Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and one of the network’s leading personalities, said, “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."
Amanpour originally compared the death of a Palestinian boy with the murder of Rabbi Leo Dee's family, who were reportedly killed in Efrat in Gush Etzion as part of a terror attack during Passover in early April.
The veteran journalist said during her original April 10 broadcast, "We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli British sisters. They were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injuries.”
Amanpour was slammed on social media for her labeling the May 11 murder of the Rabbi’s family a "shootout."
HonestReporting wrote in a tweet, "A shootout is two sides firing at each other. A mother & her two daughters were shot at close range by Palestinian terrorists,".
In a statement to the watchdog group, Rabbi Leo Dee demanded that Amanpour apologize. "This is the perfect example of ‘terror journalism’ where you have moral equivalence between the terrorist and the victim. This type of journalism perpetuates the conflict in the Middle East. The real cycle of violence is a comment like this followed by a terrorist atrocity and then more of the same.”
In response to Amanpour’s erroneous report, HonestReporting led a 10-day campaign advocating for CNN and Amanpour to issue a retraction.
Gil Hoffman, HonestReporting's executive director, told Fox News, "The press covering Israel saw what happened to Amanpour, and I hope it will make them more careful to be completely accurate when they file their own reports. Even journalists with an anti-Israel bias — as Amanpour has proven to be — will have to watch themselves better, because they know we at HonestReporting are watching. That is called restoring deterrence on the media battlefield, and it is more important than ever for Israel's future."
Lawyer and professor Alan Dershowitz said during an interview on Tuesday that he was taking the Dee family’s case against CNN pro bono and promised to make the network pay.
Dershowitz told i24News, "This is part of a pattern that CNN and Amanpour have engaged in over a decade or more."
He added, "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."
Earlier this year, a CNN producer agreed to delete a series of social media posts condemned for having anti-Israel bias.
CNN published a “slanted” story on April 8 regarding a rocket attack on the Jewish state that “initially failed to note that the airstrikes were in response to acts of aggression from terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon,” according to Honest Reporting.
Tamara Qiblawi, one of the five reporters who shared a byline on the article, was found to have a history of posting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments.
Qiblawi previously called the founding of Israel “Nakba,” an Arabic word meaning “catastrophe” and labeled Israel an “ethno-religious exclusive state,” ignoring the Joint List, a coalition of majority Arab parties in Israel with representation in the Knesset, as well as Arab Supreme Court Justices and Arabs holding Israeli citizenship.
“Months before her name first appeared on the CNN website, Qiblawi publicly corresponded with a friend who fantasized about ‘the end of the Zionist state.' When that friend pictured retiring in ‘Haifa, the coastal northern metropolis of Palestine [sic]… at the George Habash [PFLP leader] resort, in which European Jewish waiters serve my ever frustrating needs,’” according to Honest Reporting.
Qiblawi also claimed that the “campaign to dispossess Palestinians in ’48,” referencing the year that Israel was founded, was an example of a conspiracy that was later revealed to be true and has also claimed that the Israel Defense Forces have committed genocide.
The CNN producer even called Starbucks an “openly zionist corporation.”
Dershowitz cited the 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 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."
He added, “All that has to be proved is that the family suffered emotional distress and harm, and we will be able to prove that."
"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.”