The White House on Friday denounced Elon Musk for boosting an anti-Jewish conspiracy theory on his social media platform X, calling the actions of Mr. Musk, the world’s richest person, an “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.”
Mr. Musk endorsed a post on X, formerly Twitter, accusing Jewish people who are facing antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war of pushing the “exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them” and supporting the immigration of “hordes of minorities.”
“You have said the actual truth,” Mr. Musk replied to the post.
Jewish groups have compared the statement in the original post to a belief known as replacement theory, an antisemitic conspiracy theory that nonwhite immigrants, organized by Jews, intend to replace the white race. That idea fueled Robert Bowers, who raged against Jewish people online before killing 11 worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, said in a statement.
Mr. Bates said President Biden would continue to condemn antisemitism, which has been on the rise since the Oct. 7 attack in which Hamas fighters killed about 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped more than 200. Israel has retaliated with a punishing air campaign and ground invasion into Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
“We condemn this abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms, which runs against our core values as Americans,” Mr. Bates said. “We all have a responsibility to bring people together against hate, and an obligation to speak out against anyone who attacks the dignity of their fellow Americans and compromises the safety of our communities.”
X did not respond to requests for comment.
IBM, a major advertiser on X, suspended its advertisement spending after learning the company’s ads were showing up next to white nationalist and Nazi content. Subsequently Mr. Musk endorsed a post on a book about IBM’s involvement in the Holocaust.
Mr. Musk has faced increasing criticism that he has tolerated and even encouraged antisemitic abuse on his social media platform. He has attacked George Soros, the financier who is a frequent target of antisemitic abuse, and threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League, a rights group that has highlighted the rise in antisemitism on X.
Mr. Musk also has a history of feuds with President Biden, though he said he had voted for Mr. Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
He criticized the Biden administration for not inviting his company Tesla to a White House event in August 2021 on the future of electric cars, later speculating that the exclusion was due to the lack of unionization among workers at its factories.
The following month, Mr. Musk, whose public political views have shifted rightward over the years, went on Twitter to mock Mr. Biden for “sleeping,” echoing an insult for the president popularized by Donald Trump.
Last year, Mr. Biden took a shot at Mr. Musk and his criticism of the U.S. economy during a news conference. “Lots of luck on his trip to the moon,” the president said, poking fun at Mr. Musk’s space endeavors.
Still, the two sides have found common ground on which to work together. Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced that Tesla would allow all electric vehicles — not just its own models — to use 7,500 Tesla charging stations across the United States by the end of 2024.
“In building our EV charging network, we have to ensure that as many chargers work for as many drivers as possible,” Mr. Biden tweeted in February. “To that end, @elonmusk will open a big part of @Tesla’s network up to all drivers.”
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