Bereaved husband and father, British-Israeli Rabbi Leo Dee, calls for unity, to share Israeli flag
The Dee family announced donating the late Lucy Dee’s organs, ‘five lives were saved’
Rabbi Leo Dee, husband of Lucy Dee, 48, and father to Maia and Rina, 15 and 20, who were all killed in a shooting attack in Israel last week, spoke out after his wife succumbed to her wounds on Monday.
“From a family of seven, we became a family of four,” said Dee in a press conference at the Efrat Local Council municipality building.
Dee recounted his sister calling to tell him there had been an attack and asking if they were alright. The family had been traveling north by car to the Sea of Galilee for the Passover holiday.
Dee said he tried to phone his wife and daughters.
“I called my daughters and wife and there was no answer,” the rabbi said, then described recognizing his family’s belongings in pictures shared after the terror attack.
“I received pictures with suitcases on which I saw blood; I realized that the suitcases were ours. I drove toward the car quickly, I wanted to be with Lucy at the hospital,” he said.
Dee rejected the image of settlers as being evil.
“Israel is a good thing. Evil is bad,” he said. “Does the murder of innocents advance anything?”
He also called on Israelis and internationals around the world to share an image of the Israeli flag.
“The Israeli flag symbolizes the good in Jewish culture. It’s time to look at Israel in a different light. At first, we brought you Torah, now we have brought you a state,” he said. “Support Israel and its cause to make the world a better place. Share the Israeli flag and spread the call.”
“The three religions teach us that we can choose the good in order to make the world a better place,” Dee said. “If you think it would have been bad to cut off the lives of three innocent people, then share a picture of yourself with the Israeli flag on social media.”
He also called for people to commemorate the lives of his wife and daughters the following day, which he called "Dees’ Day."
“Today is Dees’ Day, when we can all differentiate between good and bad by sharing a picture with an Israeli flag,” he said. “Let the Israeli flag today send out a message to humanity which is: We will never accept terror as legitimate. We will never blame the murder on the victims. There is no such thing as moral equivalence between terrorist and victim. The terrorist is always bad.”
Following the attack, many social media posts, predominantly in the Arab and Muslim world, claimed the murders were justified because the family are “settlers.”
International human rights law prohibits any attack on civilians, including in circumstances of disputed territory.
In the hours after Dee’s speech, tens of thousands of people on social media posted pictures of the Israeli flag and the hashtag #DeesDay began trending.
Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich posted a message to social media in Arabic, calling on Israeli Arabs to share pictures of the Israeli flag.
"يجب أن يسمع العالم كله هذا الخطاب لزوج وأب فقد زوجته واثكل ابنتيه برصاص إرهابي.— בצלאל סמוטריץ' (@bezalelsm) April 11, 2023
ضعوا العلم الإسرائيلي. في ذكرى لوسي ومايا ورينا دعما للخير واستنكارا للشر"
Dee also announced that his family decided to donate his wife’s viable organs to five different donors.
“This is a second heart that we have transplanted in the past week following a terrible tragedy,” said Prof. Dan Arvot, director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at Beilinson Hospital in Herzliya.
“The deed of the noble family is a point of light in the darkness, and they have saved the lives of many patients,” Arvot said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.