Elon Musk: Not Jewish (but has ties to Israel) and antisemitism claims

Netanyahu said Musk referred to Israel as a “technological power” and that he appreciates “what we are doing here.”
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Award 2020 on December 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

Elon Musk is not Jewish (he attended Anglican day school in South Africa)– in fact he’s not even particularly religious, but he does have ties to Israel and antisemitism.

Visited Israel in 2018

In a now deleted Instagram post, Musk visited Masada in Israel captioning his photo “live free or die.” Musk was in Israel on a spring break trip with his children.

Elon Musk at Masada.

Masada is an ancient fortification on top of a mountain in southern Israel and is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Masada was surrounded by Roman troops from 73 to 74 CE, at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War, with the siege ending in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels who were hiding there.

Aerial view of Masada from the north. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It appears Musk also had time to party, posting (in another deleted post) on Instagram a video of him partying at the Jerusalem cocktail bar Gatsby.

Elon Musk in Jerusalem.

The serial entrepreneur also met with then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu said Musk referred to Israel as a “technological power” and that he appreciates “what we are doing here.”

According to media reports:

“Netanyahu added that Musk referred to the Negev desert as ‘the energy future of the State of Israel’, with the region capable of meeting all of the nation’s energy needs. ‘You could spread solar systems here that would give you more energy than you need or could need. Clean energy,’ Netanyahu said, citing Musk. ‘If you only want it.’”

Musk previously visited Israel in 2016 where he visited the Jerusalem offices of automotive chipmaker Mobileye. That visit was kept secret.

Antisemitism

In November of 2021 a London theater apologized after being accused of antisemitism for putting on a play that featured an Elon Musk-like character with a typically Jewish name.

The play featured a character called “Hershel Fink” who believed that he could “save the world building electric cars and make millions of dollars in the process.” The character relied heavily on Jewish tropes and stereotypes prompting multiple accusations of antisemitism.

The theater called the naming of the character a “mistake” and blamed “unconscious bias” in a statement.

Elon Musk himself was accused of antisemitism after a tweet comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Hitler.

Jewish groups called out Musk for the now-deleted tweet that supported protests in Canada against vaccine mandates.

Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt blasted the tweet, calling comparisons to Hitler “inappropriate and offensive.”

The American Jewish Committee said Musk “must apologize immediately,” adding that comparing Trudeau to a “genocidal dictator who murdered millions is not an appropriate way to criticize policies.”