JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Amidst vicious attacks coming at Elon Musk from multiple directions, accusing him of being antisemitic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu today welcomed Musk to Israel.
And rightly so.
Netanyahu took Musk on a tour of Israeli communities on the border of Gaza that were savaged by Hamas on Oct. 7, and continue to be attacked with Hamas rockets on an almost-daily basis.
Introduced Musk to Jewish families directly impacted by Hamas terrorism.
Made sure Musk was briefed by Israeli military commanders about the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.
And personally explained to Musk the context of the war, and the broader global war against Israel and the Jewish people.
Netanyahu showed Musk the horrific 43-minute video footage of the savage, barbaric Hamas atrocities against Israeli Jews.
Bibi also held a live discussion with Musk on X for about 20 minutes, where they discussed rebuilding the Gaza Strip after the war.
Good for Bibi.
The prime minister was absolutely right to invite Musk to visit Israel.
And the billionaire CEO of X, Tesla and other companies was right to accept the invitation.
NETANYAHU SEES IT AS HIS MISSION TO EDUCATE ELON MUSK ABOUT THE THREATS FACING ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Bibi doesn’t believe that Musk is antisemitic.
Nor do I.
Rather, Bibi sees it as his personal mission to educate Musk – and other political, business and cultural leaders around the world – to better understand the threats facing Israel and the Jewish people.
To that end, Bibi has been developing an important friendship with Musk over the years.
In September, while he was visiting the United States, Netanyahu and Musk held a wide-ranging conversation on the X platform that was viewed by upwards of 20 million people.
ARE THE CRITICISMS OF MUSK VALID?
Yes, the owner of X – the social media platform previously known as Twitter – has said some questionable things.
And re-tweeted some questionable things.
And by relaxing some of the rules on X to allow more free speech, some say antisemitic messages on the platform have spiked.
In May, for example, Musk tweeted a message sharply criticizing George Soros, the Jewish billionaire.
As we reported at the time on ALL ISRAEL NEWS, this drew widespread criticism, including from the Israeli Foreign Ministry which blasted Musk, arguing that his tweet “smelled of antisemitism...[and] immediately brought a flood of antisemitic conspiracy theories.”
But Musk maintains he was attacking Soros for his far left-wing “progressive” views and philanthropy, not because the man is Jewish.
Indeed, Soros is widely – and, in my view, rightly – criticized by Jews and non-Jews alike for his anti-freedom, anti-family, anti-American and anti-Israel statements and financing.
For example, Soros’ Open Society Foundations has even financed NGOs that have accused Israel of war crimes and alleged human rights violations.
Still, all this has triggered attacks against Musk by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and more than 100 Jewish activists who are trying to get advertisers to stop working with Musk and his company.
MUSK VIGOROUSLY DEFENDS HIMSELF
Musk has fired back, saying the attacks are “absurd.”
“I actually went to Hebrew preschool in South Africa when I was a kid,” Musk recently said.
“Now, I don't know if I'm sort of genetically Jewish or what but maybe somewhere. I am aspirationally Jewish.”
“In some respects, I think I am Jewish, basically.”
BEN SHAPIRO IS DEFENDING ELON MUSK
He has, however, made some important changes to X.
For example, Musk announced that using the term to promote a Palestinian state “from the River to the sea” was a call for genocide against Israel and the Jewish people, and banned it from his platform.
The social firefight between Musk and left-wing Jewish organizations and activists has drawn in Ben Shapiro, the Orthodox Jewish – and politically conservative – radio talk show host and co-founder of the conservative-leaning social media platform, The Daily Wire.
Shapiro has vigorously defended Musk against the charge of antisemitism.
“Here’s the thing, there’s tons of Jew-hatred on planet earth, plenty to go around,” Shapiro said on his radio program.
“Anyone who’s spending their days going after Donald Trump and Elon Musk for antisemitism, while leaving Hamas untouched, is pretty obviously concerned about something very different from Jew-hatred, pretty clearly.”
“A huge number of people in the media decided now was the time to link Musk and the alt-right, and the so-called ‘Jewish question,’ and support the notion that Musk is some sort of crypto-Nazi,” Shapiro argued.
“Now it’s not a coincidence, again, that a lot of the people doing just that are happily calling for Israel to ceasefire in its war with Hamas.”
“See, very often, anti-Semitism becomes a political football. When you can hang the label on Donald Trump or Elon Musk, and you’re on the left, you do it. However, when you’re forced to denounce pro-Hamas protestors shouting ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine must be free,’ suddenly you get a little shy.”
“It is true, obviously, that certain Jewish organizations have bought into and promoted things like diversity, equity and inclusion, which are gross distortions of the American Dream” Shapiro added.
“Nobody hates DEI more than I do,” Shapiro noted. “There are certain Jewish groups that are liberal in orientation who have supported that sort of stuff. Many of those groups have also pushed for open borders. It is also true that some of those organizations are now realizing post-October 7, that actually open immigration for people who hate Jews on an intersectional basis was pretty stupid.”
OTHER CONSERVATIVE JEWISH LEADERS ARE ALSO DEFENDING MUSK
“Ackman, who's waged a personal campaign on social media against people he perceives as antisemites, wrote on X that Musk ‘is not an antisemite.’”
“It is remarkable how quickly the world stands ready to attack Musk for his shoot-from-the-hip commentary,” Ackman wrote.
“Musk is not perfect, but the world is a vastly better place because of him,” Ackman added.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.