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Elon Musk visits Auschwitz death camp, says he is ‘aspirationally Jewish’

Musk’s visit comes following mounting criticism over the spread of antisemitism on his social media platform X and a public spat with the ADL

Elon Musk visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi extermination camp in Poland, Jan. 22, 2024 (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch/European Jewish Association)

Elon Musk paid a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland on Monday. He said the tragedy of the Holocaust “hits you much more in the heart when you see it in person.”

His visit comes a few days before Holocaust Memorial Day (Jan. 27) and after Musk’s social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has become a target of criticism for being a “breeding ground for antisemitism.”

Musk had threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for making such accusations, claiming its statements have led to a decrease in advertising revenue on the platform, but later backtracked the comment. 

Musk toured the Nazi site, along with his three-year-old son, conservative Jewish pundit Ben Shapiro – co-founder of the Daily Wire – and Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of The European Jewish Association. They laid a wreath at the Wall of Death and took part in a short memorial ceremony. 

In a live-streamed on-stage conversation with Shapiro that followed the tour, Musk insisted that his platform has contains “least amount of antisemitism” compared to other social media platforms. 

"The outside audits that we have had done ... show that there is the least amount of antisemitism on X, if you look at all the other social apps,” he said. 

Shapiro then added that Tik Tok’s algorithm contributes to the spread of “pro-Hamas propaganda.” 

Musk himself has faced backlash over the endorsement of an antisemitic post last year. He now admitted to “being somewhat frankly naïve” about the rise in antisemitism. 

“In the circles that I move, I see almost no antisemitism,” he explained.  

“I grew up around a lot of Jewish people, I went to Hebrew preschool in South Africa, my name is pretty Jewish... I went to Israel when I was 13… visited Masada… most of my friends are Jewish, it worked out that way… sometimes I forget ‘Am I Jewish?,’ I'm aspirationally Jewish.”

The last time Musk visited in Israel was during the war in late November. He toured Israeli communities in the south with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and saw the destruction firsthand, as well as watched the many videos of Hamas atrocities. 

“The most shocking thing was to see the delight in killing innocent people,” Musk told Shapiro. 

“There was no remorse, quite the opposite. That requires a level of indoctrination that is extremely intense. To address that, you have to solve the source of the indoctrination,” Musk said, lambasting the Palestinian education. 

Both Musk and Shapiro drew parallels between antisemitic tropes about “Jewish power” controlling the world and more contemporary group identity ideologies, such as DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). 

Shapiro stressed that DEI suggests that “all of society is a pyramid of group identity and at the very top are the people who are successful and that those people are exploiting everybody else… and we can tell who is successful by the group identity, not by their level of success.”   

Musk argues that DEI ideology goes “against merit, and thus it’s fundamentally antisemitic.” 

“I think we really need to stop this principle that normally the weaker party is always right. This is simply not true,” he said.

“If some of these weaker groups want to annihilate you, that does not make them good. We have to get rid of the rule that if you are weaker, you’re automatically good. That makes no sense.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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