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Elon Musk is an antisemite
His attack on the Anti-Defamation League is just the latest evidence of his insidious feelings about Jews.
Hard as he may try to convince us to the contrary, Elon Musk—CEO of a dying social media platform and purveyor of flammable cars—is an antisemite.
He dresses up his antisemitism in tech jargon and cutesy tweets, but it’s antisemitism nonetheless. Musk actively promotes the conspiracy that Jews are responsible for all the world’s ills, a tale as old as time. He’s dangerous, and not to mention staggeringly unoriginal. And terrifyingly for Jews, he’s also incredibly powerful.
The billionaire’s antisemitism has been building for some time now. But with his encouragement over the weekend of the Twitter hashtag “#BantheADL”—the nonprofit Anti-Defamation League whose work centers on combating antisemitism—Musk has quadrupled down on his white supremacist sympathies that have pervaded Twitter since his takeover. And now he’s actively threatening to sue the ADL because of an erroneous and unquantifiable claim that somehow the organization’s calls for the Twitter CEO to regulate hate speech resulted in a 60% reduction in advertising revenue.
The campaign came in the immediate aftermath of a meeting between the ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino. Greenblatt posted on the platform that he and Yaccarino had a “very frank + productive conversation,” but ADL would be, “vigilant and give her and @ElonMusk credit if the service gets better... and reserve the right to call them out until it does.”
But for Musk fanboys who pay $8 per month for the privilege of tweeting, this Jew was implying that perhaps their dear leader wasn’t 100% committed to combating hate, and antisemitism in particular. And when Musk suggested on Saturday that he should run a Twitter poll to gauge how people felt about the ADL, he made it clear that he refused to let this Jew dictate the way he runs his platform. Miles Klee of Rolling Stone called it, “a new low for a platform that has seemingly abandoned the fight against hate speech.”
And now prominent white nationalists are celebrating.
Musk’s antisemitism has gone into overdrive the past few months: In May, he launched an attack on Holocaust survivor and billionaire philanthropist George Soros, saying, “He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity.” It was another wholly unoriginal blitz, and precisely something an antisemite would say.
At the time, Greenblatt condemned Musk’s insidious comment, tweeting: “To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed this segment…is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.”
In July, a pair of European organizations took legal action against Musk’s Twitter for failure to remove explicitly antisemitic tweets. “Four of the tweets denied the Holocaust in explicit terms, one said ‘blacks should be gassed and sent with space x to Mars’,” according to The Guardian, “while a sixth compared Covid vaccination programmes to mass extermination in Nazi death camps. All were reported in January but Twitter ruled that three of the tweets did not violate its guidelines and failed to respond to the other reports, the legal action claims.”
The Guardian also shared these alarming statistics. “Analysts detected 325,739 English-language antisemitic tweets in the nine months from June 2022 to February 2023, with the weekly average number of antisemitic tweets increasing by 106% when comparing the period before and after Musk’s acquisition. The rate of creation of antisemitic accounts more than tripled in the period after Musk’s takeover.”
Musk is such a rabid antisemite that The Forward, a Jewish media outlet, has a running list of all the antisemitic things he’s said, going as far back as 2018. The list includes Musk’s reinstatement of Kanye West’s account after the antisemitic rapper was suspended for inciting violence by tweeting a photo of a swastika combined with a star of David. It also mentions how a former Twitter employee who is Jewish was forced to flee his home because of antisemitic threats sparked by Musk publicly implying that he supported pedophilia. And we can’t forget the time he tweeted a quote from neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom that’s often misattributed to Voltaire.
But perhaps the gravity of Musk’s overt antisemitism isn’t quite landing because of the way pernicious ideas about Jews have been mainstreamed in politics and online discourse in recent years.
Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene made the absurd claim that California wildfires were sparked by a Jewish cabal with space lasers; Serial liar Rep. George Santos pretended to be Jewish to win a campaign in a heavily-Jewish district and it was met by his Republican colleagues with a yawn; And this summer, conspiracy theorist and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said the Jews engineered the Covid-19 vaccine to spare our people, and tweeted explicit Nazi symbology to court that constituency’s vote.
It’s no wonder Musk feels so comfortable blaming the Jews, and specifically the ADL, which has in many ways become the face of American Jews.
To be clear, the ADL is itself a flawed organization. One of their core values is that any criticism of Israel is equal to antisemitism. In a report they released this past April, the ADL wrote, “some anti-Israel activists and ideologues who would normally recoil from overt antisemitism may incorporate classic antisemitic themes into their attacks on Israel and its supporters.” As an organization, they often equate right wing antisemitism with progressive criticism of Israel’s leadership and policy, and balk at the assertion that Israel’s subjugation of Palestinians constitutes an apartheid state.
But we can hold two things true at once: The ADL is not representative of all American Jews, and Elon Musk is an antisemite who’s singling out the organization as a stand-in for all of us.
There comes a time when we say enough is enough. That if it quacks like an antisemite, then it is an antisemite. Denying Musk’s disgusting views towards Jews isn’t going to make us any safer on his platform, nor will it convince potential advertisers to spend their ad dollars so their brand can be promoted next to neo-Nazis.
Twitter cannot be saved at this point: It’s become overrun with white supremacists openly calling the ADL “a mass purveyor of anti-white hate,” with Musk’s tacit approval.
This isn’t a call to action, but merely a statement of fact: The richest man in the world who controls one of the most influential information arteries is a loud and proud antisemite. And it’s time we all get comfortable saying it.
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