On Friday, American hostages Judith and Natalie Raanan were released by Hamas, bringing an end to what was a difficult ordeal for them.
Shortly after they were released, writer turned Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King claimed that he worked “frantically behind the scenes” to help secure their release.
From the New York Post:
After news broke that the mom and daughter were free, King, 44, appeared to take some credit for their safe return.
“Hamas has just freed the teenager Natalie Raanan and her mother. I’m grateful. As I said last week, Natalie and her family have been supporters of mine and protested police violence in America alongside us,” King wrote in an Instagram post on Friday.
“I am also thankful for the Qatari government for helping to negotiate this. Dozens of us worked frantically behind the scenes to help make this possible. I spoke to Natalie’s family this afternoon and they are anxiously awaiting more updates.”
Members of the Raanan family were quick to call out King, whom they said they had never heard of before he posted the message.
“First and foremost, we make it clear that he is lying! Our family does not and did not have anything to do with him, neither directly nor indirectly. Not to him and not to anything he claims to represent,” Raanan family members wrote in a statement.
Natalie’s father, Uri Raanan, later revealed that her brother Ben had been in contact with King before her release by Hamas but said the rest of the family had no clue about his involvement.
“We reached out to many people far and wide to bring Natalie and Judith to safety. We are not affiliated with Mr. King,” the father told the Daily Beast.
“Ben, my son was talking with him without anybody in the family knowing about it until today. Our family in Israel posted this statement denying we knew him, before we learned about Ben talking to him. We have nothing further to say.”
King has gone on the defensive following the family’s statements on his involvement, saying he “spoke directly and repeatedly with this family” since Oct. 9 and that for him to lie about helping aid the mother and daughter’s rescue “would be throwing everything away.”
🚨STATEMENT from Ben Raanan, brother of Natalie Raanan, the young hostage that was freed by Hamas.
Ben, a longtime supporter of mine, was the American spokesperson for the family and first reached out to me for help on October 9th.
Followed by a THREAD of receipts/records. pic.twitter.com/BL4kRlewYD
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 21, 2023
For those unfamiliar with King, the “social justice warrior” has a tendency to insert himself in high-profile situations like these, which he has been doing for years, regardless of the impact it has on the victims.
He then turns around and uses the situation to solicit donations.