This week, Jews all over the world marked Passover, the celebration of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. As we congregated around seder tables to read from the “Haggadah” — the compendium of texts telling the story of the exodus — we said the following words: “And this (God’s blessings and the Torah) is what kept our fathers and what keeps us. For not only one arose and attempted to destroy us, but in each generation, they stand to destroy us, and God saves us from their hands.”
The Dee family, a family of seven originally from Great Britain but now from Efrat, Israel — the so-called West Bank, the heart of Biblical Israel — undoubtedly said the same words. Then, on Friday, Rina Dee (15), Maia Dee (20) and their mother Lucy (48) went on a drive through the Jordan Valley on the way to Tiberias, just miles from where Joshua would have brought the Jews across the Jordan River. There, they were attacked and shot to death by a Palestinian Arab terrorist who riddled their car with 20 bullets.
Hamas, the governing Palestinian party in the Gaza Strip and a powerful force in Palestinian Arab areas of Judea and Samaria, celebrated the murders. “We congratulate the Jordan Valley operation and warn the occupation against continuing its aggression against our Palestinian people and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” they said. Meanwhile, husband and father Rabbi Leo Dee gave a eulogy for half of his family: “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.”
Sadly, the media played the moral equivalence game, treating the murder of two sisters and their mother as yet another round in the supposed “cycle of violence” between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Of course, in that “cycle of violence,” Palestinian Arab terrorists target innocent civilians and then hand out candies when they achieve their evil goals, while the Israeli Defense Forces seek to root out and destroy terrorists. But to the media, it’s all the same. “Daughters of British rabbi die in West Bank drive by shooting,” touted The Sunday Times (U.K.), leaving no explanation for who had committed the shooting or why. “Two British sisters killed and mother injured in West Bank shooting,” tut-tutted The Guardian; “2 killed in West Bank after Israel strikes Lebanon, Gaza,” the Associated Press lied by omission.
The Biden administration has been little better. In recent weeks, as terrorism metastasized, the Biden administration urged Israel to “de-escalate,” as though any state could ignore its moral duty to defend its citizens from routine acts of terrorism. Instead, the Biden administration summoned Michael Herzog, Israel’s U.S. ambassador, to stress “the importance of all parties refraining from actions or rhetoric that could further inflame tensions leading into the Ramadan, Passover and Easter holidays.”
This vile moral equivalence motivates terrorists to murder civilians and step up other violence. After all, there’s no downside. When the media treat legitimate self-defense as terrorism and terrorism as legitimate self-defense, terrorists thrive. And they are thriving today, raising the specter of violence all across Israel: 18 civilians have been slaughtered by terrorists in Israel since Jan. 27. As terror increases, the necessity for larger-scale intervention grows, too. Then, the same media and Left-wing governments will decry the “cycle of violence” again, fostering yet more terrorism.
In every generation, the story is the same: In each generation, there are those who seek to destroy the Jews, and in every generation, through the grace of God, they fail. But that doesn’t relieve those who retain any measure of decency from standing up against evil terrorists. The alternative is apathetic complicity — and that apathetic complicity costs lives.