The Israeli government has condemned Musk’s attack on Soros as antisemitic.

The Israeli government has condemned Musk's attack on Soros as antisemitic.

The Israeli government has condemned Musk’s attack on Soros as antisemitic. Hours after an Israeli government-affiliated Twitter account criticized Elon Musk’s statements as antisemitic, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO laughed it off and defended his comments accusing Holocaust survivor and liberal donor George Soros of wanting to damage human civilization.

In an interview broadcast on CNBC on Tuesday night, the inventor of Tesla and SpaceX remarked, “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”

In a tweet sent the night before, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk compared Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros to a Marvel supervillain, fueling long-standing conspiracy beliefs that Soros, 92, a Hungarian-American Jew, uses his wealth to harm civilization.

Read more: Mr. ChatGPT Congress hears OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on AI threats.

I compared him to Magneto, as I mentioned. Musk told CNBC’s David Faber, “You know, calm down, people,” to which Faber responded with a hearty chuckle.

“You said he wants to erode the very fabric of civilization, and Soros hates humanity,” Faber remarked, echoing Musk’s subsequent comments.

“Yeah,” Musk agreed. That’s probably the case. That’s how I feel, anyway.

Jewish community leaders had spent most of the day dealing with the fallout from Musk’s comments.

The Israeli foreign ministry reported that antisemitic conspiracy theories and the hashtag “The Jews” were trending on the platform in the afternoon “following a tweet reeking anti-Semitism by none other than the owner and CEO of the social network, Elon Musk.”

American Jewish Committee CEO Ted Deutch compared Musk’s comments to the notoriously faked Protocols of the Elders of Zion, falsely accusing Jews of plotting to destroy global civilization.

Anti-Defamation League Chief Jonathan Greenblatt wrote, “It will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.” Musk eventually said that the group should no longer use the word “Anti” in its title.

Faber met with Musk later that day at a Tesla factory in Austin and demanded an explanation for his provocative comments.

People that buy Teslas and Twitter advertising might disagree with you, so why broadcast it? Just say, “Hey, I think this” is what you should do. You can share it with me, discuss it with us, or share it with your close friends, but why broadcast it so widely?

Freedom of expression. Musk’s retort, “I’m allowed to say what I want,” is one he’s used frequently since buying Twitter last year and working to remove prohibitions on hate speech. (Musk didn’t reveal that days previously, on the eve of an election in Turkey, Twitter agreed to block some users critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.)

The CNBC host continued to press Musk. It puts you in the middle of a partisan division in the country, and Faber wants to know why you do it. It makes you a target for naysayers. Is it to your liking? People today say he’s an antisemite, and you know that’s not true. You’re not.

After declaring, “No, definitely, I’m like a pro-semite if anything,” Musk shifted gears. To paraphrase, “We don’t want to make this a George Soros interview.”

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