The head of the Anti-Defamation League is facing accusations that he “made a deal” with Elon Musk just days after X’s billionaire owner appeared to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy theory blaming the Jews for mass migration of minorities to the West.
Last week, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, was among the many Jewish leaders who had condemned Musk for responding approvingly to a user who accused Jews of hating white people and facilitating the migration of “hordes of minorities.”
“You have said the actual truth,” Musk wrote on X Wednesday.
He later posted a comment on X denying that he was antisemitic.
But on Friday, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, praised Musk for pledging to suspend X users who included phrases such as “decolonization” and “from the river to the sea” when commenting on Israel.
“This is an important and welcome move by @elonmusk,” Greenblatt responded on X. “I appreciate this leadership in fighting hate.”
Greenblatt’s critics as well as his allies denounced the swift pivot toward embracing Musk.
One member of the ADL’s advisory board told Jewish Telegraph Agency that Greenblatt’s move was “embarrassing.”
But Greenblatt told JTA that he wasn’t worried that his praise of Musk would harm the ADL’s reputation.
“At the end of the day, I understand that everyone might not agree with what I did,” Greenblatt told JTA.
Nonetheless, the organization doesn’t “play for any particular team.”
“Our job is to protect the Jewish people,” Greenblatt said.
“I don’t make the decisions I do based on how do I think this affects our, quote, ‘reputation.’ I do it based on, am I able to keep our community safe?”
The criticism of Greenblatt was scathing.
“This is ADL’s game,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on X.
“Their key weapon is the antisemitism accusation. Once they pin that to someone’s forehead, the only way out is give ADL what they want.”
Greenwald wrote that “usually it’s cash” though with Musk, the ADL “extracted something more valuable: banning of political slogans Israel dislikes.”
The Post has sought comment from the ADL.
Prior to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas against Israel, Musk and the ADL were engaged in a months-long public spat in which the mogul accused the group of attempting to scare off advertisers by fabricating claims the social media platform was promoting antisemitic content.
Musk on Tuesday followed through on his threat to file a “thermonuclear lawsuit” against the left-leaning, nonprofit watchdog Media Matters for America, which published a report accusing X of allowing ads to appear alongside pro-Nazi content.
X said its system does not intentionally place brands “actively next to this kind of content,” and that the content cited by Media Matters would no longer be able to make money off its posts.
Scores of Jewish leaders called for other companies to halt ads on X following the report’s publication.