Hillel Neuer
International human rights lawyer, writer & activist

Obsessed: 93% of Ken Roth’s “illegal” accusations targeted Israel last month

A new study by UN Watch over an 18-month period shows that Ken Roth, the influential head of Human Rights Watch, devoted more than 70% of his tweets alleging illegality to the criticism of one single country: Israel. By contrast, Roth devoted only 1% of his tweets to accusing Iraq, Libya, Russia, Syria or Yemen of illegal actions, according to an examination of his tweets from January 1, 2017 to June 2018.

In addition, a similar examination of Roth’s tweets over the past two months shows that, in November and December 2019,  out of 57 tweets where Roth accused a country of “illegal” actions, 50 of them, or 88 percent, targeted Israel. However, in that same month, Roth tweeted one similar accusation each on the U.S., Lebanon, Turkey and Brazil. In other words, in tweets employing the “illegal” accusation, the ratio of Roth tweets on Israel and Turkey was 50 to 1.

In November 2019 alone, out of 42 tweets in which Ken Roth accused a country of “illegal” actions, 39 of them — being 93 percent — targeted Israel. Roth tweeted one similar accusation each on Bolivia, Brazil and Indonesia.

In the same 2-month period in 2019, despite widespread and systematic acts of oppression by the world’s worst regimes, in violation of international human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Roth failed to tweet any such accusation against China, Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Iraq,  Cuba, the Palestinian Authority, Myanmar,  Pakistan or Venezuela.

The methodology of the study was a search of the term “illegal” in Ken Roth’s twitter feed, and then a count of every instance in which he accused a country of illegal actions.

For the full UN Watch report, click here.

About the Author
Hillel Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization in Geneva, Switzerland. An international lawyer, Neuer has been described by the Tribune de Genève as a human rights activist who is “feared and dreaded” by the world’s dictatorships. Israel's Ma’ariv newspaper ranked Neuer as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Jewish People in the World.” Hillel Neuer is a renowned speaker who has published widely, testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress, and appeared on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. On September 14, 2016, the City of Chicago adopted a resolution declaring “Hillel Neuer Day” in recognition of his work as “one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates.” In June 2018, McGill University awarded Neuer with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, citing his work as “an innovator” in “creating global platforms for courageous dissidents and champions of human rights from around the world,” and for being “a passionate advocate for human rights, fighting tirelessly against discrimination, torture, and injustice."