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Despite allegations of anti-Semitism against Musk, Netanyahu expected to meet billionaire

September 11, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX on March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC [Win McNamee/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to meet with Elon Musk before his planned speech at the UN General Assembly, Haaretz has reported, citing a new report published by Israel’s Channel 12 News. Reports of a meeting between the two men have sparked a backlash due to the social media storm over anti-Semitism sparked by Musk last week.

The owner of X (formerly Twitter) threatened to take legal action against US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) after blaming the powerful and influential Jewish NGO,ADL, as being “ironically the biggest generators of anti-Semitism on this platform.” Musk also attributed his slumping revenues on the ADL’s lobbying and pressure applied by the pro-Israel group on advertisers.

In the social media storm that followed, Musk was accused of anti-Semitism by advocates of Israel. Many accused the billionaire of “victim blaming” and peddling anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish power and influence.

Musk’s supporters, including American Jews, rejected the claim and argued that the ADL did not represent all Jews and claiming any single institution speaks for the Jewish collective is itself anti-Semitic.

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With the row still raging, Former ADL chief, Abraham Foxman, slammed the reported meeting, according to Haaretz. Foxman said that, for the Israeli Prime Minister to meet with Musk “at this point in time is an insult to the majority of the American Jewish Community and counter-productive to the fight against anti-Semitism on social media”.

Netanyahu’s proposed meeting with Musk also raises questions about the Israeli government’s link with world leaders and high-profile figures from the right who have been labelled anti-Semitic. The Israeli Prime Minister has a long history of courting right-wing extremists.