U.S. lawyer tells i24NEWS he'll take Dee family case, vows to make CNN pay

Benita Levin

i24NEWS presenter

4 min read
Prof. Alan Dershowitz speaking with i24NEWS via video link.
i24NEWSProf. Alan Dershowitz speaking with i24NEWS via video link.

'There's no moral equivalence between people who shoot families in cold blood and people who suffer as a result of terrorism,' says Alan Dershowitz

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 pay, as Rabbi Leo Dee considers taking legal action against the news channel and its presenter Christiane Amanpour for her phrasing about the terror attack that took the lives of his wife and two daughters.

"This is part of a pattern that CNN and Amanpour have engaged in for 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.

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The lawyer referred to findings by the nonprofit group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, which he said "documented a long pattern by CNN and Amanpour of constantly citing against Israel."

"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."

“All that has to be proved is that the family suffered emotional distress and harm, and we will be able to prove that," he continued. 

"The harm that was suffered from this horrible statement by Amanpour… will become the subject of a significant lawsuit against CNN."

"Amanpour hasn’t apologized for years of misleading the world about the Israel-Palestine conflict and about terrorism. They have suffered enormous harm, and you can’t take that back. An apology doesn't undo defamation,” said Dershowitz.

The i24NEWS 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."


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Hours after Monday's interview with Dee, Amanpour made a short on-air statement saying she "misspoke," and that she wrote to the rabbi "to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him."

While he appreciated Amanpour's humility, Dee responded that it did not go far enough.

The apology was “not worth the paper it’s printed on” for the news giant, and Dee demanded not just a public apology, but most importantly “that they [CNN] change their attitude towards Israel.” 

On Wednesday, Dee released a statement about the pending lawsuit, saying he was still open to talks outside the courtroom. He said that he is trying to secure a meeting with the CEO of CNN David Zaslav to express his concerns directly.

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