Elon Musk

South African-born American-Canadian billionaire Elon Musk made an unannounced visit to Israel that included climbing Masada and a jaunt to a Jerusalem pub.

Musk is the CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla, and is the founder of aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

“Paid respects to Masada earlier today. Live free or die," Musk wrote, under the picture he posted to Instagram Tuesday on Masada. The post received more than half a million likes.

In addition, Musk uploaded a video at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, and wrote: "Last night in Jerusalem and the best menu ever."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke today at the Negev Conference in Dimona about a conversation he had with Musk: "This morning, before coming here, I met with Elon Musk, a man of vision, perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time. He is a genius.

"He told me that 'Israel is a technological power.' He said that he appreciates what we are doing here. And then he said - and he did not know I was coming here - he told me 'The Negev could provide you with all your energy needs. The Negev is the energy future of the State of Israel. You could spread solar energy systems here that would give you more energy than you need or could need. Clean energy.'

"I tell you what he told me: 'If only you want it,' and I tell you that I want it. I want a vibrant, flourishing, and developing Negev. And we will continue to do this, to develop it as has never been done in the history of Israel."

Musk visited Israel two years ago and watched presentations by a leading company to integrate technology into Tesla's autonomous cars. This visit was secret, and Musk flew in a private plane to get to Israel.

After an autonomous Tesla vehicle was involved in an accident, it stopped cooperating with MobilEye, but it did not stop Mobileye from being acquired by Intel for $15.3 billion in March last year.

Elon Musk introduces the falcon wing door on the Model X electric sports-utility vehicle
Elon Musk introduces the falcon wing door on the Model X electric sports-utility vehicleצילום: Reuters