The wealthiest man in the world is spreading the same antisemitic conspiracy theory a mass shooter in 2018 referenced to justify the slaughter of 11 worshippers at a Pennsylvania synagogue.
On Wednesday, Elon Musk endorsed a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, accusing Jewish communities of “pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The post went on to claim that “Western Jewish populations” support “hordes of minorities…flooding their country.”
Musk latched the argument to his long-running feud with the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish nonprofit aimed at combatting antisemitism.
The Great Replacement conspiracy theory—this particular iteration of it—has a long and violent history that dates back more than 100 years. It was espoused five years ago by Robert Gregory Bowers moments before he burst into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire. Now, due to Musk’s online raving, a version of Bowers’s theory was regurgitated before the 163 million people who follow the proprietor on the platform.
The exchange, wherein Musk claimed that “minority groups” account for the “primary threat” against Jewish communities, was emblematic of the racist and antisemitic rhetoric that has thoroughly infected X since Musk bought the company last year. In September, the Center for Countering Digital Hate released a report noting that X neglects to remove the majority of hate speech even after platform moderators are ostensibly made aware of content that runs afoul of its terms of service. Among the content reviewed by the CCDH were Hitler apologia and Holocaust denialism.
Despite widespread criticism, Musk has not backed off his antisemitic claims. He has instead lamented the fact that white pride is an offensive concept, and issued a vague defense of Israel while denouncing support for decolonization. However, he did say that not all Jewish communities are involved in “dialectical hatred against whites.” But even that caveat came with a disclaimer of its own: “It is also not just limited to ADL,” he wrote.
In response, the organization issued a statement Thursday condemning Musk’s comments. “At a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world,” wrote ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt, “it is indisputably dangerous to use one’s influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories.”