Elon Musk's visit to Israel sparks backlash

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Musk’s visit to Israel blasted as PR stunt: ‘Just days ago endorsed a virulently antisemitic trope’

The visit comes shortly after Musk agreed with an antisemitic post on X.

 

Katherine Huggins

Tech

Posted on Nov 27, 2023

Elon Musk’s visit to Israel drew negative reactions online as the billionaire seeks to dispel allegations of antisemitism.

Video shows Musk touring the Kfar Aza kibbutz, which was attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials.

“It was jarring to see the scene of the massacre,” Musk said in an X Spaces conversation with Netanyahu later Monday.

Musk’s visit comes after he sparked a wave of backlash in mid-November for agreeing with an X post that claimed: “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”

A number of advertisers additionally left Musk’s platform following a report that found paid content appearing next to pro-Nazi posts.

Musk has repeatedly denied “bogus” allegations of antisemitism, saying that “nothing could be further from the truth.”

The entrepreneur also met with Netanyahu in California in September to address concerns about antisemitism on X.

“I hope you find, within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to stop antisemitism or roll it back as best you can, but also any collective hatred of a people like the one antisemitism represents,” Netanyahu said then. “I urge and encourage you to find the balance.”

Monday’s visit with Netanyahu marked the continuing of the pair’s relationship—prompting backlash from critics of both men.

One user reacted to the X Spaces saying, “Looks like they now own Elon Musk too. Goodbye free speech.”

Political YouTuber Danny Haiphong responded that the Israel lobby “NEVER sleeps” and condemned Musk’s visit with “war criminal” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“He will not be meeting with Palestinian resistance leaders. So much for ‘free speech,'” Haiphong added.

Times of Israel journalist Amy Spiro wrote Monday that it’s “hard to stomach welcoming someone who just days ago endorsed a virulently antisemitic trope, has dabbled for years in antisemitism and has turned this platform into a cesspool of hate.”

One Jewish columnist responded that Musk “isn’t a friend of the Jews.”

“Photo ops don’t make up for making his platform a cesspool of Nazis or his personal endorsement of Great Replacement Theory, which gets us murdered,” he added.

In the X Spaces conversation after his visit, Musk said “the propaganda must stop that is training people to be murderers in the future” and called Israel to support making Gaza “prosperous.”

He later responded to a post about “Palestinian hatred,” writing that “kids are programmed to hate from the moment they can understand words.”

Musk previously stated revenue generated by advertising and subscriptions linked to the war would be donated to hospitals in Israel and the Red Cross in Gaza.

“We should care about the innocent regardless of race, creed, religion or anything else,” he said Tuesday.

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*First Published: Nov 27, 2023, 11:09 am CST