Last week, a self-described Jewish conservative named Charles Weber taken at, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to address “cowards who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet and post “Hitler was right.” » Weber challenged these trolls to “tell us to our faces.” An X user picked it up.
“Okay,” the user replied. Jewish communities “have pushed the exact type of dialectical hatred against white people that they claim they want people to stop using against them.” Echoing the Great Replacement Conspiracy theory, which holds that Jews are plotting to undermine white political power by importing black and brown immigrants, he accused Jews of flooding America with “hordes of minorities.” Therefore, he said, he was “deeply disinterested” in Jewish panic over rising anti-Semitism.
Then Elon Musk, owner of »
Musk’s comments caused a firestorm and led to a major advertising exodus from He compared liberal Jewish billionaire George Soros to X-Men supervillain Magneto – a Jew who began to hate humanity during the Holocaust – and later accused Soros of organization to seek “nothing less than the destruction of Western civilization.” Musk tweeted a far-right Pepe the Frog meme and welcomed rapper Kanye West back to Twitter after West, who now goes by Ye, threatened to carry out a “death scam against the Jewish people “. For several months, he has led a crusade against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization to which he blames the 60 percent drop in Twitter advertising revenue. Last week, an investigation by the progressive watchdog group Media Matters for America found that X placed ads for major companies next to white nationalist and neo-Nazi content. (In response, Musk threatened to file a lawsuit over “thermonuclear,” but as of this writing, he does not appear to have filed one.)
So I was not shocked by Musk’s comments. I was amazed, however, at how easily, in the days following his anti-Semitic outburst, Musk managed to win the praise of a few Jewish leaders simply by promising to censor common pro-Palestinian language. This sordid episode is a reminder of the moral rot that results from the conflation between the State of Israel and the Jewish people, a rot that we see on both sides of the fierce struggle for Israel’s future.
Since October 7, Jews around the world have faced brutal anti-Semitism sparked by hatred of Israel. I have long maintained that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are not the same thing; Leftists who want to see a binational state in Israel and Palestine with equal rights for all may be naive, but they are not genocidal. However, the explosion of anti-Jewish rhetoric and violence sparked by the war in Gaza – the killing of a Jewish woman in France, the shootings at Jewish day schools in Montreal, the killing of a Jewish protester near Los Angeles – forced me to consider how often anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are closely linked. Dislike of the Jewish state easily turns into dislike of Jews.
On the right, however, there is a mirror image of this slippage, with some defenders of the Jewish state willing to make excuses for anti-Semites as long as they defend Israel. Apocalyptic Christian Zionist pastor John Hagee, for example, declared that Adolf Hitler was sent by God to drive out the Jews in Israel, “the only home God ever intended for the Jews”, and claimed that the Antichrist would be “partly Jewish, just like Adolf Hitler, just like Karl Marx. (He later apologized for his insensitivity while stating, “I cannot deny the tenets of my faith.”) Despite his inflammatory remarks against Jews, Hagee was invited to speak at the March for Israel in Washington last week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has regularly embraced nationalist leaders who deploy anti-Semitic tropes, foremost among them Donald Trump.
Musk appears to have learned the lesson that ardent Zionism can serve as an alibi for anti-Semitism. As advertisers shunned This move makes a mockery of the apparent free speech absolutism that was the excuse Musk used to allow so much anti-Semitism on X in the first place. That did nothing to curb the avowed white nationalists on the site, many of whom had celebrated Musk’s message about the “real truth.” But it was enough to earn him applause from some Jewish and Israeli spokespeople. “This is an important and welcome decision from @elonmusk,” tweeted ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt. “I appreciate this leadership in the fight against hate.” (An ADL spokesperson told me that Greenblatt’s praise was “narrowly focused on a specific policy decision” and that the group had not rescinded its other criticisms of Musk.) Amichai Chikli , Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, thanked Musk for “standing on the ground.” right side of history.
The erratic owner of It is difficult to determine who is behaving more cynically: Musk or the Jewish leaders who kosher it.