Benjamin Netanyahu set to meet Elon Musk amid ADL antisemitism row

The Israeli prime minister is expected to see the Twitter boss during a visit to the US next week


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on August 27, 2023. (Photo by Menahem KAHANA / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with Twitter boss Elon Musk after the platform was accused of amplifying antisemitism.

The Israeli prime minister is set to meet Musk next week as part of a wider visit to Silicon Valley, according to Hebrew media.

Sources in Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister plans “to hold a series of meetings with leading figures in the artificial intelligence world.” He is also visiting New York to speak at the United Nations General Assembly.

Netanyahu has met with Musk several times in recent years and consistently praised him. In March 2018, Netanyahu praised the Twitter boss as a “genius” and “a man of vision” during a conference in Israel. 

He also claimed Musk was “perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time.”

The meeting comes as the Twitter owner is embroiled in a row with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Earlier this month, Musk said he was considering suing the ADL, arguing that its accusations of antisemitism have caused Twitter to lose revenue.

According to the ADL and the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), problematic and racist speech has sharply risen on the social media platform since Musk completed his $44 billion takeover in October last year.

Since then, Musk has fired thousands of the platform's employees, cut content moderation and reinstated former president Donald Trump's account.

Last week, Twitter published a statement committing the site to combating antisemitism. The blog post on September 8 read: “Our teams at X [Twitter] constantly listen to feedback from users and maintain continuous dialogue with outside organisations to ensure our policies and enforcement balance free expression with platform safety. 

“We firmly believe these two values can coexist, and we work tirelessly to achieve that goal.

“As part of this, we are committed to combating hatred, prejudice, and intolerance – particularly when they are directed at marginalised and persecuted groups. 

“That means taking proportionate action on content that violates our rules. And today we wanted to share the real progress we’re making in combating antisemitism on X [Twitter].”

The ADL praised Twitter for the post but stressed their "actions will speak louder than words." They posted: “We appreciate @X’s [Twitter's] new blog post outlining its stated approach to combating antisemitism and other forms of hate on the platform. The words are good but, ultimately, actions speak louder than words. 

"ADL will continue our work of monitoring both hateful actors on the platform and X's [Twitter's] enforcement of its own policies, just as we do with other major social media platforms.

"We will credit them if we see that they get it right and we will reserve the right to hold them accountable if they get it wrong.

"As we have said repeatedly, we remain committed to doing what we can to help X [Twitter] be a healthier and safer platform for all of its users.”

Musk also threatened to sue the CCDH, accusing it of a smear campaign that damaged the social network's relationship with advertisers.

The ADL has criticised and clashed with Musk and Twitter several times in recent months. Musk clashed with the ADL in May after it accused him of echoing antisemitic tropes in his attack on Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Meanwhile, the Auschwitz Memorial criticised the social media platform for failing to remove an antisemitic post on the site which called for Jews to 'burn in hell'.

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