Elon Musk has threatened to sue a Jewish anti-racism body, claiming it caused him to lose billions of dollars by making false accusations of antisemitism.
The tech entrepreneur launched a tirade against the Anti-Defamation League on Monday after the hashtag #BanTheADL began trending.
Musk posted on Twitter, that since he bought the company, the ADL had been trying to “kill” it.
He added: “Our US advertising revenue is still down 60 per cent, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!”
In a string of posts, he continued: “To clear our platform’s name on the matter of anti-Semitism, it looks like we have no choice but to file a defamation lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League … Oh the irony!
He went on to say: “I’m pro-free speech, but against antisemitism of any kind…
"Advertisers avoid controversy, so all that is needed for ADL to crush our US and European ad revenue is to make unfounded accusations…Based on what we've heard from advertisers, ADL seems to be responsible for most of our revenue loss.”
The Jewish anti-hate group could potentially be responsible for wiping off “half the value of the company”, he alleged. He put that figure at $22 billion (£17.5bn).
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, hit back against Musk, accusing him of engaging with a "highly toxic, antisemitic campaign on his platform”, behaviour he branded “profoundly disturbing”.
He said: “The real issue is neither ADL nor the threat of a frivolous lawsuit. This urgent matter is the safety of the Jewish people in the face of increasing, intensifying antisemitism.
“This behaviour is not just alarming nor reckless. It is flat-out dangerous and deeply irresponsible. We need responsible leaders to lead, to stop inflaming hatred and to step back from the brink before it's too late.”
Musk’s anti-ADL posturing attracted support from others posting on Twitter, however.
Sociologist David Miller, who was sacked by the University of Bristol after claiming the campus Jewish society was acting as “pawns” of the Israeli state, said: “It's worth remembering the ADL is only one element of a global network of Zionist influence ops across Europe and North America.”