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Business News/ News / World/  Elon Musk visits Israel to discuss hostage plight and rising antisemitism
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Elon Musk visits Israel to discuss hostage plight and rising antisemitism

Billionaire Elon Musk arrived in Tel Aviv to discuss the plight of hostages in Gaza and rising antisemitism online with Israeli leaders.

Tech Entrepreneur Elon Musk. (Reuters)Premium
Tech Entrepreneur Elon Musk. (Reuters)

Billionaire Elon Musk landed in Tel Aviv on Monday, beginning a visit during which Israeli leaders plan to bring his attention to the plight of hostages held in war-torn Gaza and discuss rising antisemitism online, Reuters reported. 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog's office on Sunday announced that Musk would be coming to meet the head of state. Musk will also meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Avi Scharf, an aviation expert on X (formerly Twitter) posted that a plane carrying the billionaire, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, had touched down in the morning.

His visit coincides with a four-day truce in an Israeli war with Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza during which 40 of the 240 hostages Israel says have been held by Hamas have returned to Israel. 

On September 18, PM Netanyahu met Elon Musk in California urged him to strike a balance between protecting free expression and fighting hate speech after weeks of controversy over antisemitic content on X. 

During that visit, before the war, about 200 people protested efforts by Netanyahu's right-wing government to curb the powers of Israeli courts. They gathered outside Tesla's California factory, where the meeting took place.

Musk has said X should be a platform for people to post diverse viewpoints, but the company will limit the distribution of certain posts that may violate its policies, calling the approach "freedom of speech, not reach."

Then on November 15 Musk agreed with a post on X that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user who referenced the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory was speaking “the actual truth", as per Reuters reports.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia have risen in the United States and worldwide, including during the now seven-week-old war between Israel and the Islamist Palestinian faction Hamas.

The sides are currently in a truce under which Israel has been recovering some of the 240 people Hamas took hostage during a cross-border killing spree on October 7. In exchange, Israel has been freeing some Palestinians jailed on security grounds.

 

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published: 27 Nov 2023, 01:04 PM IST
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