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Christiane Amanpour Apologizes to Rabbi Dee On Air for Describing Terror Attack As a “Shoot-Out” After Rabbi Threatens Lawsuit

Dee had announced on May 21 that he was considering a $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN over her description of the attack as a “shoot-out.”
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May 22, 2023
Christiane Amanpour speaks at CPJ’s annual International Press Freedom Awards on November 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images for CPJ)

CNN International Anchor Christiane Amanpour announced her apology today to Rabbi Leo Dee for referring to the terror attack that killed Dee’s wife and two daughters as a “shoot-out” on April 10. Dee had announced on May 21 that he was considering a $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN over her description of the attack as a “shoot-out.”

The Journal reported earlier today that during a May 21 event at The Carlebach Shul in New York titled, “Antisemitism: Is There No Solution?”, Dee said through a video call that he was considering the lawsuit after Amanpour wrote a private apology to him via email. Showing the email exchange to attendees, Dee alleged that he wrote her back demanding that she apologize publicly but she never replied to him. Dee also said during the event that he would reconsider the lawsuit should Amanpour publicly apologize but also if CNN provided more balanced coverage of Israel.

In her on air apology, Amanpour 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.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who hosted the May 21 event and is friendly with Dee, said in a statement to the Journal, “Less than 24 hours after Rabbi Leo Dee announced, at the memorial lecture for my father Yoav Boteach, his plans to sue @CNN for $1.3 billion for defaming and desecrating the memory of his martyred wife and two daughters, CNN, and one of its most distinguished anchors, Christiane Amanpour, was forced to capitulate and retract their nauseating lie about how they were murdered. The lesson here is that the Jewish community must never again allow the defamation of its good name and character. Let all our enemies know that this is just the first of many actions we will be taking to ensure that the Jewish people and the State of Israel will never again defamed. Antisemites beware!”

The Jerusalem Post reported that Dee told Channel 12 News Israel on May 23 “that he didn’t accept the apology, saying that it was too little too late” and that he doesn’t think “CNN would behave differently in the future.” “They make moral equivalencies between us and between terrorists,” Dee added, per The Times of Israel. “They keep doing it and they have no intention to stop doing so… that’s what we’re dealing with.”

The Journal has reached out to a representative of Rabbi Dee regarding the status of his potential lawsuit and has yet to hear back.

This article has been updated.

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