Elon Musk, head of Tesla and SpaceX, who holds the title of the world’s richest man and is a prominent figure in the global hi-tech industry, recently visited Israel. The trip came amid controversy surrounding Musk’s alleged antisemitic posts on social media, including his liking of an antisemitic post on X, formerly Twitter.
Musk’s response drew widespread condemnation, prompting him to announce that he would be donating revenue from the social media platform to hospitals in Israel and Gaza, without specifying the amount.
Despite Musk’s assertions that he does not hold any animosity towards Jews and engages in critical dialogue, a compilation of his posts by the American Jewish news outlet The Forward suggests a different story.
Elon Musk’s history of antisemitic posts on social media
On November 15, 2023, an X user accused Jews of encouraging hatred against whites and promoting the antisemitic great replacement conspiracy theory.
Musk’s response to the user was, “You have said the actual truth.”
You have said the actual truth
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2023
On September 4, 2023, Musk posted against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading organization fighting antisemitism in the US, claiming it to be the “biggest generators” of antisemitism on the platform and threatening a $4 billion lawsuit.
Musk also endorsed the #BantheADL campaign ad on September 1, 2023. Furthermore, Musk liked a post on May 29, 2023, which featured a quote often attributed to French philosopher Voltaire but originally from neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom: “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
The ADL, because they are so aggressive in their demands to ban social media accounts for even minor infractions, are ironically the biggest generators of anti-Semitism on this platform!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2023
Another concerning tweet by Musk occurred on May 15, 2023, when he responded to a Twitter user comparing Jewish billionaire George Soros to the comic book villain Magneto from X-Men. The user claimed that Soros, like Magneto, is driven by his Holocaust survivor experience to act against humanity. Musk’s response was simply, “Hates humanity.” Musk’s interactions with individuals known for their antisemitic views are also troubling. He brought back Nick Fuentes, a network activist with a history of praising Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, to the platform on January 24, 2023, before eventually removing him again.
Similarly, Musk allowed Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, a far-right website with Nazi connections, back on Twitter, where he tweeted about Hitler. Anglin remained on the platform until April.
Musk’s actions have also affected the careers and safety of individuals on X. Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former compliance officer, faced a flood of antisemitic threats following Musk’s repeated criticism and was ultimately forced to flee his home in late 2022.
Moreover, on November 27, 2022, Musk referred to Alexander Vindman, a former senior US military officer and National Security Council official, as a “puppet & puppeteer,” echoing antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Musk’s posts have crossed boundaries in other instances as well. He posted an image of a Nazi soldier in a now-deleted post on November 8, 2022, and welcomed rapper Kanye West back to X before subsequently blocking him again for “inciting violence” following a tweet featuring a logo resembling a Star of David with a swastika.
In February 2022, Musk shared a meme comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Hitler, which was later deleted. Finally, during an interaction with NBC reporter Ben Collins in May 2018, Musk wrote, “Who do you think owns the press?” This statement was viewed by many as perpetuating an antisemitic stereotype, although Musk dismissed such accusations as “inner bigotry.”
Elon Musk’s questionable posts raise concerns about his stance on antisemitism. While he may claim to engage in critical dialogue and deny any animosity towards Jews, his posts and interactions suggest a troubling pattern.
It is essential to address and scrutinize public figures’ actions when it comes to perpetuating harmful stereotypes and promoting hatred, regardless of their stature or success in other areas.