Musk tours site of Hamas attack with Israeli PM
November 27, 2023 09:46 PM
Tech tycoon Elon Musk visited the site of a Hamas attack in southern Israel Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the two discussed artificial intelligence with defence chiefs, officials said.
Musk and Netanyahu held a brief interview on the billionaire's online platform X, formerly Twitter, following their tour of Kfar Aza, one of the kibbutzim -- communal farms -- in southern Israel attacked by the Palestinian militant group on October 7.
"We have to demilitarise Gaza after the destruction of Hamas," Netanyahu said, calling for a campaign to "deradicalise" the Palestinian territory.
"Then we also have to rebuild Gaza, and I hope to have our Arab friends help in that context."
Netanyahu told Musk he hoped to resume US-mediated normalisation talks with Saudi Arabia after Hamas's defeat and "expand the circle of peace beyond anything imaginable".
None of the prime minister's public statements addressed charges of rampant anti-Semitism on Musk's social media outlet.
Earlier in the day, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said Israel had reached an understanding in principle on the use of Starlink satellites, operated by Musk's company SpaceX, in Israel and the Gaza Strip "with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications".
Musk and Netanyahu also "held an extended meeting on the security aspects of artificial intelligence," a statement from the Israeli prime minister's office said.
"Senior security establishment officials in the fields of artificial intelligence and cyber participated in the meeting."
The American tycoon was also set to meet with President Isaac Herzog during his visit to Israel.
Herzog would address "the need to act to combat rising anti-Semitism online", the office of Israel's figurehead president said Sunday.
Musk has come under fire over what critics say is a proliferation of hate speech on X since his takeover of the social media site in October 2022.
He has also been accused by the White House of "abhorrent promotion" of anti-Semitism after endorsing a conspiracy theory seen as accusing Jews of trying to weaken white majorities.
Herzog's office said the meeting would be joined by "representatives of families of hostages held by Hamas, who will speak about the horrors of the Hamas terror attack on October 7, and of the ongoing pain and uncertainty for those held captive".
Israel bombarded the Gaza strip for weeks and launched a ground assault in response to the attacks, before a four-day ceasefire took effect on November 24.
In September, Netanyahu urged Musk "to stop not only anti-Semitism, or rolling it back as best you can, but any collective hatred" on X.
Musk, the world's richest person, said while his platform could not stop all hate speech before it was posted, he was "generally against attacking any group, no matter who it is".
X Corp is currently suing nonprofit Media Matters on the grounds that it has driven away advertisers by portraying the site as rife with anti-Semitic content.
Musk has also threatened to file suit against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group, over its claims that problematic and racist speech has soared on the site since he completed his $44-billion takeover.