Sunny Hostin, a co-host on ABC‘s The View, compared Hamas militants to members of the far-right group the Proud Boys after warnings that a Hamas “Day of Rage” would occur on Friday.
Over the weekend, Hamas militants attacked parts of Israel and have taken Israeli citizens hostage. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country is “at war” with Hamas, with the Middle Eastern country cutting off electricity and supplies to the Gaza Strip. According to the Associated Press, over 2,000 casualties have been reported across both sides of the ongoing fighting.
On Thursday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security Council issued a joint statement that said, “Against the background of Operation Swords of Iron, the Hamas leadership has called on all of its supporters around the world to hold a ‘Day or Rage’ tomorrow (Friday, 13 October 2023) and attack Israelis and Jews. It is reasonable to assume that there will be protest events in various countries that are liable to turn violent.”
“I look at this from a legal perspective, and I think we all know that Hamas has been designated a terror organization, just like many other terror organizations have this designation, like the Proud Boys here in the United States,” Hostin said on the program on Friday.
Hostin went on to talk about the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas militants saying that “retaliation against innocent civilians collectively is also terror, and is also a war crime, and again, those are not my words, those are the words of the law.”
In 1997, the U.S. State Department designated Hamas as a terrorist organization and according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Hamas is “the largest and most capable militant group in the Palestinian territories and one of the territories’ two major political parties.” However, despite Hostin’s comments, the Proud Boys are not designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S.
Newsweek has reached out to ABC News via email for comment regarding Hostin’s remarks.
In 2021, Canada designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist organization. New Zealand followed suit and issued the same designation for the far-right group in 2022.
Meanwhile, some members of the Proud Boys were recently charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol building following the results of the 2020 presidential election.
On social media, users criticized Hostin for comparing the Proud Boys to Hamas.
User @KagensNews wrote, “Sunny Hostin is comparing Hamas to the Proud Boys? Really? Who watches this show anyways and do they actually believe such garbage?”
Elijah Schaffer, a journalist for The Gateway Pundit, posted: “The view compared Hamas to the Proud Boys. They really believe J6 where Trump supporters killed 0 people. was the moral equivalent to the raid on southern Israel that took 900+ lives. (This is how brainwashed they are).”
On the other hand, X user @hopefulgranny wrote, “Thank you Sunny for bringing the facts. My [heart] goes out to all the innocent civilians who will suffer in this conflict!”