By B. Cohen
Professor Alan Dershowitz, one of the most prominent advocates for Israel in the United States, as well as a leading light of Harvard University’s law school until his retirement last year, has blasted broadcaster CNN for its “determination” to “show that there is a moral equivalence between terrorists and Israel’s proportionate responses.”
Professor Dershowitz was speaking to The Algemeiner one day after he appeared on a segment with CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield to discuss Tuesday’s terrorist atrocity at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. “Soldiers come in all forms,” Banfield told Dershowitz. “And when you have mandatory conscription and service in Israel, effectively the Palestinians will say, ‘it’s war against everyone,’ because everyone is a soldier.”
Dershowitz managed to respond, “Well, that’s just racism and bigotry. To say that everyone is a soldier…” before Banfield interrupted to protest, “But everybody is.”
“Not everybody is,” Dershowitz continued. “The law of war is very clear. You can’t kill a two year-old child claiming, ‘he’s going to be a soldier.'”
Dershowitz told The Algemeiner that Banfield had “parroted Hamas’ outrageous claim that every 2 year old and 90 year old in Israel is a soldier. It’s particularly ironic in the context of attack on the synagogue, because the people killed were beyond military age.”
“For her to raise this outrageous argument in the context of the synagogue shooting, it really required me to control my temper,” Dershowitz said.
Dershowitz pointed out that CNN does not make similar claims of moral equivalence in its coverage of the US-led war against the Islamic State terrorist organization. “No CNN anchor says that there’s another side to the story with ISIS – but you hear that all the time with regard to Israel,” he said.
Dershowitz argued that CNN was much more “dangerous” than, for example, Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper.
“Everyone knows The Guardian is anti-Israel, but you watch CNN and you see moral equivalence presented as balanced news. Describing an imbalanced situation as balanced is mendacious and misleading,” Dershowitz said.