DeSantis Withholds Criticism of Elon Musk's Endorsement of Antisemitism on Twitter

DeSantis Withholds Criticism of Elon Musk's Endorsement of Antisemitism on Twitter
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2023-11-19 21:48:47

Florida Governor DeSantis' Stance on Musk's Controversial Remark

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who launched his 2024 presidential campaign on a social media platform now owned by Elon Musk, has declined to criticize Musk for endorsing an antisemitic message at a time when Jewish Americans report an increase in hate incidents. DeSantis' silence continues as the backdrop of rising antisemitism becomes more concerning.

Recently, a Twitter user, self-identified as Jewish, posted a video promoting action against antisemitism and challenged anyone who hides behind anonymity to make hateful statements to step forward.

Musk responded to this post, seemingly aligning himself with the hateful remark, triggering significant backlash. Following Musk's reply, the White House released a statement denouncing Musk for his "appalling promotion" of hate, which starkly contradicts American values.

In reaction to Musk's controversial post, several prominent brands have retracted their advertising commitments from the platform. Reports about ads being placed alongside objectionable content have led to heightened scrutiny and criticism of Musk's leadership. Musk has reportedly threatened legal action against those highlighting these ad placements.

DeSantis Avoids Direct Commentary on Musk

When addressed about the issue, Governor DeSantis pleaded ignorance regarding Musk's antisemitic comment. He spoke about Musk's acquisition of the platform, hoping that Musk guides it in a direction contrary to certain traditional narratives.

"I did not see the comment. And so I know that Elon has had a target on his back ever since he purchased Twitter, because I think he’s taking it in a direction that a lot of people who are used to controlling the narrative don’t like," DeSantis stated in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper for "State of the Union."

DeSantis evaded directly condemning Musk's actions even after being briefed about the situation, claiming a lack of context and expressing disbelief if Musk engaged in such conduct.

Conversely, Musk has been documented utilizing his platform to endorse and circulate questionable narratives in the past, aiding in the spread of extremist views and conspiracy theories.

Rising Concerns about Antisemitism

DeSantis has previously broadly condemned antisemitism but has notably avoided censuring specific figures within his own party. His recent inaction occurs amid a worrying uptick in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents in the U.S., particularly as tensions escalate in the Middle East.

Last month, DeSantis directed state universities to close down chapters of a Palestinian advocacy group, citing unfounded accusations of the group being antisemitic and supporting terrorism. In response to this, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the governor's administration, accusing it of infringing on students' free speech rights.

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