“My entire life is pro-Semitic,” Elon Musk said in the initial minutes of his live chat this evening with Ben Shapiro on Twitter/X.
Musk joined Shapiro, the Jewish conservative pundit and social media figure, for a discussion on “X, anti-Semitism, and the future of free speech."
The live chat comes off the back of weeks of controversy surrounding Musk’s rhetoric on his social media platform X and accusations of antisemitism running unchecked on the site.
He referenced the Hebrew roots of his first name, claiming it is like “being called Bob” in Israel. Musk was also metioned that he went to a Hebrew preschool, and that his father took him to Israel when he was thirteen. Several times over the course of the discussion, Musk mentioned that he has visited Israel twice.
“I don’t know if I am genetically Jewish...but I am aspirationally Jewish,” he said.
The list of panelists did not include a representative from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish organisation currently embroiled in a spat with Musk after he called them 'one of the biggest spreaders of antisemitism' on Twitter.
Shapiro said Musk has been “at war with the ADL”, a group that he condemned for curbing free speech on the platform and threatened to sue for 'costing him billions'.
The conversation seemed to be an elaborate soapbox for Musk to defend himself as “pro-Semitic” in light of recent accusations to the contrary. “I’ve been to Masada twice,” he said. “I don’t know if many people can say that.”
The conversation, released on Shapiro’s podcast “The Daily Wire” and co-hosted by Orthodox scholar and podcaster Rabbi Ari Lamm, featured the top brass of conservative American Jewry, with an assemblage of Jewish male participants including attorney and political commentator Alan Dershowitz; former Israeli politician and Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky; Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chair of the European Jewish Association; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation; Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author and onetime Republican congressional candidate; Rabbi Manis Friedman, a Chabad rabbi and popular YouTuber; former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; and Asher Gold, an Israel-based publicist.