One hundred prominent Jewish leaders, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and affiliations, have joined forces to decry the surge in antisemitic discourse on X, formerly Twitter, and to call attention to the role of its owner, Elon Musk.
Under the campaign titled “X Out Hate,” they wrote that “We are a group of rabbis, leaders of Jewish organizations, artists, activists, and academics,” the letter stated. “We have diverse ideologies and beliefs, but we have come together to address the danger Elon Musk and X represent to Jews and others.”
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Antisemitism has ‘spread like wildfire’
“We have watched in horror as a new stage in antisemitic discourse has spread like wildfire on one of America’s largest social media networks,” they added.
Over the past several years, these leaders claimed to have watched with increasing alarm as antisemitic discourse has proliferated on X, and they attribute this disturbing trend to Elon Musk’s ownership and influence over the platform.“All of this has been facilitated and enabled by its owner: Elon Musk,” they stressed.
The list of leaders is varied, and includes rabbis from all religious streams, including leaders who aren’t affiliated to any stream. Though, a majority of the those who have signed are on the liberal side of the political map, but there are a number who are more conservative.
Among the grievances voiced by the coalition was a number of issues, such as escalation of antisemitic discourse. The group contends that since Elon Musk’s takeover of X, the platform has become a breeding ground for dangerous antisemitic rhetoric.
“It has made fringe figures mainstream, spread conspiracy theories that endanger Jews, reinstated neo-Nazis and other antisemites, and destroyed the content moderation that once kept things like Holocaust denial and hate speech minimized,” they said.
In addition, they claimed there have been content moderation failures: The platform, once known for its content moderation efforts, was accused of failing to effectively combat hate speech, Holocaust denial, and other forms of bigotry, thereby allowing these dangerous ideas to flourish.
“Just as bad, Musk has himself engaged in antisemitism and promoted other antisemites to his more than 155 million followers,” the leaders said.
The coalition cited numerous instances in which Musk himself has engaged in antisemitic behavior and promoted other individuals with antisemitic beliefs to his massive following. “We are alarmed by his targeting of the ADL: not because of our views of the organization… but because of the way he has used the organization as a very clear stand-in for an antisemitic representation of Jewish power.”
They also gave specific examples, such as Musk’s participation in the #BanTheADL campaign, which was started by neo-Nazi figures, as well as his propagation of false claims about Jewish college students supporting censorship.“Spreading overt antisemitism, such as the false idea that ‘65% of Jewish college students support censorship,’ is dangerous and deeply troubling,” the coalition highlighted.
“The result: antisemitic discourse has doubled on X. And since the measurements were taken before Musk’s recent outbursts, it’s likely that number has continued to rise.”
In a collective statement, the leaders declared that X has now become one of the largest threats to Jewish communities in years, emphasizing the well-documented link between hate speech and radicalization leading to violence.
“We are deeply disappointed in the failure of media organizations and others in telling this story,” they said.They expressed deep disappointment in the media organizations for not adequately covering the dangers posed by Musk and his platform, asserting that his history of antisemitism and the grave risks it presents have been whitewashed or ignored.
They suggested that “often, his claims about the ADL and other conspiracy theories are taken at face value.”In a call to action, the coalition urged all companies and governmental organizations engaged in business with Musk to sever their ties with his various enterprises.
They concluded that “Musk has shown a refusal to back down from the danger he poses to Jews and other minorities and vulnerable communities.”