Elon Musk told conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Monday that he’s “Jewish by association,” after visiting the site of a former concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland.
“I must admit to being somewhat frankly naïve about this. In the circles that I move, I see almost no antisemitism,” the Tesla CEO said to Shapiro during a conference on antisemitism, hosted by the European Jewish Association (EJA).
“Two-thirds of my friends are Jewish. I have twice as many Jewish friends as non-Jewish friends. I’m like Jewish by association,” Musk continued.
The EJA had arranged for Musk to visit Auschwitz earlier the same day. He said at the top of the conversation that he was “still absorbing” his experience from the historic Holocaust site where an estimated 1.1 million Jewish people were killed during World War II.
His conversation with Shapiro, who is actually Jewish, was organized to address the rising antisemitism seen across the globe since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in October.
Musk also discussed the “pro-Hamas rallies” that have been cropping up across college campuses in recent months.
“You’re not supposed to be fostering hate,” he pointed out.
As owner of the social media platform X, Musk — a self-described “free-speech absolutist” — has faced heavy scrutiny for allowing users to share sometimes bigoted content.
In November, he was condemned by the White House for commenting on an antisemitic post that blamed Jewish people for pushing hatred against white people, writing, “You have said the actual truth.”
Musk has also publicly clashed with the Anti-Defamation League, accusing the civil rights group of of “trying to kill” X and “falsely accusing it and [him] of being antisemitic.”