Israeli president tells Elon Musk he has "huge role" in fight against antisemitism during Israel visit
The meeting came after the world's richest person visited a kibbutz community devastated in attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense officials.
Musk has been criticized over what critics say is a proliferation of hate speech on X, formerly Twitter, since his takeover of the social media site in October 2022.
Israel's President Isaac Herzog told him, "Unfortunately, we are inundated by antisemitism, which is Jew hatred."
"You have a huge role to play," he said. "And I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there's a harboring of a lot of... antisemitism."
Musk did not mention antisemitism in his video remarks released by Herzog's office, but said that Hamas militants "have been fed propaganda since they were children."
"It's remarkable what humans are capable of if they're fed falsehoods, from when they are children; they will think that the murder of innocent people is a good thing."
On October 7 Hamas militants broke through Gaza's militarised border into southern Israel to kill around 1,200 people and seize about 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials, in the worst-ever attack since the nation's founding. Vowing to destroy Hamas in response, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment of targets in Gaza, alongside a ground invasion, that the Hamas government says has killed almost 15,000.
A temporary truce has been in effect since Friday.
Elon Musk and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu publish discussion on Israel-Gaza war to X
Earlier Monday, Netanyahu and Musk discussed "security aspects of artificial intelligence" with senior defense officials, the Prime Minister's Office said.
Musk and Netanyahu held a conversation on X following their tour of Kfar Aza, one of the communities attacked by Hamas.
"We have to demilitarise Gaza after the destruction of Hamas," Netanyahu said, calling for a campaign to "deradicalize" the Palestinian territory.
"Then we also have to rebuild Gaza, and I hope to have our Arab friends help in that context," he added.
Israel's Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said his country had reached an understanding in principle on the use of Starlink satellites, operated by Musk's company SpaceX, in Israel and the Gaza Strip "with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications."
In September, Netanyahu urged Musk "to stop not only antisemitism, or rolling it back as best you can, but any collective hatred" on X. At the time Musk said that, while his platform could not stop all hate speech before it was posted, he was "generally against attacking any group, no matter who it is."
X Corp is currently suing nonprofit Media Matters on the grounds that it has driven away advertisers by portraying the site as rife with antisemitic content.
Musk has also threatened to file suit against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, over its claims that problematic and racist speech has soared on the site since he completed his $44-billion takeover.
Cover photo: Screenshot/X/@Isaac_Herzog & Haim Zach/GPO