| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Elon Musk promises to wear symbol of Gaza hostages

Elon Musk pledged to wear a symbolic dog tag given to him by the father of an Israeli hostage held by Hamas in Gaza while on a visit to the country following criticism for an anti-Semitic post on his social media platform, X.

The metal tag that he was given by Malki Shem-Tov, the father of Omer Shem-Tov, the captive, said, “Our hearts are hostage in Gaza,” according to a video of Musk’s visit that was released on Monday by the Israeli president’s office.

Musk placed it around his neck. Later on Monday he wrote on X: “I will wear it every day until your loved ones are released.”

The dog-tags, prevalent throughout Israel, mark the Oct. 7 cross-border killing spree by Hamas during which 240 people were dragged back to Gaza.

On Nov. 15, Musk posted on X his agreement with a post that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user who referenced the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory was speaking “the actual truth”.

Following the post, major U.S. companies including Walt Disney, Warner Bros Discovery and NBCUniversal parent Comcast suspended their advertisements on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The White House criticised Musk for what it called an “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate” that “runs against our core values as Americans”.

Musk has said he is against antisemitism and anything that “promotes hate and conflict” and stated that X would not promote hate speech.

  • Reuters