Elon Musk Meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Despite ADL Claims
Tech billionaire Elon Musk met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California on Monday, amidst growing controversy over anti-semitic statements the tech tycoon has made on his platform, X.
Musk used the platform to accuse George Soros’ Open Society Foundations of wanting to "destroy western civilization", sparking criticism from civil rights groups around the world and leading to calls for his platform to be shut down.
The Washington Post reported last week that the meeting with Netanyahu was the latest step in a campaign by Musk’s Jewish friends and allies to stave off the mounting criticism surrounding the increase in anti-semitic speech on X.
The ADL, a US-based civil rights group that campaigns against antisemitism and bigotry, has issued findings that the volume of hate speech on X has grown under the stewardship of Musk. In response, the tech tycoon has threatened to sue them and accused them of trying to “kill” the platform by “falsely accusing it and me of being antisemitic”.
The meeting between Musk and Netanyahu was reportedly held to discuss topics related to artificial intelligence technology, with the Israeli prime minister’s office saying in a statement it was “a courtesy call and a discussion about innovative technology”. The statement made no mention of the controversy surrounding Musk and X.
However, the statement added that Netanyahu “views the upcoming US elections and the emerging tech revolution as phenomena with great potential to shape the future of the entire world”.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Musk defended his views on the platform, saying he “has never wanted to silence critics or be the arbiter of the truth”. He also pointed out that he had blocked hate speech on the platform.
Musk’s comments have been described by many as tone-deaf, with some civil rights groups calling for a boycott of his companies. The ADL condemned his comments, calling them “dangerous and unfortunate”.
Musk has been a vocal supporter of Israel in the past, and his meeting with Netanyahu has only heightened concern over the tech tycoon’s views on anti-semitism. While it remains to be seen how the X controversy plays out, it’s clear that the tech-titan’s comments have led to a significant backlash from civil rights groups.