A few weeks after triggering a storm by relaying conspiratorial and anti-Semitic remarks about X, American billionaire Elon Musk went to Auschwitz on Monday January 22. Mr. Musk laid a wreath and participated in a memorial service during a private tour of the former Nazi extermination camp alongside the president of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin.

“It was incredibly moving, deeply sad and tragic that human beings could do this to other human beings… It touches your heart even more when you see it in person,” the billionaire said at a conference by EJA in the neighboring city of Krakow in southern Poland.

Mr. Musk admitted to being “naive” about the extent of anti-Semitism, arguing that because most of his friends are Jewish, he had little contact with it in his life. “I’m Jewish by association, I aspire to be Jewish,” he said in a conversation with “The Daily Wire” podcast conservative columnist Ben Shapiro. Elon Musk has defended the X platform as a place for free speech, saying that: “The purpose of they want to, even if it’s controversial, as long as it doesn’t break the law. »

Not an “apology tour”

In November, the White House accused Mr. Musk of “abject promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred” when he called a post on against white people.” Mr. Musk’s statement had pushed many major advertisers to withdraw from the platform due to hateful tendencies, particularly anti-Semitic ones.

The billionaire later apologized for what he called “the worst, stupidest post I’ve ever made.” He said his remark had been misinterpreted and he sought to clarify it in subsequent messages.

After the controversy, the SpaceX founder visited Israel, while stating that the trip had been planned earlier and was not an “apology tour.” Israeli President Isaac Herzog then told him that he had “a huge role to play” in the fight against anti-Semitism.

The owner of Tesla and SpaceX is accused of allowing hate speech to proliferate on X, since he bought this platform for $44 billion in October 2022. “The external audits we have carried out show that he “There is less anti-Semitism on X than on all other social networks,” Musk said during a roundtable.

Complaint against the Anti-Defamation League

During a live discussion broadcast on X in September, EJA President Rabbi Menachem Margolin invited Mr. Musk to visit the Auschwitz site. Mr Musk agreed that it could be “useful” as an “example to others”. During the discussion, Mr. Musk explained that he aspired to be Jewish and said he had attended a Hebrew preschool. “It’s absurd to be accused of something when all the evidence points in the other direction and my life story is actually prosemite,” he added at the time.

Mr. Musk threatened to file a complaint against the Anti-Defamation League, an association fighting anti-Semitism which denounces a notable increase in disinformation and homophobic and racist insults on X, since the rules moderation changed there with the arrival of Mr. Musk. And X is suing Media Matters, accusing the nonprofit of driving away advertisers by claiming the platform is saturated with anti-Semitic content.