ADL chief defends praise of Musk following X owner’s apparent embrace of antisemitic conspiracy theory

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt pushed back against criticism of his recent praise of Elon Musk just days after the tech billionaire appeared to embrace an antisemitic conspiracy theory on his platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Musk came under fire last week after appearing to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy theory that suggested antisemitism was carried out by minorities and Jewish people were to blame. This claim is in line with false conspiracy theories arguing that Jewish people want to flood the country with minorities.

“Okay. Jewish [communities] have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them,” the post read.

“I’m deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest s‑‑‑ now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much,” the user continued, adding, “You want truth said to your face, there it is.”

Musk responded to the post, writing, “You have said the actual truth.”

In a follow-up post, Musk also went after the ADL, claiming the group “unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel.”

Pressed over the exchange in an interview with Mediaite, Greenblatt said, “We’re living in perilous times. And that’s why it was so deeply problematic and dangerous when the owner of X validated an awful antisemitic theory to his 160 million followers or so.”

Greenblatt noted to Mediate he initially called out Musk’s post “right away.”

A day after Musk posted, the ADL chief posted a screenshot of the exchange and wrote, “At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories.”

Two days after Musk posted the controversial message, he announced euphemisms including “decolonization” and “from the river to the sea” would be prohibited from X, saying they “imply genocide.”

Greenblatt later praised Musk’s announcement, calling it “an important and welcome move” and that he “appreciates this leadership in fighting hate.”

“It’s important that he made a good policy decision and announced that he was no longer going to tolerate language … genocidal language that call to eradicate the state of Israel and annihilate the 7 million people who live there,” Greenblatt told Mediaite.

“But we will call out when they get it wrong. And we will credit them when they get it right,” Greenblatt continued.

The ADL chief’s apparent praise for the tech giant sparked backlash from many, including New Yorker writer Isaac Chotiner, who wrote on X last week, “The most prominent organization fighting anti-Semitism in America will commend your ‘leadership in fighting hate’ 24 hours after you endorse vile neo-Nazi anti-Semitism…if you take a strong stand against critics of Israel.”

When Chotiner’s post was read during the interview with Mediate, Greenblatt responded, “Totally baseless and wrong.”

“So again, Isaac Chotiner does not comment on the fact that we criticized him 24 hours before, we didn’t give him a free pass,” Greenblatt continued.

“So I don’t think one negates the other. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression,” the ADL chief noted. “I’m not saying ‘Oh, he’s off the hook because he said this on Friday,’ or ‘Oh, he’ll always be bad because he said this on Wednesday.'”

A number of corporations, including Disney and Apple, pulled their advertisements from the platform as a result of the post.

Musk has pushed back against claims he is antisemitic, saying “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Musk has previously been accused of using antisemitic rhetoric and has maintained a tense relationship with the ADL, which is focused on fighting hate and antisemitism.

In May, the ADL published a report documenting the rise in antisemitic incidents after he took over the company.

Sarah Fortinsky contributed.

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