U.S. lawyer and professor Alan Dershowitz told i24NEWS on Tuesday that he was taking on the Dee family case and vowed to make CNN News pay, as Rabbi Leo Dee pursues a legal case against the news agency and its host Christiane Amanpour for her phrasing about the terror attack that took the lives of his wife and two daughters.
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The interview with Dershowitz came a day after Leo Dee spoke with i24NEWS about his efforts to obtain an apology from Amanpour, who referred to the April murders by a Palestinian terrorist of the rabbi's wife and daughters – Lucy, Maya, and Rina – as a "shootout."
"This is part of a pattern that CNN and Amanpour have engaged in over a decade or more," Dershowitz said, noting that he was taking on the case pro bono.
"Amanpour constantly creates a moral equivalence between terrorists, who murder people in cold blood, and innocent victims. This was not a slip of the tongue, not an honest mistake," he continued.
Dershowitz referred to findings by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America NGO, which he said "documented a long pattern by CNN and Amanpour of constantly citing against Israel and trying to create a moral equivalence between innocent victims of terrorism."
"They are not mistakes, they are part of a deliberate pattern. There's no moral equivalence between people who shoot families in cold blood and people who suffer as a result of terrorism. So let's wait to see what Amanpour says, not in a scripted apology, but under my cross-examination."
On Monday evening, Amanpour made a short on-air statement of apology.
The CNN host had initially written Dee a private letter to apologize for her phrasing when she referred to the terror attack as a "shootout." Dee responded by saying that the apology was “not worth the paper it’s printed on,” and demanded not just a public apology, but most importantly “that they [CNN] change their attitude towards Israel.”
After a week of outcry, Amanpour made the on-air apology in less than 30 seconds, saying: “On April 10, I referred to the murders of an Israeli family: Lucy, Maia, and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee.”
“I misspoke and said they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a shooting. I have written to Rabbi Leo Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”
First published: 19:53, 05.23.23