Executive Summary

A new study shows that over an 18-month period Ken Roth, the head of Human Rights Watch, devoted more than 70% of his tweets alleging “illegal” acts 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 over an 18-month period from January 1, 2017 to June 2018.

In addition, a study 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. In November, Roth tweeted one similar accusation each on the U.S., Lebanon, Turkey and Brazil.

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, 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, Hamas, Myanmar, Pakistan or Venezuela.

Methodology

The study searched the word “illegal” in Ken Roth’s twitter feed, and from within those results, counted every instance in which Roth accused a country of illegal actions.

The word “illegal” is a powerful term. Lawyer Ken Roth appears to be using this term and accusation deliberately and repeatedly concerning one country only. In other contexts, for example in opposing the use of the word “illegal” to describe immigrants, Roth has confirmed that he considers this term significant. (See here, here and here.)

In one instance, Roth actually managed to employ the “illegal” accusation against Israel twice in a single tweet, even as, in the same year, he failed to use the same term concerning gross and systematic violations of international law by the oppressive regimes of Venezuela, China, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, the Palestinian Authority, Myanmar, Pakistan or Qatar — to name but a few.

In a rare moment on January 31, 2017, Roth accused another Middle Eastern country of illegal actions: “Iraq demolishes homes of families of alleged ISIS members—illegal collective punishment.” However, he couldn’t complete this tweet without first referencing his favorite obsession, which appears to have been the primary point of the tweet after all, and so the full text actually reads: “Borrowing page from Israel, Iraq demolishes…”

 

DATA ON KEN ROTH TWEETS

2019 in November-December: Who Ken Roth Accused of “Illegal” Actions

December 2019

Ken Roth Tweets accusing Israel of “illegal” actions:

  1. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1211186657212469248
  2. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1210727846978572288
  3. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1209692654331670528
  4. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1209661634609917952
  5. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1209343728424509441
  6. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1209287912841306113
  7. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1208058496765304832
  8. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1204567492112322561
  9. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1204387803590733824
  10. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1203945339738296322
  11. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1201790382478155776

Ken Roth tweets accusing other countries of “illegal” actions:

  1. USA: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1209245819074949126
  2. Lebanon: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1208389141660090375
  3. Turkey: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1204292192694652928
  4. Brazil: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1204119522694828032

 

November 2019

Ken Roth Tweets accusing Israel of “illegal” actions:

  1. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1200794309269831680
  2. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1200105093422624769
  3. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1199919396648554496
  4. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1199439701435994112
  5. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1199373696038772736
  6. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1199272398123601927
  7. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1199257240450031618
  8. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198948077383667712
  9. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198926811738132480
  10. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198686753806340096
  11. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198517574658646016
  12. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198165491933761542
  13. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1198081890428882944
  14. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197975912677085185
  15. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197938018369318913
  16. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197905903951007744
  17. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197865222163304448
  18. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197858174247804929
  19. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197790630199644160
  20. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1197296771640299520
  21. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196857631077535744
  22. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196714332882649089
  23. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196591050401423360
  24. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196442946230538244
  25. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196212254498263044
  26. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1195700273462812672
  27. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1195280134540079104
  28. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1195231453618958336
  29. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1194995639785943040
  30. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1194747640493281282
  31. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1194623012034748416
  32. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1193482902367068166
  33. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1193303779208302592
  34. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1193200269544194048
  35. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1192868576979492865
  36. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1192766733821587456
  37. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1192543461305724930
  38. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1191743089947353089
  39. https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1191717121962790912

Ken Roth tweets accusing other countries of “illegal” actions:

  1. Bolivia: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1196318814599884801
  2. Indonesia: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1192092188924088320
  3. Brazil: https://twitter.com/KenRoth/status/1191468818872360961

 

In 2017-2018, 74% of Ken Roth’s tweets alleging illegality targeted Israel:
Israel                                                   53         74%
U.S.                                                      5          7%
EU                                                        3           4%
Italy                                                      3           4%
Iraq                                                      1           1%
Libya                                                    1           1%
Thai junta                                             1           1%
South Africa (Jacob Zuma)                  1           1%
Russia (Putin)                                       1           1%
Syria (Assad)                                        1           1%
Yemen (Houthi-Saleh forces)               1           1%
Internet companies                              1           1%
TOTAL                                                 72

 

 2018:  Who Ken Roth Accused of “Illegal” Actions

June 13, 2018 Israel

June 8, 2018  Internet companies

June 7, 2018 Israel

June 6, 2018 Israel

May 29, 2018 Israel

May 24, 2018 Israel

May 24, 2018 Israel

May 23, 2018 Israel

May 23, 2018 U.S. & Israel

May 22, 2018 Israel

May 9, 2018 Israel

May 8, 2018 EU & Italy

April 30, 2018 Israel

April 27, 2018 U.S.

April 25, 2018 Israel

April 3, 2018 Israel

March 15, 2018 U.S.

February 4, 2018 Israel

February 4, 2018 Israel

February 1, 2018 Israel

January 12, 2018 Israel

January 11, 2018 Israel

January 8, 2018 Israel

Breakdown of 2018 accusations: 
Israel                           19
U.S.                              3
EU                                1
Italy                              1
Internet companies      1
TOTAL                         25

 

 

2017:  Who Ken Roth Accused of “Illegal” Actions

December 15, 2017 Israel

December 13, 2017 EU, Libya

December 4, 2017 Israel

December 2, 2017 Israel

November 27, 2017 Israel

November 24, 2017 Italy

November 3, 2017 Israel

October 31, 2017 Israel (“illegal settlements” and “illegally demolishing” in one Tweet)

October 27, 2017 Israel

September 29, 2017 Israel

September 13, 2017 Israel

August 23, 2017 Israel

August 3, 2017 Italy

July 4, 2017 Jacob Zuma (South Africa)

June 15, 2017 Israel

June 9, 2017 Israel

June 7, 2017 Israel

May 18, 2017 Thai junta

May 11, 2017 Israel

May 9, 2017 Israel

April 25, 2017 Israel

April 20, 2017 Houthi-Saleh forces (Yemen)

April 12, 2017 Putin-Assad (Russia, Syria)

April 1, 2017 Israel

March 23, 2017 Israel

March 20, 2017 Israel

March 8, 2017 Israel

March 7, 2017 Israel

February 23, 2017 Israel

February 18, 2017 EU

February 16, 2017 Israel

February 15, 2017 Israel

February 14, 2017 Israel

February 11, 2017 Israel

February 6, 2017 Israel

February 5, 2017 Israel

February 3, 2017 Israel

February 1, 2017 Israel

January 31, 2017 Iraq, Israel (says Iraq “borrows illegal collective punishment” from Israel)

January 23, 2017 Israel

January 11, 2017 U.S.

January 10, 2017 U.S.

January 10, 2017 Israel

January 8, 2017 Israel

January 6, 2017 Israel

 

Breakdown of 2017 accusations:
Israel                                                   35
U.S.                                                     2
EU                                                       2
Italy                                                     2
Iraq                                                     1
Libya                                                   1
Thai junta                                            1
Jacob Zuma (South Africa)                 1
Putin (Russia)                                      1
Assad (Syria)                                       1
Houthi-Saleh forces (Yemen)              1
TOTAL                                                 47

 

Author

unwatch

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