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Activist and New York Daily News journalist Shaun King speaks to the crowd during a rally for women's rights on International Women's Day, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at Westlake Park. (Genna Martin,

Source: San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images / Getty

Shaun King is back in the headlines after getting into an online row with the families of freed American hostages in Israel.

The release of Judith and Natalie Raanan, hostages who were captured by the terrorist organization Hamas in their attack on the Gaza settlement in Israel on October 7, has led to a public feud between the activist Shaun King and their families. King claimed in a post on social media that he “worked frantically behind the scenes to help make this possible.” He also claimed that he worked “behind the scenes with an eclectic group of 30+ people that would normally never work together or get along”.

Judith and Natalie Raanan were visiting relatives when they were captured by the militants along with an estimated 200 other people. Their release was reportedly enabled through negotiations overseen by the Qatari government in coordination with the Biden administration, the International Red Cross, and the Israeli government. The women are currently in the protection of the Israeli military.

Relatives of the Raanans refuted King’s claims in a statement issued to TMZ. “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,” it said.

Shaun King, whose online fundraising efforts and zealous promises falling short have earned him heavy criticism in the past, fired back in his response to The Daily Beast. “I spoke directly and repeatedly with this family. I have a job, career, and family. I would be throwing everything away to make such a thing up. Thankfully I kept records of all of them,” he wrote in the email. He would then post a statement from Ben Raanan, the brother of Natalie, through his account on X, formerly Twitter, and claim they had been in contact on October 9 before posting images of their chats.

Uri Raanan, Natalie’s father, did note that Ben had spoken with King. “Ben, my son was talking with him without anybody in the family knowing about it until today,” he said after being contacted by the press. “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.”

To say that the Israel-Gaza conflict is divisive would be an understatement.



Shaun King Argues With Family Of Released Israeli Hostages  was originally published on