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USA | Nov 23, 2023

Elon Musk must make it clear that he is not an antisemite

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Tesla and social media platform X billionaire boss, Elon Musk, has been labelled an antisemite with major multinational corporations such as Apple, Comcast, Disney and IBM pulling advertisements from X.

Musk, responding to a post on X which read “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them,” said: “You have said the actual truth.”

This is incendiary and was always going to inflame tensions given the Israeli/Hamas war.

It could be interpreted as one of the world’s richest and most accomplished men endorsing vile tropes levelled at the Jewish people.

Musk is a maverick but he has to be careful about how this is viewed. It is a cause for concern for noteworthy companies who want no part of antisemitism.

The mercurial Musk has said before people shouldn’t be silenced because they say something disagreeable. X is a platform he maintains for all to have they say. However he doesn’t want to it to be a sounding board for hatred and bigotry.

When the boss himself gets behind bashing Jewish people, eyebrows get raised and people become most upset, not to mention will be looking to cancel you-not even you Elon, are too big to fail.

Days after his “actual truth” line, he has not apologised or distanced himself from the stigma of antisemitism. In fact, he appears defiant. That will not go unnoticed.

Even the White House body-slammed him for his remarks with its spokesperson Andrew Bates declaring, “It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. We condemn the abhorrent promotion of Antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms.”

‘X’ logo is seen on the top of the headquarters of the messaging platform X, formerly known as Twitter, in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., July 30, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Now I don’t think Musk is some kind of rabid antisemite, who bears ill will towards all Jews. He miscalculated as a free-speech absolutist and now he’s being tarred and feathered some say rightfully.

With 160 million followers on his X platform he has to be vigilant and careful. Anything doesn’t just go because there are consequences. Words have meaning and in this case could lead to death and destruction.

On acquiring Twitter, Musk announced, “ Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy and Twitter (Now X) is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Certainly but within reason. Being uncensored leads to trouble and a host of problems you shouldn’t have to take on as both a corporate citizen and leader.

Musk has always been obstinate about free speech once saying, “ I think people should be able to say things because the alternative is censorship. I think if you go down the censorship route, it’s only a matter of time before censorship is turned on you.”

But just how far should free speech go particularly when there is the power to enact dastardly deeds including the elimination of ethnic minorities.

Hitler and the Nazis called for “The Final Solution” and went so far as murdering 6 million Jews before being stopped.

The intent?

To wipe them off the face of the earth by not rendering them human. They too had propaganda platforms in their day but it didn’t make it right. It was not “ the actual truth”.

More than eighty years later, here we are again. Even a smart alec like you Elon must have learnt something from that stain on human history.

Now corporate leaders are calling on Musk to resign from his companies and the CEO of X Linda Yaccarino to step aside. Musk really has put her in it and now she has to go into defence mode.

An Israeli soldier secures an area, following a deadly infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Kibbutz Kissufim in southern Israel October 21, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

She sought to mollify and distance X from Musk. The trouble is he casts such a big shadow that it blunts her effectiveness

“ X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board – I think that’s something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform – X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world- it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop.”

She’s right and her boss has placed her in an untenable situation by endorsing an explicitly antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Musk has made matters worst for himself by throwing stones at advertisers with the line, “Many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech.”

That won’t go down well…for sure.

Musk must not have the world label him as an antisemite. He must do all he can to ensure that his legacy is not tarnished.

For all your greatness, you don’t want to be remembered as a rotten, bigoted human being.


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