In a new development, Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King has been accused by the family of Natalie Raanan and her mother, Judith Tai Raanan, of faking his role in negotiating their rescue from the hands of Hamas terrorists. Friday, almost two weeks after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, the terrorist organization released Natalie, 17, and her mother.
Shaun King’s Claim: Shaun King took to Instagram after the hostages were freed to take responsibility for their safe return. He thanked Hamas for releasing Natalie and Judith, crediting his work behind the scenes for their liberation. King said, “Dozens of us worked frantically behind the scenes to help make this possible.”
Family’s Denial: In sharp contrast to King’s claims, the Raanan family adamantly denied having any connection to the activist. They said, “First and foremost, we make it clear that he is lying!” in a statement that TMZ was able to receive. Neither directly nor indirectly, our family has anything to do with him and never has.”
Unawareness of King’s role: According to Natalie’s father Uri Raanan, the rest of the family was ignorant of King’s role, even though Natalie’s brother Ben had communicated with King prior to her release. The family made it clear that they are not associated with Mr. King when they reached out to other people for assistance.
King’s Defense: Shaun King went on the defensive in response to the Raanan family’s allegations, asserting that he has communicated with them directly and frequently since October 9. In order to bolster his allegation, he posted screenshots of purported discussions with Ben Raanan, Natalie’s brother. King claimed that, on the advice of his lawyers, he had maintained records of his phone calls, texts, and direct messages.
Ben Raanan’s Declaration:
In a statement made public by King, Ben Raanan admitted contacting the BLM activist and mentioned his contacts in the Palestinian leadership. Ben asserted that despite possible political differences, they both respect human life. The family insists, however, that Ben alone started their outreach to King without the other members’ knowledge.