Far-left activist Shaun King was reportedly caught lying about knowing the two female hostages who were recently released by Hamas and helping to negotiate their release.
Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, were released by the terrorist group on Friday. The mother and daughter — who are residents of Evanston, Illinois, just outside of Chicago — were in Israel to “celebrate a relative’s 85th birthday and the Jewish holiday season” when they were captured by Hamas during the October 7 massacre of Israeli citizens.
According to the Jerusalem Post, King claimed two weeks ago that Natalie’s family had contacted him to ask for his help in finding Natalie and bringing her to safety.
“Natalie and her family are supporters of mine, protested against police brutality in the United States with me, and have spoken out against injustice in Israel,” King wrote on social media. “I believe we have confirmed that she was NOT killed in Israel, but we are just asking for proof of life right now.”
The BLM activist, who is widely known for a scandal in which he claimed to be Black despite having White parents, asserted that he had the ability to “confidentially help broker [Natalie’s] return.”
King is also known for trying to latch on to left-wing movements and attempting to financially benefit from his “activism.”
King later doubled down on his claims after Judith and Natalie Raanan were released.
“As I said last week, Natalie and her family have been supporters of mine and protested police violence in America alongside us,” he wrote. “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.”
However, a local Israeli news site has spoken with the Raanan family and confirmed that they have no idea who King is. A statement from the family has been translated and shared by journalist Yashar Ali.
“Today we came across bizarre posts on the Instagram page of one Shaun King, who turns out to have millions of followers, who claims that our relative Natalie Raanan supports the anti-Israeli messages he uploads to his page,” the statement began. “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.”
“Natalie told us that this morning it was the first time in her life that she came across Shaun King’s name and his posts, after she finally got a phone call after two horrific weeks in captivity in Gaza, and was looking for what was written about her while she was away,” the family continued. “Shaun King is trying to catch a ride on the great exposure that her kidnapping received all over the world and in the U.S. in particular, and the most ridiculous thing is that Natalie and her mother Judith are very active in Rabbi Hecht’s Jewish community in Chicago and in the Chabad house, and if Shaun King knew them or their family he would know that.”
Ali shared the translation on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he noted that “even if Shaun King were directly involved in this matter, it’s incredibly dangerous to talk about this stuff publicly as he did. Dangerous for the Raanans and dangerous for Shaun’s family. What a fool.”
BTW even if Shaun King were directly involved in this matter, it's incredibly dangerous to talk about this stuff publicly as he did.
Dangerous for the Raanans and dangerous for Shaun's family.
What a fool. https://t.co/VkDbVFJuam
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 21, 2023