I hope all of you had a meaningful and inspired Passover. The message of the Jewish journey to freedom must always be re-lived and retold. The persecution that we experienced thousands of years ago is alive and well today. Jews continue to experience unprecedented levels of hate. We are the only people who have a designated term for our particular form of racism: “antisemitism.” It is as strong today as it was in the time of the Egyptians.
It is within this context that our hearts were broken as we learned of the fate of the Dee Family. Lucy Dee was driving two of her daughters, Maia and Rina for a family Pesach trip, while Rabbi Dee and the other children were driving ahead in another car. Their entire crime was they were Jewish and living in Israel. A cold blooded, murderous terrorist sprayed their car with bullets. All three were killed. Simply because they were Jewish and lived in Israel.
For anyone that claims that these are freedom fighters fighting a war, they have completely lost their sense of reality. Shooting innocent civilians is the definition of a war crime. That is all that I heard when I was in Kiev recently. Russia is guilty of war crimes because they attack civilians indiscriminately. Why is the world not outraged that a family has been ripped apart because a terrorist decided that shooting at innocent women was their easiest target? He did so only on the basis of the religion of the victims. This is the definition of genocide!
The world thinks that Jewish blood is irrelevant. The world thinks that Jewish blood is cheap. The world stood silent as six million of our brothers and sisters were slaughtered in Europe. The world condemns Israel every chance it gets. The world is still standing by as international incidents of antisemitism are at historic levels bearing comparison with the 1930’s in Germany.
As Jews we will not stand by. As Jews we will defend each other to the end. We must increase our unity during these challenging times. I was appalled by the comments during Passover from the chief antisemite, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as he predicted Israel’s demise once again. I would say to him that many before have predicted the destruction of the Jewish nation. All have seen themselves crumble.
Rabbi Leo Dee has asked for Jews to join in unity by posting a picture of an Israeli flag. I will do that here. As a husband, father and Jew, he is my brother in every way. My heart is ripped to shreds in solidarity with the Dee family. We must all commit to supporting each other and the security forces of Israel. The world must be told in no uncertain terms that Jews are in Israel for the long term. We are not going anywhere.
We desire peace with all of our heart and soul. We will pursue peace every day. We will never cease to defend our fellow Jews. That applies to every Jew around the world. Touch one Jew and you will have to deal with the rest of our people. We may be small but we are a passionate, tenacious people. May the Almighty comfort the Dee family and avenge this tragic loss. May we all strive to increase our unity and closeness always.