America tech mogul Elon Musk touched down in Israel on Monday morning, hoping to conduct the kind of visit that would rehabilitate his somewhat tarnished reputation with Jewish communities around the world, especially after a series of antisemitic statements both from companies he owns and himself.
This is also a response to tech and entertainment giants such as Apple, IBM and Walt Disney, who have pulled their ads from the X platform, formerly known as Twitter.
This visit, however, presents a certain contradiction. While Musk is meeting Prime Minister Netanyahu and visited some of the ravaged communities following the October 7 massacre, his X platform is still allowing Hezbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah, to tweet about the destruction of Israel to his heart's content.
In addition, the X account belonging to the Houthis is also still active, despite their repeated missile launches toward southern Israel and the fact that both Israel and the U.S. see them as a foreign terrorist organization. In both cases of Nasrallah and the Houthis, their designation as an FTO should prohibit them from having an active account at all.
Michael Freund, 55, a Ra'anana resident and an public advocate for Israel, has become somewhat of a "hostile account" hunter, and has asked X to remove Hezbollah's account, saying that keeping it violates the social network's own rules and regulations.
As he found out about the Hezbollah account, he also ran in to Nasrallah's personal account in English, blue checkmark and all. This means X has received money from the head of a terror organization and has verified his identity, none of which seems to have raised a red flag for Musk.
"As strange as it sounds," Freund said, "X has a very clear policy when it comes to terror organizations and their cohorts, so I've filed an official request and haven't heard back, all this while Nasrallah uses the platform to openly call for the destruction of the state of Israel."
Freund says it took a few days to get Hezbollah's X account suspended, and at the end, the network officially let him know that they'd removed the account after he appealed. "It's ridiculous that they were quick to shut down Hezbollah's account but are dragging their feet on the official account of the group's leader. They're taking way longer and seem to just ignore it. Their policy doesn't make a lot of sense. Sometimes they'll block or remove pictures with a swastika or the Israeli flag. Sometimes they'll say it's not against their policy, other times they'll say it is."
Freund thinks that now, especially with Musk visiting Israel, you'd expect his company to step up and take more responsibility for what goes on across its network. "I hope he's in Israel to learn more about what went down on October 7. He needs to realize that taking Hassan Nasrallah's account off the network is a must. Having him on the platform isn't just bad for the network itself - it's harmful to Jews, Israel, and the whole Western world. Nasrallah's got not just Jewish blood on his hands, but American blood too.," he said.
As noted before, Freund has taken on an additional role since October 7th, unofficial as it may be: tackling the accounts of those who oppose Israel. "I've got five boys, all currently in the military, three in Gaza and one at the northern border. This is my contribution to the fight. Today, there's a war over public opinion on social media, and we've got to use every tool at our disposal to combat our adversaries," he explains.
"Social networks are one of the most powerful platforms for this. I encourage more folks to take action like I have," added Freund. "There's a shortage of Jews and pro-Zionists on social media, making our mission all the more critical. There's a ton of false info out there, and we have a responsibility to step in and spread the truth as much as we can."