Elon Musk, the CEO of X, has been accused of promoting anti-Semitic remarks and has visited kibbutzim that have been targeted by Hamas.
During his visit to Israel on Monday, billionaire businessman Elon Musk—who has been charged with promoting anti-Semitic content on his social networking platform X—met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The software tycoon accompanied Netanyahu to a kibbutz that Hamas fighters had helped on October 7, during an attack that resulted in 1,200 casualties and Israel’s bloodiest-ever military operation on Gaza. Israel’s demolition of the coastal enclave has resulted in the deaths of around fifteen thousand Palestinians.
Following his visit, which coincided with the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Musk was alleged to have supported Israel’s attack on Gaza.
Musk further committed to refraining from granting internet connectivity to Gaza via Starlink, his satellite firm, without the consent of Israel.
What you should know about the significance of Musk’s visit to Israel is provided below.
Elon Musk visited Israel, but why?
Musk’s trip to Israel coincided with a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The trip was prompted by criticism of a post on X that many deemed to be anti-Semitic, which led to a wave of major corporations, including Apple and IBM, removing their advertisements from the platform, possibly at X’s expense.
Musk endorsed a social media post earlier this month that claimed Jews were inciting “dialectical hatred” against White people. The White House in the United States criticized Musk’s comments, calling them “abhorrent.”
Musk has also come under fire for allegedly permitting big business adverts to appear next to content that supports white nationalism and neo-Nazi ideology.
The European Union is also looking into X’s dissemination of violent and false material during Israel’s conflict in Gaza.
Since taking over as CEO last year, Musk has either criticized or refuted reports from groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Center for Countering Digital Hate that claim X has seen a surge in hate speech.
After alleging that Media Matters manipulated an algorithm to alienate advertisers, X filed a lawsuit against the media watchdog.
The case has been deemed “frivolous” by the watchdog.
What did Musk say and where did he go while traveling?
Under the guidance of Netanyahu and additional security guards, Musk visited the Kfar Aza kibbutz, which was targeted on October 7 by Hamas militants. He also visited some of the relatives of those kidnapped from Israel and seen footage of the Hamas attack.
Later, in an X Spaces interview with Netanyahu, Musk remarked, “It was startling to see the scene of the massacre,” adding that Israel had “no choice” except to destroy Hamas.
Musk and Netanyahu agreed during their brief live chat on X that Israel must destroy Hamas, which it has utilized as justification for a military campaign that has resulted in a high death toll among civilians.
“The toxic dictatorship must be overthrown first, just as it was in Germany and Japan. Yes, during World War II,” Netanyahu remarked.
Musk said, “There’s no other option. There isn’t an option.
During a discussion, Israeli President Isaac Herzog informed Musk that he had a significant role to play in the international battle against anti-Semitism.
According to a statement issued by Herzog’s office, Musk responded, “We have to do whatever is necessary to stop the hate.”
How come Netanyahu escorted him many weeks after requesting that he denounce anti-Semitism?
Regarding X space, Netanyahu stated that Musk’s trip to Israel demonstrates his support for Israel.
He said, “I think it says volumes about your commitment to trying to secure a better future that you came here.”
Reminding Musk that they had discussed artificial intelligence the previous time they met, Netanyahu said. Pointing to Israeli operations like the navigation software Waze and iPhone manufacture, he informed the tech CEO that “great talents are available” in Israel.
After weeks of uproar about anti-Semitism on X, Netanyahu visited Musk in California on September 18 and encouraged him to find a balance between suppressing hate speech and defending free speech.
In response, Musk reiterated his earlier claims that X will not support hate speech and declared his opposition to anything that “promotes hate and conflict” as well as anti-Semitism.
The visit on Monday was characterized by an Israeli government source as a follow-up to the September gathering.
Why is there criticism of Musk’s trip?
Some pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian advocates are criticizing Musk’s visit to Israel.
In a post on X, Esther Solomon, the top editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz, denounced Musk’s trip as a “PR visit.”
Additionally, Haaretz journalist Ben Samuels called Israel’s support of Musk a “betrayal of Jews” and a “stain on Netanyahu’s legacy” in an editorial article posted on the news website.
In addition, Musk has been under fire on the internet for not going to Gaza in spite of the fatalities and devastation caused by Israeli bombs there.
What decision has Musk made on Gaza’s Starlink access?
Musk and Israel came to a “in principle” deal wherein Starlink may offer internet connectivity to Gaza, but only if it uses Israeli-operated equipment and has the Israeli Ministry of Communications’ clearance.
“Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza,” CEO Musk had stated in October.
Following the communications outage in October, social media users implored Elon Musk to grant internet connection through Starlink to the embattled region as Gaza descended into darkness.
In addition to offering internet connectivity via satellite rather than cable, the firm assisted Ukraine during its own outages during the conflict with Russia.
Many accused Musk of using “double standards” to Israel’s Gaza conflict since he granted Starlink access to Ukraine immediately.
Israel has previously argued that Hamas will exploit Starlink access for Gaza for “terrorist activities” and opposed its implementation.