Elon Musk to meet with Israel’s president amid antisemitism controversy

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Elon Musk will meet with Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as the representatives of families of hostages held by Hamas on Monday as the billionaire CEO of Tesla and owner of X, formerly Twitter, faces an antisemitism controversy. 

Musk is currently visiting the country for the first time since Hamas’ terror attack on Oct. 7 that killed at least 1,200 people and Israel believes that Hamas took nearly 240 hostages to Gaza following the attack. Monday will mark the fourth day of a cease-fire to facilitate the release of at least 50 hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of 150 Palestinian prisoners, including some held on terrorism convictions. The two sides are discussing an extension that would see more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners released.

“President Herzog will be joined in the meeting by representatives of families of hostages held by Hamas, who will speak about the horrors of the Hamas terror attack on October 7, and of the ongoing pain and uncertainty for those held captive,” a statement from Herzog’s office explained. “In their meeting, the President will emphasize the need to act to combat rising antisemitism online.”

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The emphasis on tamping down antisemitism on the Internet, including social media sites like X, comes as Musk looks to root out antisemitic and genocidal rhetoric on the platform that has spooked advertisers since he took the company private last year.

Several notable advertisers including Apple, IBM and Lionsgate Entertainment have paused ad spending on X in recent weeks following a report by left-wing group Media Matters that showed ads appearing next to antisemitic and pro-Nazi content. The social media company filed a lawsuit against the group, alleging it manipulated the platform’s algorithms to get those ads to appear adjacent to such content.

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Musk also sparked accusations of antisemitism when he expressed agreement with a post claiming that Jewish communities have spread “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them” to which Musk replied, “You have said the actual truth.” 

In a later post, Musk went on to take issue with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in another post because it “unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel. This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat. It is not right and it needs to stop.”

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In response to a criticism leveled by another poster, Musk acknowledged that he didn’t intend to generalize the Jewish community at large and that, “[T]his does not extend to all Jewish communities, but it is also not just limited to ADL.” 

Musk later took to X to push back on the allegations of antisemitism, writing, “This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all.”

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He also announced that genocidal rhetoric on the X platform would result in the suspension of those spreading it.

“At the risk of stating the obvious, anyone advocating the genocide of *any* group will be suspended from this platform,” Musk wrote. “As I said earlier this week, ‘decolonization’, ‘from the river to the sea’ and similar euphemisms necessarily imply genocide. Clear calls for extreme violence are against our terms of service and will result in suspension.” 

Musk’s meeting with Herzog and the representatives of the hostages’ families will take place at 3:45 p.m. local time and will be closed to the press, with materials to be distributed following the meeting.

Musk is also expected to visit towns and kibbutzim near the Gaza border that were devastated by Hamas’ terror attack.

FOX Business’s Andrea Vacchiano, Michael Dorgan and Reuters contributed to this report.

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