ADL Head Jonathan Greenblatt Says He Made Deal With Elon Musk to Censor 'From The River to The Sea'

Chris Menahan
Nov. 21, 2023

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told JTA on Monday that he praised Elon Musk for "fighting hate" despite his comments about Jews pushing "hatred against whites" because he made a deal with Musk behind the scenes to censor terms like "From the river to the sea" and "decolonization" as "calls for violence."

From The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "Why ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt is praising Elon Musk as advertisers flee X over antisemitism":
[Elon] Musk has been sparring publicly with the ADL for months, at one point blaming it for rising antisemitism and threatening to sue it for billions of dollars. Now, the latest whirlwind chapter in that saga -- [Jonathan] Greenblatt's quick shift from condemning to praising the billionaire social media mogul -- has created a whiplash moment for the Jewish world.

On Monday the State Department's antisemitism envoy suggested that she opposed Greenblatt's stance, while a member of one of the ADL's advisory boards called the about-face "embarrassing."

"The damage was done," Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt remarked about Musk's first tweet during a Monday briefing with Jewish media. "The endorsement of the Great Replacement theory was very harmful."

Lipstadt added that she disapproved of what she saw as any attempt to "mitigate" Musk's earlier tweet, without criticizing Greenblatt directly. "You can try to mitigate, but once you open the pillow, it's like chasing the feathers," she said.
How nice to have the State Department demanding America's premier tech entrepreneur be punished for his speech.
Greenblatt told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency he didn't regret his praise for Musk. Praising people when they take what the ADL sees as the right steps, he said, is part of his job fighting antisemitism. Musk's tweet and his own praise of it, Greenblatt told JTA, came following a private conversation between the two men in which Musk previewed his vow to suspend users who call for violence.

"I will call out Elon Musk and X, like every other platform, when they get it wrong. And I will credit Elon Musk and X and every other platform when they get it right," Greenblatt said Monday. "One doesn't negate the other. It was not that, 'this happened, therefore that wasn't bad,' or 'that was bad, therefore we can't see the value in this.' Quite the contrary."

During their conversation, Greenblatt said, he did not press Musk for an apology for the post the billionaire wrote on Wednesday, which Greenblatt had called "indisputably dangerous."

Musk was replying to a user who wrote, "Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them. I'm deeply disinterested in giving the tiniest s-- now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities [they] support flooding their country don't exactly like them too much."

[...] Musk responded, "You have said the actual truth."

Greenblatt joined a loud chorus in condemning that post. Other Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, harshly condemned it. Later in the same thread, Musk went after the ADL itself, saying the group "push[es] de facto anti-white racism."

Greenblatt acknowledged the attacks on his group. "I don't take any of that personally," he said. Despite Musk's public attitude about the ADL, Greenblatt called their meeting "extremely promising."

Greenblatt noted that he believed Musk "still has work to do. He is not, if you will, in the clear."

But, he added, "We saw a change in what he said on Friday, and that was noteworthy." He said the ADL was buying ads on X, and in response to major firms suspending their ad spending, said companies "need to make their own decisions about where they want their brands to be placed."

He said, "I hope that the other social media companies follow X's leadership on this."

[...] "At the end of the day, I understand that everyone might not agree with what I did," [Greenblatt] said. But he told JTA that he wasn't concerned that his positions on Musk would harm the ADL's reputation.

"The ADL has been around for 110 years. We don't play for any particular team," he said. "Our job is to protect the Jewish people. 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?"
Greenblatt has clearly shifted to playing the "Good cop" and is letting Deborah Lipstadt, the AJC and so on play the "Bad cop."

As far as I can tell, the statement "From the river to the sea" is not actually being censored on Twitter. It's possible it's being algorithmically suppressed but individual users posts are not being deleted. It's also possible the new rules have yet to go into effect.

On the other hand, unhinged Florida Rep. Randy Fine just had his call for Israel to commit genocide in Gaza deleted for violating X's rules.

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