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HRW director accused of justifying anti-Semitism on Twitter


Human Rights Watch executive director Ken Roth found himself in hot water on Twitter on Sunday after retweeting a report about the serious spike in anti-Semitism in the UK during Israel’s war with Gaza in May, when he suggested the crackdown of the Israeli government was responsible for anti-Semitism.

“Anti-Semitism is always wrong, and it predates the founding of Israel, but the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK during the recent Gaza conflict gives the lie to those who pretend that the Israeli government’s behavior does not support anti-Semitism.” affects,” Roth tweeted.

Numerous government officials denounced Roth’s comments as justifying anti-Semitism and blaming victims, though Roth dismissed these accusations, saying he was merely pointing to a connection.

The CEO of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris, criticized Roth’s tweet, saying, “No, anti-Semitism is always wrong, period. Just like racism is always wrong, period. Coming from an alleged human rights defender, totally and utterly despicable.”

The British organization Muslims Against Anti-Semitism emphasized that “the underlying anti-Semitism IS the problem” and added: “Let’s not make excuses for hatred of any kind.”

West Wing American Jewish actor Joshua Malina described Roth’s comment as an “appalling statement” and was followed by tweeting “Jews don’t cause anti-Semitism.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon replied: “Anti-Semitism is bad, period. To justify anti-Semitism as a result of our just operation against Hamas in Gaza is to legitimize it. I would suggest focusing on the human rights violations in Gaza under Hamas rule.”

And prominent British columnist for The Times Oliver Kamm said Roth’s comment was “a shocking comment” and called on him to “withdraw it and back off with enthusiasm.”

Responding to the massive and scathing criticism, Roth replied on Twitter: “Interesting how many people pretend this tweet justifies anti-Semitism (it doesn’t and I don’t under any circumstances) rather than addressing the correlation noted in the Haaretz article between the recent behavior of the Israeli government in Gaza and the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK.”


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