Leaning into his latest controversies, Elon Musk is planning to join a bevy of Jewish men for a live chat on Thursday.
The conversation will focus on “X, anti-Semitism, and the future of free speech,” according to conservative pundit and social media personality Ben Shapiro, who announced Wednesday that Musk would join him on his “Daily Wire” podcast.
Also participating in the conversation, Shapiro said, are Rabbi Ari Lamm, an Orthodox scholar and podcaster; former Israeli politician and Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky; an unnamed representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an antisemitism watchdog; attorney and political commentator Alan Dershowitz; Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chair of the European Jewish Association; Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author and onetime Republican congressional candidate; Rabbi Manis Friedman, a Chabad rabbi with a popular YouTube channel; former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; and Asher Gold, and Israel-based publicist.
“And a Hava Nagila sing-off!” Musk tweeted as he shared Shapiro’s announcement.
The lineup drew applause from Shapiro’s fans on X. “This is gonna be awesome!” Libs of TikTok, a right-wing account operated by an Orthodox Jewish woman, posted.
It also elicited questions about why no women or progressives had been invited to the conversation. No non-Orthodox rabbis were on the list, either.
“Not 1 progressive voice. Not that I agree with them, but talking free speech w/o including them betrays the not-so-hidden agenda,” Andres Spokoiny, president and CEO of the Jewish Funders Network, tweeted. “And why not invite Greenblatt? I hope the great @AriLamm can be the voice of reason & moderation here.”
Spokoiny was referring to Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which musk has attacked in a series of posts this month. Musk drew allegations of antisemitism after he threatened to sue the ADL, the antisemitism watchdog, for promoting an ad boycott that he said was causing massive financial loss to his business. The group had called for the boycott after Musk acquired the company and removed guardrails against hate speech. Amid his campaign against the nonprofit, Musk interacted with white supremacist accounts criticizing the ADL.
Greenblatt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency earlier this month that he continued to view Musk as a “great innovator” who was unfortunately engaging with antisemites on the platform that he owns and renamed from Twitter.
More than 120 Jewish activists, largely on the left and center, this week called on advertisers and app stores to drop X over the hate speech that has spiked on the platform since Musk acquired it.
Musk himself has insisted that he is “pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind,” and X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, recently posted a company statement rejecting antisemitism. Last week, Musk hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a live chat, during which Netanyahu praised his stated commitment to fighting antisemitism and encouraged him to continue fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.