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MintPress News: Settler Leo Dee and the Blood-Stained Israeli Consensus

Occupied Palestine — When Leo Dee, a bereaved Jewish Settler from Efrat, spoke after the death of his wife and two daughters, he spoke about right and wrong, about making the world a better place. He said one must never blame the victim and support the perpetrators of terrorism. About ten years ago, he made the decision to move his family from the UK to occupied Palestine to a vicious, racist supremacist settlement in the West Bank called Efrat.

Efrat sits on the road between Bethlehem and Hebron. It was built on Palestinian land in an area filled with Palestinian towns and villages and known for its wonderful, fertile land and breathtaking views. Grapevines and olive groves adorn the landscape, while settlements and the presence of the military have destroyed the pastoral atmosphere and turned that entire region of Palestine into a tense and hostile one.

Leo Dee, a British national, has given a great many interviews about the death of his wife and two daughters. He recently spoke about his love for Palestinians, how he has neighbors he respects, and even said he knows that most Palestinians are good people. However, none of that has driven him to condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza, the ethnic cleansing that goes on all over Jerusalem, the desecration of al-Aqsa or the torture by Israel of Palestinian children.

He talks about community and making the world a better place, and he condemns the people who killed his wife and daughters and demands the rest of the world do the same. One cannot imagine the pain he must be going through. At the same time, he has no right to condemn anyone. He has no right to speak of right and wrong, good and bad. He chose to participate in a bloody project of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and he willingly participated as a privileged supremacist Jew in an apartheid state. Everything that is wrong in Palestine today stems from the Zionist project and from people like Leo Dee, who supports it.

Leo Dee has never been challenged in any of his interviews. Not once was he asked what about the Palestinians. The countless fathers who lost their wives and children to the violence of the Israeli apartheid war machine. He was never asked why a man who claims he wants to make the world a better place moved to a violent militaristic racist state and participated willingly in crimes against the Palestinian people.

 

Consensus

The settlement of Efrat and the settlers who occupy its land, like the Dee family, come from many countries and have become part of a consensus not seen as different from any other city or town established by Zionists. The president of the state, the prime minister and even the son of the ousted Shah of Iran, who recently visited as a guest of the Israeli government, have all come to Efrat to meet and express their condolences to the settlers. One never sees such an outpouring of support for Palestinian families when they lose their loved ones to Israeli terrorism.

The President of Israel is supposed to play a symbolic role, and the person holding that post is seen as a unifying figure. That person represents the state and its citizens regardless of political or religious affiliation. So when the president travels from Jerusalem to a settlement in the heart of the West Bank, as Israeli presidents have done many times, they give legitimacy to the entire West Bank settlement project. This is important to note because the president represents the consensus within Israeli society. And this peculiar president comes from the heart of liberal” Zionism.

Efrat
The walled-in Jewish settlement of Efrat, home of the Dee family, dominates the horizon in the Palestinian West Bank, March 10, 2022. Maya Alleruzzo | AP

 

Peace

In an interview with Sky News, one of the many interviews Leo Dee gave, he mentioned peace. He pleaded with the international community to do everything in their power to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, he must know that peace is in his own hands. As long as people like him continue to live on stolen Palestinian land and show no regard for the plight of the Palestinian people, there will be no peace. The violence perpetrated by Zionist settlers, who are, in fact, terrorists, is the very reason there is no peace in Palestine.

Early on in the Sky News interview, he mentions that he and his family were going to Tabariya, Tiberias, in his words, for a vacation. Tabariya was a Palestinian city founded by Dhaher Al-Umar, and a mosque named after Dhaher still stands prominently in the city, although the Zionist state allowed it to deteriorate.  Upon establishing the city, Dhaher invited prominent Jews from Turkey to reside in the city to help it grow economically, and indeed they came.

Leo Dee said nothing about the fact that In 1948, the city was subjected to a brutal ethnic cleansing and that today not a single Palestinian remains in the city. One has to wonder how a man who preaches values to others about the history of the city in which he chose to take a vacation. One wonders how he – or his son – would respond to such injustice and violence. But we know all this because he willingly brought his family to participate in that same sort of violence and injustice.

 

Picking on a bereaved father

To stand up and call out a grieving father is not a simple thing, but I felt it had to be done. A few days after Leo Dee gave his initial statement, I decided I needed to respond and posted a short reply. Shortly after that, a shady, racist Zionist organization called Canary Mission, known to support Israeli terrorism, posted a video in which they claimed that my statement was outrageous and that I justified the killing of the two Dee girls and their mother.

Canary Mission is known to spread lies and engage in character assassination of young activists who stand for Palestinian rights. Several publications and organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, Jewish Currents, The Forward and Electronic Intifada, have all researched and reported about this site dedicated to spreading lies and false information. They are part of the Zionist attempt to discredit anyone who challenges Zionism by labeling people anti-semitic or supporters of violence. It is, in fact, the Canary Mission that is the supporter of terrorism and violence.

I was grateful when I saw that in response to the Canary mission post, Ali Abunimah, director of Electronic Intifada, posted, “Great truth-telling by @mikopeled about the British settler Dee family who chose to participate in “Israel’s” blood-soaked campaign of ethnic cleansing and land theft in the occupied West Bank and paid a terrible price for that wrong choice.”

Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

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