Elon Musk, the world's wealthiest individual, is expected to visit Israel on Monday. During his visit, he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog and to tour the Gaza border area to observe firsthand the damages and horrors inflicted by Hamas.
Musk's hosts are expected to accord him honors usually reserved for high-level officials, despite a series of problematic - even scandalous - statements by the billionaire since the outbreak of the war on October 7.
Musk's social media platform X (formerly Twitter), which he owns, has become a breeding ground for the spread of disinformation, fake news, conspiracy theories, and hateful rhetoric about the war. According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitism on X skyrocketed by 919% following the war.
Not only the users are to blame: Musk himself, followed by over 164 million people, has disseminated false information, echoed false narratives, and even endorsed an antisemitic tweet accusing Jews of "pushing hatred against whites". We have collected his controversial statements since the start of the war.
November 16: Endorses antisemitic statement
Musk's most severe statement against the Jewish people came in response to a user who claimed that "Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them." Musk replied: "You have said the actual truth."
Later, Musk wrote that "The ADL unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel.
According to him, "This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat. It is not right and needs to stop."
Musk added that he is "deeply offended by ADL’s messaging and any other groups who push de facto anti-white racism or anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind. I’m sick of it. Stop now.”
October 28: Offers to connect Gaza to the Internet
After Gaza's internet connection was cut following the IDF's ground incursion, Musk declared that he would connect the UN and aid organizations to Starlink, his satellite internet service. Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi objected and warned Musk that Hamas would exploit the service, but the billionaire insisted: "We will take extraordinary measures to ensure the terminal is used only for humanitarian purposes."
The debate led to a conversation between Musk and the head of the Shin Bet, Ronen Bar. To date, Starlink terminals have not been activated in Gaza, but the initiative strained relations between Musk and the Communications Ministry and delayed the launch of Starlink service in Israel.
October 28: Shares misleading meme supporting Iran
At the height of the war, Musk shared a meme portraying Iran - the largest supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah - as a victim of American aggression. The meme showed a map of Iran surrounded by flags supposedly representing U.S. military bases. "Iran wants war - look how close they put their country to our military bases," the meme read.
Users on the platform pointed out to Musk that contrary to the image, the U.S. has no military bases in Turkmenistan, Afghanistan or Pakistan, and that the post is misleading. The billionaire claimed in response that the meme is "a joke," but added that "there's more than a grain of truth in it. We need to try to see things from the perspective of others."
October 9: Reacts to misleading meme about the war
On the third day of the war, Musk fueled conspiracy theorists by responding to a meme claiming that "Mainstream media has shown more war footage of Israel/Hamas in the past two days than we have seen of Ukraine in the past two years" and wrote "odd". This is a dubious claim that neither Musk nor the original poster of the post even tried to prove with any numerical data.
October 8: Directs to accounts spreading false information
A day after the Hamas terror attack around Gaza, Musk recommended X users follow the war through two accounts named War Monitor and OSINTdefender, which he described as "good". However, in practice, these accounts have been caught spreading false information in the past. Both published a false claim in May about an explosion near the White House, and the War Monitor account previously claimed that "the overwhelming majority of people in media and banks are Zionists". Unlike his usual practice, Musk deleted the original tweet - but millions had already read it.