Israeli foreign minister appoints Rabbi Leo Dee as special envoy

The British-born rabbi's family was murdered by terrorists earlier this year


Rabbi Leo Dee, who's two daughters were murdered in a terror attack a few days ago, holds a press conference in Efrat, on April 10, 2023. Photo by Oren Ben Hakoon/FLASH90 *** Local Caption *** ליאו די אבא פידוע אב אפרת

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

Dee's wife Lucy, 48, and daughters Maia, 20, and Rina, 15, were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Route 57 in the Jordan Valley around Passover this year.

“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.

Speaking to the JC, Rabbi Leo Dee said: "I am honoured to serve the State of Israel as special envoy for social initiatives. Our ancestor, Abraham, was the world's first social innovator, standing up for rights of the people of Sodom and feeding the hungry. Israel continues to be a haven for human rights and social justice in a region that lacks any other role model."

"Today Israel finds itself on the global battlefront against terror, defending its own citizens and all the citizens of the free world against evil ideologies that are richly funded and heavily armed. The memory of Israeli victims of terror, along with those brutally murdered on 9/11, ensures that the free world will always be united against the evil of terror."

On April 10, Leo inaugurated “Dee's 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.

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.

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