamas would not gain strength in place of the P.A.

“Let’s stop funding the leadership and give the people what they want,” Dee said, of the Palestinians.

Israeli security officials have long cautioned that weakening the P.A. could create a vacuum for Hamas to gain a greater foothold in Judea and Samaria. Last week, Netanyahu pledged to prevent the collapse of the Western-backed P.A.

In accordance with the Oslo Accords, Israel is responsible for collecting customs duties and other tax revenues on behalf of the P.A. and transferring them to Ramallah on a monthly basis.

However, Israel in 2018 passed a law requiring that a sum equal to the stipends Ramallah pays to security prisoners and the families of slain attackers be withheld from the tax revenues it transfers.

The U.S. has also passed the Taylor Force Act barring economic funding for the P.A. until it ceases distributing the terror stipends through its Martyr’s Fund.

During Wednesday’s event, the director of the Middle East Forum cited a Palestinian survey that found that two-thirds of Palestinians believe that Israel will not celebrate its 100th anniversary.

“For Israel to stop the violence and terrorism it must show that it has the will to survive and achieve ultimate victory,” said Gregg Roman. “It must show the Palestinians… that Israel is strong, robust and enduring.”

Meanwhile, Dee was recently offered a position as an Israeli envoy to Jewish communities around the world.

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