Sep 14, 2023 - World

Netanyahu to meet with Musk amid antisemitism controversy

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Elon Musk. Photos: Sean Gallup and Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Elon Musk in San Francisco, the Israeli leader's office said in a statement Thursday.

Why it matters: The meeting, scheduled for Monday, comes as Musk continues to take aim at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a leading Jewish organization in the U.S., on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Catch up quick: Musk earlier this month threatened to sue the ADL, accusing the nonprofit without evidence of "trying to kill" X after the group reported a spike in hate speech on the platform following the reinstatement of banned accounts.

  • Musk has since issued a slew of posts critical of the ADL and engaged with those who have expressed antisemitic views.

Details: Netanyahu will meet with Musk and other tech leaders on Monday to discuss artificial intelligence, his office said.

  • Musk also said on X that the meeting will be about AI.

Flashback: Netanyahu spoke to Musk in June, when the billionaire was embroiled in another controversy around his comments against Jewish billionaire George Soros.

  • The Israeli Prime Minister's Office said at the time the call focused on artificial intelligence.

What they're saying: "Nothing about [the upcoming] meeting is particularly surprising given that Israel's technology sector is one of the most innovative and dynamic in the world," an ADL spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday, per Reuters.

  • "Israel and Jews are frequently targets of hateful anti-Zionist, and antisemitic invectives on Twitter/X and we hope they will have a productive meeting and talk about ways to combat antisemitism and anti-Zionist hate speech on the platform," the spokesperson added.

What to watch: The Israeli Prime Minister's Office also officially confirmed for the first time that Netanyahu will meet President Biden next week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

  • The White House still hasn't confirmed the meeting.
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