Oct 18, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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Under the leadership of Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch has turned from a reputable  organization into a blatantly anti-Israel propaganda machine. This was especially true in a recent tweet in which Roth blamed the Israeli government for the recent spike in anti-Semitism.

Roth: Anti-Semitism linked to the Israeli government

On Sunday, Roth tweeted, “Anti-Semitism is always wrong, and it long preceded the creation of Israel, but the surge in UK anti-Semitic incidents during the Gaza conflict gives the lie to those who pretend that Israeli government’s conduct doesn’t affect anti-Semitism.”

His tweet linked an article to the left-wing extremist Israeli media, Haaretz, citing a spike in anti-Semitic incidents during the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza. The article detailed data studied by the Community Security Trust (CST), a UK community security group. The CST report, titled The Month of Hate: Antisemitism and extremism during the Israel-Gaza conflict, stated that 628 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded between May 8 and June 7, a 365% rise over the previous month. It was “the highest number CST has ever recorded in any month-long period,” reported the Jewish Chronicle.

Roth targeted by criticism

Dave Rich, a writer who focuses on issues of anti-Semitism and head of policy for CST, responded to Roth’s tweet. 

“Actually it’s the conduct of people who treat Israel like it’s the most uniquely evil country on earth that affects antisemitism, but I don’t think Ken Roth is interested in that,” Rich wrote.

 

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jason Greenblatt also responded, tweeting, “There should be no justification for #antisemitism or those who perpetrate it. Blaming Israel for the recent rise in violent antisemitic incidents, instead of blaming the antisemitic actors themselves, is plainly false and offensive.”

 

NGO Monitor, a watchdog group that reports on anti-Israel bias at NGOs called for Roth to resign immediately.

“We’ve long documented @KenRoth‘s abhorrent antisemitism and obsession with Israel,” NGO tweeted. “Attacks on Jews cannot be excused by blaming the Israeli government. STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM. We call on Roth’s immediate resignation from @hrw.”

 

After garnering criticism, Roth removed the offensive tweet. He responded with a tweet saying, “Interesting how many people pretend that this tweet justifies antisemitism (it doesn’t and I don’t under any circumstances) rather than address the correlation noted in the Haaretz article between recent Israeli government conduct in Gaza and the rise of UK antisemitic incidents.”

 

Roth: history of anti-Israel bias

Roth has been criticized for an anti-Israel bias. During the Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 2006 which was an attempt to cope with hundreds of thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian centers, Roth accused Israel of implementing an “excessive” response against Hezbollah. The ADL has described Roth’s anti-Israel rhetoric as a reflection of “classic anti-Semitic stereotype about Jews.” An analysis of his tweets by NGO Monitor alleges that Roth shows “significant levels of sarcasm, vitriol, and deep-seated hostility” towards Israel. According to the Jewish newspaper Algemeiner Journal, “Roth has long been noted for his hatred of Israel and his use of antisemitic rhetoric to attack it.” The Forward criticized Roth for establishing a Middle East/North Africa (MENA) team composed of anti-Israel activists. In  2015, Roth criticized Israel for sending humanitarian aid to Nepal after a devastating earthquake. 

Roth’s father was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. In 2011, Roth was married in an Anglican church.