Elon Musk visited Israel and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, touring the scene of a Hamas attack. This visit was possibly to address the backlash after he endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X, a social media platform he owns. Major brands had suspended their advertising on X after Musk agreed with a post accusing Jewish communities of spreading “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The White House criticized Musk for promoting antisemitic and racist hate.
Upon arriving in Israel, Musk wrote on X that “actions speak louder than words.” He toured Kfar Aza, an Israeli kibbutz where people were killed in the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7. Video shared by Netanyahu’s office showed the two men inspecting the blackened ruins of a house. Netanyahu said on X that he gave Musk the tour “to show him up close the crimes against humanity committed by Hamas.”
During a conversation with Mr. Netanyahu, Musk called the visit to Kfar Aza “jarring” and said he also had been shown footage of the Oct. 7 massacre that he found “troubling.”
Later on Monday, Mr. Musk is expected to meet with President Isaac Herzog of Israel. He is facing criticism for tolerating and encouraging antisemitic abuse on his social media platform. He has attacked George Soros, the financier, who is a frequent target of antisemitic abuse. Additionally, he has threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, a rights group that has highlighted the rise in antisemitism on X.
Mr. Musk’s proposal to deploy Starlink, the satellite internet service he owns, in Gaza for aid agencies to use amid cellular and internet blackouts has also caused controversy. Palestinians have blamed Israel for the communication interruptions. Israel’s communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, said on Monday that Mr. Musk had consented to not open access to the system in Israel and Gaza without permission from the ministry, calling this understanding “vital.”