Israel is the most targeted country in the world on social media says new study

The Jewish state is attacked on Twitter 111x more than North Korea


Demonstrators gather with Israeli flags near the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem on May 29, 2022, during the Israeli 'flags march' to mark "Jerusalem Day". - Thousands of flag-waving Israelis marched on May 29 into the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City during a nationalist procession that regularly stokes Palestinian anger, a year after Jerusalem tensions exploded into war. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP) (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel is the most maligned country in the world on social media according to a new study, outpacing authoritarian regimes like Russia, North Korea and Iran.

The Jewish state is mentioned approximately 10 times more than any other country in the world in tweets pertaining to human rights violations, a study has concluded. 

More than 100 million tweets posted between January 2020 and June 2022 were analysed by the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI).

Academics concluded that a "double standard" against Israel was prevalent on Twitter, with human rights terms disproportionately targeting the country.

This was further fuelling anti-Zionist narratives that mirror traditional antisemitic tropes.

The discourse on Twitter also correlated strongly with real-world antisemitic incidents, which indicated social media plays a significant role in amplifying these harmful narratives.

Israel is mentioned 12 times more than China on issues of violating human rights, 38 times more than Iran, 55 more times than Iran and 111 more times than North Korea.

Within the timeframe, the NCRI and Ruderman highlighted alarming trends in the use of these antisemitic and anti-Zionist tropes during key moments.

Peaks of antisemitic tropes coincided with Covid-19 conspiracies as well as the January 6 events in the US Capitol in 2021.

In addition, researchers found that the use of anti-Israel tropes significantly increased during the Israel-Gaza conflict in May 2021 and the release of Amnesty International’s February 2022 report labelling Israel as an apartheid state. 

Adam Sohn, chief executive of the NCRI, said: “Many people distinguish between the two, but our research suggests the tropes they use are nearly identical.

"We found this to be true in our current as well as previous analyses, where there was a strong correlation with real-world antisemitic incidents. 

“The tropes of anti-Zionism are used to justify a larger attack against Jews everywhere, and we urge proper measures to be taken against it."

Shira Ruderman, executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation said there was a clear “correlation between social media discourse and its influence in the real world”.

He said: "The fact that Israel is measured differently from other countries in the world, using a double standard, is alarming. 

The report was unveiled during a Knesset Caucus for Israel-American Jewry Relations on Wednesday.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive