There are a number of notable American Jews — Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Joshua Malina, for instance — who strongly believe in the right of Israel to exist but also that Benjamin Netanyahu is a garbage human being. There was a piece in the Washington Post this weekend that reinforced what Jon Stewart has long argued: That Netanyahu and Hamas had an uneasy but mutually beneficial relationship. As long as Hamas remained in power, Netanyahu could also remain in power, pointing to Hamas as justification for the way Israel has treated Palestinians in Gaza.
For progressive Jews, however, Netanyahu makes it easier to separate Israel from the government. Netanyahu is an extremist, as right-wing as Donald Trump — in fact, he shares a lot of the same political traits (they are both secular people who use far-right religious factions to maintain their power) — so it is easier to disagree with the government, just as most Jewish Democrats in America would disagree with a government under Trump.
All of which is to say, for many American Jews on the left, the only leaders as unpopular as Donald Trump are Benjamin Netanyahu and Elon Musk. Today, ironically, the two are attempting to use each other to wash away their respective sins. Netanyahu will not meet with the press or answer questions about his leadership in Israel, but he will meet with notable antisemite Elon Musk. However, if Elon Musk thought that he could curry favor with the very people he pissed off in supporting and amplifying the Great Replacement theory by walking around a kibbutz wearing a flak jacket in Israel with Netanyahu, Elon Musk is as dumb as he looks.
The left may disagree on many things. However — but for the antisemitic progressives using this conflict to conveniently express their preexisting bigotry — we mostly agree that Jews are good and Israel’s government is problematic. It’s more confusing on the right because they love Israel’s government but don’t like Jews. Elon Musk, who doesn’t appear to understand the difference between Jewish people and the Israeli government, believes that by kissing up to an unpopular Israeli prime minister, American Jews will forgive him, and Disney will start advertising on his platform again.
This is far from reality except, weirdly, when it comes to the Anti-Defamation League. At times, it seems like Elon Musk and the ADL — on a much smaller, less deadly scale — have a mutually beneficial relationship similar to that between Netanyahu and Hamas. Antisemitism is very dangerous and very real, and the ADL has no shortage of examples of antisemitic hate speech to pull from on Twitter in support of that fact. Elon Musk, meanwhile, has and can continue to falsely blame the ADL for the advertising failures of Twitter instead of taking responsibility himself.
This conspiracy might seem like a stretch but for the fact that, after Elon Musk came under fire for amplifying the Great Replacement Theory, he tried to win back Jewish support by banning “from the river to the sea” and “decolonization” on Twitter. Most American Jews who believe in Israel’s right to exist do not like the use of those phrases. They also do not like when speech is silenced, and little is worse than the false narrative that Jews control the media. And yet, the first person to praise Musk for silencing speech? Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL. Greenblatt, Musk’s fiercest critic, tried to launder Musk’s antisemitic reputation by praising him for silencing others on behalf of Jews.
If all of this sounds far-fetched, here’s an interesting wrinkle: Most major corporations and even Paris Hilton have stopped advertising on Twitter in the last two weeks because of Musk’s antisemitism. Many entities have completely stopped posting on it. Bizarrely, however, one non-profit is still advertising on the platform: The Anti-Defamation League. The same organization that encourages other for-profit institutions to boycott Twitter because of all the antisemitism and hate speech is itself continuing to post and advertise on Twitter.
I am a strong believer in the ADL. Recent decisions made by Jonathan Greenblatt, however, have been unfortunate, to say the least. As the kids say, make it make sense.