Elon Musk has joined the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in visiting a kibbutz that was attacked by Hamas on 7 October, after criticism of his endorsement of an antisemitic post on social media.
The owner of X, the site formerly known as Twitter, has been criticised for supporting a post on his platform that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people. High-profile advertisers have also suspended spending on the site after a report that ads were appearing next to pro-Nazi content.
On Monday Musk, the world’s richest man, and Netanyahu toured Kfar Aza, a kibbutz that Hamas militants attacked on 7 October as part of its assault that killed 1,200 people, triggering an Israeli military offensive in Gaza.
Video released by Netanyahu’s office showed Musk, wearing a protective vest, taking photos or videos of the devastation in Kfar Aza where dozens of people were killed. “It was jarring to see the scene of the massacre,” Musk later said in an X Spaces conversation with Netanyahu. Musk said he was troubled by video and photos that the prime minister showed him of the killings of civilians, including children.
They spoke broadly about the conflict, the protests it has generated, Hamas, the Middle East and more but did not touch on antisemitism online nor on Musk’s controversial post.
Hearing Netanyahu describe the destruction of Hamas, which Israel has set as a war goal, as necessary for any prospective peace with the Palestinians, Musk sounded his general agreement. “Those that are intent on murder must be neutralised,” he said. “The propaganda must stop that is training people to be murderers in the future. And then, making Gaza prosperous. And if that happens, I think it will be a good future.”
Netanyahu replied: “I hope you will be involved. And the fact that you came here, I think, speaks volumes to your commitment to try to secure a better future.”
Musk later met with Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, who said that the tech mogul has “a huge role to play” to combat antisemitism, which his social media platform is accused of spreading.
“I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there’s a harbouring of a lot of … antisemitism,” Herzog said.
Musk faced widespread condemnation, including from the White House, after he agreed with a post on X on 15 November that read: “Jewish communties [sic] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” Musk responded on X with: “You have said the actual truth.”
Israel’s communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, posted on X on Monday about a deal his ministry had reached with Musk’s Starlink satellite internet company. Musk had proposed deploying Starlink in Gaza for use by “internationally recognised aid organisations”.
“As a result of this significant agreement, Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip,” Karhi wrote, without providing further details.
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