Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitz
Nurit Cooper and Yocheved Lifshitzno credit

Journalists and media consultants sharply criticized the press conference held by the Ichilov hospital with the abductee Yocheved Lifshitz, who was released from Hamas captivity.

This is after international media quoted her comments about the conditions in which she was held, instead of dealing with the actual kidnapping and release.

Ynet journalist Ran Boker wrote, "I'm really having a hard time recovering from this propaganda disaster. There are thousands of changes every reality show contestant goes through. People get a briefing before interviews. So a hostage who was held captive during a war?! Where is the person who is responsible for the propaganda? Terrible."

Then he showed headlines on the foreign channels that mainly cite the conditions in which Lifshitz was held. "Look at the headline of Sky News! It's unbelievable how Hamas schools us even in propaganda. Don't make live hostage statements. Don't hold press conferences. Only release recorded statements. They were held captive by a murderous terrorist organization. Where is the IDF spokesman? What is this crazy propaganda attack? This is delusional."

He made another claim. "The husband of the freed captive Yocheved Lifshitz is still in captivity - what can she say? We can only imagine what Hamas asked her to say and how they threatened her."

Boker demands that "Now and not another minute later, we must formulate clear rules for handling the entire issue of the release of the kidnapped. We are in a war for the existence of our country."

He also added, "I see that 'human rights people' are quoting my tweets regarding the holding of the press conference live and about the 'right of the captive to speak her mind without obligation to the state' - you are talking about a woman in her nineties who was beaten on the way to captivity where she stayed for 17 days! Go tweet from Gaza and see if they will give you any at all, a bunch of hypocrites. 30 children in captivity! Worry about them rather than the propaganda of the Nazis. I am first of all an Israeli before I am a journalist against you and your anger."

Media consultant Tsahi Daboush tweeted: "The world media celebrated the public diplomacy failure in this message about Hamas' humanitarianism. A mega propaganda attack during a war. A kidnapped woman whose husband is still in the hands of Hamas. What did you expect? How did you let her speak without control during a war? A serious failure and delusion."

The political correspondent of Kan, Amichai Stein, claimed: "I have been hearing criticism from people involved in Israeli propaganda in recent days: the fact that they allowed Yocheved Lifshitz to make a statement live was a mistake. It is not certain that there was anyone who held a preliminary discussion on the issue and asked himself all the questions."

Another correspondent of Kan, Suleiman Maswadeh, stated: "Yocheved Lifshitz was briefed before the interview she gave to all media outlets by the headquarters for returning the hostages and missing individuals and by the ISA. No official from the state conducted her interview. On the other hand, the members of the Ra'anan family were forbidden to be interviewed. The FBI made sure that didn't happen."

MK Tali Gottlieb also commented on the incident. "Is it just me or does everyone understand the depth of the failure in the publication of the interview with the abductee who was released in Israel? The media published her comments with no consideration, which will harm the chances of the rest of the abductees to return to their families. So what if kind words about Hamas work to the detriment of the abductees? Where is the government before such an interview? I went to bang my head against the wall."

On the other hand, Elad Shamhioff, a reporter for Channel 12 News in Europe, responded to the criticism. "We know the truth, we know who Hamas is and what they are capable of, and it may not be pleasant to hear in Israeli ears that are filled with anger and rage about the treatment and care they received from the kidnappers. Perhaps she is not a representative sample, perhaps this is just another cynical use of a cruel organization and funding for psychological warfare - but at this moment, hundreds of family members of abductees received a little hope in terrible days, and this is also something that should be remembered."