Elon Musk Visits Israel Amid Backlash Against His Endorsement of Antisemitic Post

Elon Musk traveled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, touring the scene of a Hamas attack in a visit that appeared aimed at calming the outcry over his endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X, the social media platform he owns.

Dozens of major brands suspended their advertising on X after Mr. Musk this month agreed with a post that accused Jewish communities of pushing “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The White House denounced Mr. Musk for “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.”

On Tuesday, after arriving in Israel, Mr. Musk wrote on X that “actions speak louder than words.” Wearing a flak jacket, he toured Kfar Azza, an Israeli kibbutz where dozens of people were killed during the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7.

Video shared by Mr. Netanyahu’s office showed the two men, accompanied by security personnel, walking through the village in the rain and inspecting the blackened ruins of a house. Mr. Netanyahu said on X that he gave Mr. Musk the tour “to show him up close the crimes against humanity committed by Hamas.”

In a conversation with Mr. Netanyahu broadcast on X, Mr. Musk called the visit to Kfar Azza “jarring” and said he also had been shown footage of the Oct. 7 massacre that he found “troubling.”

Mr. Netanyahu spent the bulk of the conversation explaining the rationale for the war in Gaza. Mr. Musk said in agreement that it was important to “get rid of the ones who are hellbent on murdering Jewish people,” though he also added that it was important to minimize civilian casualties in the enclave.

Mr. Musk also said it was a challenge to stop “the sort of propaganda that is convincing people to engage in murder.” Mr. Netanyahu did not raise Mr. Musk’s social media post during the conversation and Mr. Musk did not refer to it, or to the role of X in shaping public attitudes.

The X owner is expected to meet later on Monday with President Isaac Herzog of Israel.

Mr. Musk’s visit comes as he faces broader criticism for tolerating and even encouraging antisemitic abuse on his social media platform. He has attacked George Soros, the financier who is a frequent target of antisemitic abuse, and threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, a rights group that has highlighted the rise in antisemitism on X.

The company has said that concerns over antisemitic posts on the platform are overblown.

Israel also appeared to reach an understanding with Mr. Musk over his proposal this month to deploy Starlink, the satellite internet service he owns, in Gaza for aid agencies to use amid cellular and internet blackouts. Palestinians have blamed Israel for the communications interruptions.

Israel’s communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, said on Monday that Mr. Musk had consented not to open access to the system in Israel and in Gaza without the permission of his ministry. “This understanding is vital,” Mr. Karhi wrote on X.

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