Updated Sep 18, 2023, 1:30pm EDT
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Netanyahu tells Musk to ‘find a balance’ in fighting antisemitism on X

Elon Musk (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes / REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Pool

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The News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Elon Musk on Monday that he should “find a balance” in fighting antisemitism and protecting free speech on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I know you’re committed” to stamping out antisemitism, Netanyahu told Musk during a sit-down discussion between the two in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I hope you succeed in it; it’s not an easy task, but I encourage you and urge you to find a balance. It’s a tough one.”

The meeting came days after Musk threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League after the Jewish civil rights group said Musk was allowing antisemitism to flourish on X, citing research that showed instances of hate speech rose on the platform after Musk took over. Musk alleged that the group’s claims led to a drop in ad revenue.

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Musk and Netanyahu sat down to discuss artificial intelligence, but the conversation turned to focus on larger global security issues, hate speech, and Netanyahu’s controversial judicial overhaul plan in Israel.

“Obviously, I’m against antisemitism. I’m against anti-, really, anything that promotes hate and conflict,” Musk told Netanyahu.

He later said that X is not promoting hate speech, “because we think, probably, that’s not what people want to hear.”

The Washington Post reported that the live-streamed meeting with Netanyahu was part of an attempt by Musk’s Jewish friends and X executives to stave off the ADL controversy.