Criticism is pouring in after freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz appeared to praise her Hamas captors and criticize Israel at a press conference earlier in the day.
The Kan public broadcaster reports that Israeli PR experts are calling the decision to put Lifshitz in front of cameras a “mistake.” The station notes that international media is now reporting on Hamas’s kindness in taking care of the hostage’s needs.
In Israel Hayom, columnist Eddie Rothstein calls the interview a “propaganda win for Hamas.”
“What a brave and enlightened woman, the kind we thought they no longer make in Israel, and what clumsy handling of the event,” he writes. “The truth is you don’t need to be a PR expert to know you can’t have a press conference like this live on TV.”
When asked what she meant by the gesture of shaking a Hamas gunman's hand, freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, says 'because they treated us very nicely'.
"They seemed really prepared and had concealed it for a long time," she added.
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 24, 2023
“There’s no doubt that Lifshitz’s statement could have been managed better,” tweets Channel 12 reporter Daphna Liel, who adds that her descriptions were still pretty shocking. “Anyone sane should understand that medical attention she was given was intended to keep their bargaining chips alive and not from the kindness of their hearts.”
The channel’s Dana Weiss calls the press conference a “disaster,” noting the lack of state intervention in managing her appearances.
ToI’s Tal Schnieder takes aim at the hospital’s spokesperson, who put Lifshitz in front of the cameras, rather than just her family members, and then bragged about his ability to get a “wow factor” for journalists on Instagram.
“From a professional point of view, this is an embarrassment for the hospital,” she writes on X.