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The gut-wrenching wails pierced the heart and soul of everyone that heard them. As thousands of people participated in the funeral of Maia Dee, 20, and Rina Dee, 16, the endless stream of tears and indescribable anguish that filled the room were stark reminders of the terrible tragedy that occurred.

The two sisters, whose family emigrated to Israel from the United Kingdom, were in a car in the Jordan Valley with their mother, Lucy, during the holiday of Passover when they were shot and killed in a heinous terrorist attack. As the girls’ father buried two of his daughters, the girls’ mother was fighting for her life in a Jerusalem hospital after sustaining serious injuries during the shooting, which claimed her life just hours after her daughters’ funeral.


In an instant, a Jewish family was torn apart in a senseless act of violence carried out by Palestinian terrorists. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. In February 2023, two brothers, Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were shot to death in a terrorist attack in the town of Huwara when a Palestinian gunman opened fire on their car. Earlier that same month, Asher Menachem Paley, seven, and Yaakov Israel Paley, five, lost their lives in a car-ramming attack perpetrated by a Palestinian terrorist. The boys’ father, who was seriously wounded in the attack, spent several weeks in a coma and only learned of his sons’ death after he regained consciousness.

In the span of just two months, we bore witness to multiple terror attacks in Israel in which people lost their lives, and while each terrorist incident is horrific, the images of three families burying multiple children will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on our hearts and minds.

The question is, what now? How should Jews react? How should the world respond? What are the next steps?

As hundreds of thousands of people took to Israel’s streets over the past several months to protest the Israeli government’s proposed judicial reforms, it generated extensive media coverage around the world. The issue sparked an intense debate not just among Israelis but among Jews across the globe. Moreover, it engendered spirited discussions among world leaders and political pundits everywhere. Irrespective of one’s opinion on the proposal to overhaul Israel’s judiciary, the fact remains that the subject became fodder for a national and international debate of epic proportions.

And yet, as Jews are being murdered by terrorists who set out to take Jewish lives, the mass protests we have seen in conjunction with the judicial reform legislation are not being replicated. The plethora of news outlets that regularly spotlighted the Israeli government’s plan relative to the judiciary are not giving the same level of coverage to the terrorist killing of innocent civilians.

We cannot sit idly by as Jewish blood is spilled. We cannot remain silent or indifferent while Palestinian terrorists continue slaughtering our Jewish brethren. We cannot become immune to the murder and mayhem that is taking place at the hands of terrorists intent on destroying the Jewish people and eradicating the Jewish state.

If huge protests are required to underscore the gravity of the situation, then people should organize and engage in peaceful protests. If marching in the streets is an effective way to highlight what is happening and capture the world’s attention, then we should do it.

We must encourage world leaders to focus as much attention, if not more, on the terrorist attacks targeting Jews as they put on the proposed judicial reforms, with which they seemed enraptured. Rather than dissecting Israel’s democracy and fixating on an issue centering around the Israeli form of government, the international community should engage in an open and honest conversation about the barbaric and brazen terrorist attacks that are killing Israeli civilians.

As the Palestinian Authority and terrorist groups like Hamas continue to go unchecked in their endless efforts to glorify terrorism by promoting and promulgating propaganda and “educational materials” that denigrate and demonize Jews and the State of Israel, more and more Jews are losing their lives to acts of unimaginable brutality and martyrdom. Those who remain silent as an entire generation of Palestinians is indoctrinated with an extreme hatred of their Israeli neighbors are essentially complicit in these actions that result in Jewish families being forced to bury and mourn for their loved ones.

As the crowd at Maia and Rina Dee’s funeral waited for the girls’ father and three surviving siblings to enter, they sang Hebrew songs about hope and belief in G-d. Rabbi Leo Dee then eulogized his daughters by speaking powerful words of unity, love and respect, noting that there is no moral equivalence between terrorists and their victims.

Even in the depths of despair, a grieving father had the clarity and conviction to focus on what is important and issue a call to action, exhorting people to ensure that terrorism is never accepted as legitimate. If public protests and marching in the streets are necessary to sway world opinion, then let’s start marching.

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N. Aaron Troodler is the principal of Red Apple Strategies, LLC, a public relations and strategic communications firm, and has extensive experience in the Jewish non-profit world. Follow him on Twitter: @troodler.