President Isaac Herzog today, Monday, met with Elon Musk who was visiting Israel. He was accompanied in the meeting by representatives of families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.
President Herzog said, “Welcome Mr. Musk. Your visit means a lot to us because the world is ever-changing and you are at the forefront of so many technologies and developments which look forward for humanity. On the other hand, you've seen how evil can supersede everything. You’ve seen it this morning, you've seen what hate can bring about, you’ve seen how thought turns into evil, into hate, and into bloodshed. It is so close. And whilst you look forward with the most advanced technologies on Earth, it is clear that the oldest disease in humanity, antisemitism, lurks underneath and impacts so many societies.”
He added, “Unfortunately, we are inundated by antisemitism, which is Jew hatred. And Jew hatred impacts the behavior of human beings in so many places around the world. You have a huge role to play. And I think we need to fight it together because on the platforms which you lead, unfortunately, there's a harboring of a lot of all the hate, which is Jew-hatred, of antisemitism. I think we need to discuss how to go forward and how to fight and combat this hate in order to make the world a better place, a safer place. It always starts with the Jews, it never ends with the Jews, and we must change this equation. And the examples you saw this morning are the examples that have repeated themselves throughout the ages. So I welcome this dialogue so that we can fight it together.”
Elon Musk thanked the President and said, “Thank you for having me. It was certainly an emotionally difficult day, to see the places where people were murdered. And also to watch the video where the murderers are rejoicing. Celebrating the murder of innocent people is extremely disturbing. So we have to do whatever we whatever is necessary to stop the hate. Essentially these people have been fed propaganda since they were children. And it's remarkable what humans are capable of if they're fed falsehoods, from when they are children, they will think that the murder of innocent people is a good thing. That is how much propaganda can affect people's minds. So you know, I actually did talk with the Prime Minister. And I think there's three things that need to happen in the Gaza situation, there's no choice but to kill those who insist on murdering civilians. You are notgoing to change their mind. But the second thing is to change the education so the new generation of murderers is not trained to be murderers. And the third thing, which also very important is to try to build prosperity.”
Among the representatives of the families, Rachel, mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin who was being held captive by Hamas, told Elon Musk, “We know they're innocent civilians in Gaza who are also suffering terribly. We as families are suffering horribly, and we would appreciate any of your help that you can provide and thank you for coming.”
Also speaking was Malki, father of Omer Shem-Tov, who was who was being held captive by Hamas, told Elon Musk, “I know you're very powerful man. And I think every support, you can raise our voices in order to bring the hostages back. That will be something very, very meaningful for all the families. Thank you.” He then presented Mr. Musk with a necklace bearing the words “Bring Them Home”.
President Herzog thanked the families for telling their stories, and said, “The choice is between good and evil. The pain the sorrow, the agony that you're going through. The unending torture of not knowing the fate of your loved ones is simply the example, the epitomization of what Elon has seen since the morning. He went to Kfar Aza and saw the destruction and the horrors of 7 October. He then saw the video with Prime Minister Netanyahu and now he's meeting you. And I think this is a very important way of transforming and translating and expressing the saga that you're going through and bringing it to the knowledge of decision-makers in the world and humanity at large. Because, the war is exactly about humanity. Are we on the side of humanity? Being able to behave as human beings in a world order of some kind? Or are we caving in to a new world order where jihadists who are raping, torturing, chopping and burning and abducting will run the world. This is the dilemma and that's why we're here.”