CNN chief accuses Israel of terror
By Ellis Shuman June 18, 2002
In his first British interview since the September 11 terror attacks, CNN
founder and AOL Time-Warner vice-chairman Ted Turner accused Israel of engaging in
"terrorism" against the Palestinians.
In a British interview, CNN founder and AOL Time-Warner vice-chairman Ted Turner accused
Israel of engaging in 'terrorism' against the Palestinians.
"Aren't the Israelis and the Palestinians both terrorizing each
other?" Turner asked, in an interview published today in The Guardian.
"The Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers, that's all
they have. The Israelis... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the
world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that
both sides are involved in terrorism."
Turner said that the poverty and desperation of the Palestinians were the
reason that they were perpetrating suicide bombing attacks. Turner also admitted that he
had been wrong to call the September 11 hijackers "brave" in a speech in Rhode
Island that sparked outrage. "I made an unfortunate choice of words," he said.
Daniel Seaman, director of the Israeli Government Press Office, condemned
Turner's remarks as "stupid... My only advice to Ted Turner is if people assume you
are stupid, it is just best to keep your mouth shut rather than open your mouth and
confirm everyone in that view," he said.
Andrea Levin, director of the American pro-Israeli media watchdog Camera,
said the comments were a "reprehensible" attempt to "blur the line between
perpetrator and victim."
Ghassan Khatib, recently appointed Minister of Labor in the newly formed
Palestinian Authority government, said Turner's comments "reflect a more consistent
approach... One of the problems in trying to reduce the violence has been the focus of so
much international attention on Israeli rather than Palestinian civilian deaths, although
four times as many Palestinians have been killed.