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Israeli foreign minister taps Rabbi Dee as special envoy

Leo Dee's wife Lucy, 48, and daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, were murdered in a Palestinian terror attack on April 7.

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.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Sunday announced the appointment of Rabbi Leo Dee to the post of Special Envoy for Social Initiatives.

Leo’s wife Lucy Dee, 48, and daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Route 57 in the Jordan Valley on April 7.

“I thank Rabbi Dee for agreeing to volunteer for the benefit of the State of Israel,” tweeted Cohen.

“I am sure that with the help of his big heart, special personality and ability to reach everyone, he will be able to help a lot in the activities of the Foreign Ministry, in front of the Jewish communities in the world, as well as influential figures in government and the media,” he added.

On April 10, Leo inaugurated “Dees Day,” which people across the globe marked by sharing on social media photos of themselves draped in Israeli flags.

“Today, we differentiate between good and evil, right and wrong,” said Dee of what is intended to be an annual event.

The same month, Rabbi Dee recited the Yizkor memorial prayer at Israel’s main ceremony marking the state’s 75th Independence Day.

In July, Dee called on 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 to Israeli 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, referring to the P.A.’s notorious “pay-for-slay” program, in which the P.A. doles money out to terrorists in Israeli prisons, and to the families of terrorists.

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

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.

Earlier this year, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour was forced to apologize to Dee after saying on her show that his wife and daughters were killed in a “shootout.”

“On April 10th, I referred to the murders of a British-Israeli family, Lucy Dee and Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee. During that live interview, I misspoke and said that they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a ‘shooting.’ I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him,” Amanpour said.

Dee said that he was considering suing her for defamation.

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