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Business News/ News / World/  Israeli President urges Elon Musk to combat anti-Semitism on X, says ‘he has huge role to play in…’

Israeli President urges Elon Musk to combat anti-Semitism on X, says ‘he has huge role to play in…’

Israeli President Isaac Herzog tells Elon Musk that he has a huge role to play in combating anti-Semitism on his social media platform, which has been accused of spreading hate speech.

Elon Musk (Reuters)Premium
Elon Musk (Reuters)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday told Elon Musk that the tech mogul has "a huge role to play" in combating anti-Semitism, which his social media platform is accused of spreading, according to AFP reports. 

The meeting came after the world's richest person visited a kibbutz community devastated in attacks by Hamas militants on October 7, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense officials.

Musk has been criticized over what critics say is a proliferation of hate speech on X, formerly Twitter, since his takeover of the social media site in October 2022. He was accused by the White House of "abhorrent promotion" of anti-Semitism after endorsing a conspiracy theory seen as accusing Jews of trying to weaken white majorities.

"Unfortunately, we are inundated by anti-Semitism, which is Jew hatred. You have a huge role to play," he said. “And I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there's a harboring of a lot of... anti-Semitism," the Israeli President said. 

Musk did not mention anti-Semitism in his video remarks released by Herzog's office, but said Hamas militants "have been fed propaganda since they were children".

“It's remarkable what humans are capable of if they're fed falsehoods, from when they are children; they will think that the murder of innocent people is a good thing," he said as quoted by AFP. 

On October 7, Hamas militants broke through Gaza's militarised border into southern Israel to kill around 1,200 people and seize about 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials, in the worst-ever attack since the nation's founding.

Vowing to destroy Hamas in response, Israel has carried out a relentless bombardment of targets in Gaza, alongside a ground invasion, that the Hamas government says has killed almost 15,000. A temporary truce has been in effect since Friday.

Earlier on Monday, PM Netanyahu and Musk discussed "security aspects of artificial intelligence" with senior defense officials, the Prime Minister's Office said. They held a conversation on X following their tour of Kfar Aza, one of the communities attacked by Hamas.

"We have to demilitarise Gaza after the destruction of Hamas. Then we also have to rebuild Gaza, and I hope to have our Arab friends help in that context," Netanyahu said, calling for a campaign to "deradicalize" the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli PM told Musk that he hoped to resume United States-mediated normalization talks with Saudi Arabia after Hamas's defeat and "expand the circle of peace beyond anything imaginable".

The war stalled progress toward a Saudi-Israel normalization deal, and in early November Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler denounced the conduct of Israeli forces fighting Hamas in Gaza, AFP reported. 

In September, Netanyahu urged Musk "to stop not only anti-Semitism, or rolling it back as best you can, but any collective hatred" on X. X Corp is currently suing nonprofit Media Matters on the grounds that it has driven away advertisers by portraying the site as rife with anti-Semitic content.

Musk has also threatened to file suit against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, over its claims that problematic and racist speech has soared on the site since he completed his $44-billion takeover.


(With AFP inputs)

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Published: 28 Nov 2023, 10:06 AM IST
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