Attorney Alan Dershowitz says he and Rabbi Leo Dee are ‘exploring various options’ following CNN anchor’s comments about murdered terror victims.
By United with Israel staff
Famed Attorney and former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz confirmed that he has been retained on a pro bono basis by Rabbi Leo Dee, who has said he is considering suing CNN for 1.3 billion dollars after anchor Christiane Amanpour claimed his wife and daughters were “killed in a shootout,” JNS reported.
Lucy Dee and daughters Rina and Maya were murdered over the Passover holiday as they drove through the Jordan Valley on their way to Tiberias and terrorists opened fire at their car, shooting them over 20 times.
Speaking to JNS in an interview published Tuesday, Dershowitz called Amanpour comments “beneath contempt,” adding, “I also don’t think it was a slip or an accident.”
“I think it’s part of a long pattern of equating terrorists and their victims morally,” he said, noting that he and the rabbi are “exploring various options.”
Amanpour later apologized to Rabbi Dee privately, then on the air, but Dershowitz said “the apology doesn’t negate the lawsuit.”
“The apology was a very grudging apology,” he explained. “Basically, she first tried to apologize privately, but when he wouldn’t accept the apology privately, she was essentially forced to make this grudging apology on the air.”
“That may have some impact on damages, but it certainly doesn’t have any legal impact,” Dershowitz added. “What she said was defamatory. The rabbi and his family are not public figures. So there’s no malice requirement. The only requirement is that she said something that was false. And it was false. That’s defamation.”
“It also caused enormous emotional harm. There are various questions that arise: Where to bring a lawsuit? Who is the plaintiff in the lawsuit? What is the precise nature of the legal claim? Those are all issues that are being explored.”
“I would hope there’s a good chance to hold CNN accountable,” Dershowitz said. “The one thing that I would look forward to is an opportunity to cross-examine Christiane Amanpour about her long history of making mistakes only in one direction.”
“I’ve issued a challenge to her. I challenge her to point me to one mistake she’s ever made about the Middle East which favors Israel.
“You’d think if there were a bunch of mistakes, one of them would favor Israel. But all of her mistakes, as far as I can tell, all the ones I’ve heard always go the other way,” he said.
Dershowitz further emphasized that CNN‘s reporting in this case is not an isolated incident but “fits a pattern” of biased reporting against Israel.
“Just generally the way they’ve reported, it’s always an ‘exchange of fire.’ That’s a pattern,” he said. “When rockets are fired from Gaza, CNN portrays it as: ‘It’s a back and forth.’ Even if the rockets were fired (at Israel) without any provocation from Israel.”
“When we do the research for cross-examination, we’ll come up with every single instance of that kind of reporting. But at the moment, there’s enough for me to say we ought to be looking into this and looking hard.”
He said he believes the time is ripe for such a lawsuit.
“I think the Supreme Court is giving a good, hard look at some of its precedents. I think the widespread distrust of the media and the bias of the media has permeated common views of ordinary people.
“I think it’s a good time. And we’ll have to make the case. There are lots of places where this can be brought. It can be brought in Israel. It can be brought in England. It can be brought in the United States. It can be brought in almost any place,” Dershowitz said.
“CNN is worldwide, and she’s an international correspondent. So what she said was seen all over the world.”
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