Musk (left) with Netanyahu (center) during a tour of the settlements surrounding Gaza (Israeli press)

JERUSALEM – The visit of American billionaire Elon Musk, owner of the X platform, to Israel during its war on the Gaza Strip comes in the context of reconciliation and a convergence of interests with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli media said.

Israeli media strongly criticized Musk's warm reception and his tour with Netanyahu on Monday in the "Gaza envelope" settlements, amid accusations of "anti-Semitism" and amplifying anti-Jewish hatred on platform X in exchange for allowing tweets of solidarity with Gaza during the war and bias towards Palestinians.

On October 7, the Palestinian resistance launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on military sites and settlements in the Gaza envelope, killing more than 1200,250 Israelis and capturing about <>, in response to the crimes of the occupation against holy sites and civilians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

For its part, Israel launched a devastating war on the Gaza Strip that has led to the death of more than 15,<> Palestinians, mostly women and children.

Israeli analysts estimated that Musk, through his tour with Netanyahu in some of the settlements of the "Gaza envelope", aims to open a new page with Israel and the Jewish communities, and his willingness to provide support to Israel and invest in it after the war on Gaza.

Musk also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and a delegation of families of Israelis held by Hamas.

Herzog (right) and Musk with a delegation of families of Israeli detainees held by Hamas (Al Jazeera)

Whitening a page mask

Israeli analysts believed that Musk aims from these meetings to get rid of the repercussions of a tweet described what the Israeli army is doing in the Gaza Strip as "genocide", and to remedy the boycott imposed by major international companies on his platform, as they refrained from publishing their ads on the platform after accusing him of "anti-Semitism."

Haaretz journalist Siagi Cohen harshly criticized Netanyahu, accusing him of whitewashing Musk, who "incited" against Jews, criticized Israel's military operations in Gaza and allowed anti-Semitism to continue on X.

He explained that meetings with Israeli officials, at a time when Jewish communities in America and around the world oppose Musk's approach and policy, give him legitimacy, all in exchange for commercial and investment interests that Netanyahu aspires to in light of the worsening economic crisis in Israel due to the war on Gaza.

Israel was expected to be at the forefront of the struggle against Musk and his companies, pressuring him to remove all anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish content for Israel on the X platform, but "in Israel specifically, Musk is greeted with the honor of kings," Cohen put it.

Preliminary agreement

Senior political leaders' meetings with Musk reflect their greed for his future investments in Israel and saving its economy, he said, noting that such expected investments could spur an accelerated end to the fighting.

In an attempt by Musk and Netanyahu to turn the page on the past, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karei announced a preliminary agreement with Musk, according to which satellite internet in the country and the Gaza Strip will not be operated without the approval of the Israeli government.

The Israeli journalist also sees the visit as a preliminary agreement for the possibility of expanding business relations with the American billionaire and attracting more of his investments to the country.

Cohen believes Musk wants to show America and Jewish communities around the world that Israel receives him warmly, and his most important goal is to remove the advertising boycott that causes enormous financial damage to his company.

This argument reinforces what was reviewed by the editor of the economic newspaper "Marker", Hagai Amit, who confirmed that the American billionaire came to Israel during the war in order to do business and business deals, perhaps the first of which is the cancellation of the boycott of the X platform, which loses tens of millions of dollars per month due to the boycott of advertisers.

In practical terms, Amit says that "Musk visited Israel to do business and may be future investments, and no one is fooling himself that he met Netanyahu to help free the Israeli hostages, but rather that he met with interests by whitewashing Musk's page in front of Jewish communities, and counting on Israel to push for this visit to push measures that will curb incitement against Israel to some extent."

He adds that the fight against what he described as raging incitement on platform X "cannot only focus on anti-Semitism. This battle must also include stopping incitement against all protest movements in Israel and parties whose policies do not align with Netanyahu's desire to continue to rule."


Curvature in time of war

Digital communication researcher Anat Ben-David believes that Israel's political leadership has chosen to bow to Musk and submit to scenarios of the American billionaire's investments in the Israeli economy after the Gaza war.

"We should have accused him of failing to prevent a crime. Each of us is a victim of terrorism because of the way Musk allowed platform X to spread hate, anti-Semitism, offensive content, misinformation and the terror of the mind," she said.

Ben-David explained in an article in the magazine "Seventh Eye" that Musk, who is considered the richest person in the world, gets the "precious time" of Israel's wartime leaders, because he owns the X platform, and thus "the owner of freedom of expression and the information system."

"Israel's leaders come out to welcome Musk who is fighting boycotts against his companies and platform because of his anti-Semitism, it's all just a joke, he can say anything, then regret it, we turned into puppets in Musk's theater," she concluded.

Source : Al Jazeera