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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, Sunday, July 30, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP)

Netanyahu Visits Elon Musk, Asks Him Fight Antisemitism on X

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is encouraging billionaire businessman Elon Musk to push back against antisemitism on his social media platform X.

Netanyahu made a stop in the San Francisco Bay Area of California on Monday before going on to New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly where he will meet with President Joe Biden and other world leaders. 

He sat down for a one-on-one discussion with Musk, CEO of the social media platform X', formerly known as Twitter. The freestyle conversation, which included jokes from both men, soon turned to free speech and antisemitism.

Musk has clashed with the Anti-Defamation League over its claims that antisemitic content has increased – and moderation of antisemitic posts has decreased – since he took over the platform.

The league's director, Jonathan Greenblatt, said Musk had "amplified" the messages of neo-Nazis and white supremacists who want to ban the ADL by engaging with them recently on X.

slider img 2In a Sept. 4 post, Musk claimed that the league was "trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic." In other posts, he said the league was responsible for a 60% drop in revenue at X.

The group met this month with X's chief executive, Linda Yaccarino. Both Musk and Yaccarino have recently posted messages saying they oppose antisemitism.

Netanyahu noted that Musk has spoken against antisemitism and asked him to do more on the site.

"I hope you find within the confines of the First Amendment the ability to not only stop antisemitism or roll it back as best you can but any collective hatred of a people that antisemitism represents," he said. 

"Obviously I'm against antisemitism," Musk replied. "I'm anti-anything that promotes hate and conflict."

Musk said that with 100 million to 200 million posts on X in a day, "Some of those are gonna be bad." He reiterated the platform's policy to not promote or amplify hate speech. He indicated that he was trying to protect free speech, but alluded to the possibility of charging users to use the site as one way to help quell negative posts. 

"Free speech does mean at times someone is saying something you don't like. That doesn't mean negativity should be pushed on people. Our overarching goal is to maximize unregretted user time. We can't police {antisemitism} ahead of time. We're not going to promote hate speech," Musk said, according to The Jerusalem Post

Under Musk, the new "X" ended Twitter's previous censorship campaigns on all types of issues, and changed its rules so that objectionable posts are not usually removed. Instead, their visibility is limited so people have to seek them out if they want to see them. Musk calls this "freedom of speech, not freedom of reach."

Noting the protests and citing pushback he'd received for hosting the prime minister, Musk on Monday asked Netanyahu to speak about his plan to overhaul Israel's judicial system. 

Netanyahu said he was strengthening the country's democracy by putting checks and balances on the Supreme Court, explaining that Israel has the most activist judiciary in the world, The Jerusalem Post reported. 

Netanyahu also said he will focus on moving forward with the plan, as soon as he returns to Israel. The best scenario, he said, would be to find a consensus plan with the opposition, but if no such option was available, he indicated that he would turn to the public for a minor correction on how judges are elected.

The two also discussed the possibilities and risks of artificial intelligence and the need to regulate its development.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of