Monday, November 27, 2023

Elon Musk's Antisemtism Conundrum

Musk and Netanyahu at the site of the massacre (JTA)
On the scale of what is important in the world right now, Elon Musk would not seem to rate very high on the Totem Pole of world events. But with the rise in antsemitism, it is worth examining whether this influential multi billionaire actually is one. 

There are two types of prejudice one may have about the Jewish people. One is rather harmless and at times even a bit amusing. It is the type of prejudice that late comedian, Jackie Mason made a career out of: The common stereotypes that  may or may not be true but as noted are harmless. 

Those who do not know us well, might actually believe all of those stereotypes. And in many cases were to be found laughing their heads off (along with Jewish attendees) at one of Mason's concerts. But that does not means they hate us. 

The other type of prejudice is based on hate. The stereotypes they use are anything but harmless. Like the rhetoric that Hitler used against us during the Holocaust. Which is still in use among White Supremacists and the like.

Where does Musk fit in? And does his thinking on the subject reflect the broad view of us by he American people? 

These are important questions as they may help explain why there has been such an increase in antisemitism these days.  

Clearly the increase in anti Israel protests are result Israel's war with Hamas. Those protests are populated by Palestinians that support Hamas as well as people that genuinely (but mistakenly) believe that Israel is committing genocide against civilians in Gaza. I suspect, however, that a lot of them are closet antisemites that have always hated us and have now been given 'permission' to hate us publicly 

What Musk originally did on X was legitimize that kind of thinking. He 'liked' and replied by saying, "You have spoken the actual truth' to a tweet that said Jewish people have been pushing 'dialectical hatred' against whites.

At first glance it would appear that Musk is of the latter approach. Hard to call accusations of Jewish  'dialectical hatred' of whites harmless.

At the same time, there is this - as reported by JTA: 

Elon Musk...visited Israel on Monday and toured the devastation at a kibbutz ravaged by Hamas on Oct. 7 alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...

 Afterward, Musk and Netanyahu spoke live on X, formerly known as Twitter, about Musk’s reaction to seeing Kfar Aza and a video that Israel compiled showing footage from the day of the massacre.

Musk said the experience was “jarring” and that he was struck by what appeared to be “joy” on the part of the terrorists in the video.

“The rebuttal is often made that well, you know, Israel has killed civilians also in Gaza,” he said. “But there’s an important difference here, which is that Israel tries to avoid killing civilians, doing everything it can to avoid killing civilians. And, you know, there’s not sort of joy expressed.”

This  followed  ADL's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt praising Musk for a tweet promising to donate revenue associated with the war to hospitals in Israel and the Red Crescent - after at first after asking advertisers to boycott X  because of his original tweet.

So which is it? Is he or isn't he an antisemite?

I don't think he is where it counts. That was made plainly evident by his visit to Israel at a time of war, his reaction to the carnage, and by his earlier donation to Israeli hospitals

I do however think that his original tweet was a gut reaction. That tends to reflect an actual belief. Which as noted is far from harmless.

What this means is that all the antisemites of the world will use that as proof of their own views espousing the same 'truth'  about us. And considering the massive increase in antisemitism exposed by all these protests, that is not a good thing. 

I'm happy he went to Israel and said the things he said. I'm happy he donated money to Israel hospitals and the Red Crescent. But if he really wants to do 'Teshuva' he needs to do more. And as CEO of X and with his kind of money, he can do a lot.

Just sayin...