Elon Musk goes to Auschwitz: How an otherwise brilliant man misses the key lesson of the Holocaust

By Tarik Cyril Amar

Musk could easily have shown a true and genuinely compassionate understanding of what the lessons of the Holocaust are. Imagine the richest man in the world, who also has a lot of cultural (in the wider and more important sense of that word) and political influence, going to Auschwitz and saying one simple and (moderately) courageous thing: “The lesson of the Holocaust is indeed ‘never again’. And that never, actually, means never: never and to no one and by no one. Hence, the best – and, really, the only – way to honor the memory of the victims of the German genocide of the Jews is to now stand with the victims of the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.”

But Musk, probably very predictably, did no such thing. Instead, he took along the well-known right-wing talking head Ben Shapiro, who has recently spent much of his usual venom on running interference for Israel’s great crime. Once again, I cannot help but agree with Jackson Hinkel. His conclusion was spot-on: The visit to Auschwitz – a site to remember a horrific genocide in the past – was perversely instrumentalized to make us forget a genocide in our own time.


He hate(s) lying. Yet, here is Musk lending his considerable influence to three big lies

First, that criticizing Israel is the same as anti-Semitism. That is a blatant untruth, repeated ad nauseam around his visit to Auschwitz. And he himself has endorsed it explicitly by joining the chorus of those who smear US students – from whose guts and sense of right and wrong Musk could learn – who come out to resist Israel’s apartheid and genocide, as simply “supporting Hamas” and “sponsoring hate.”

The second big lie Musk is now helping to spread is that the opposite of anti-Semitism is relentless support for an Israeli state that is run by a far-right government that systematically and massively abuses millions of Palestinians – including by killing tens of thousands of their civilians – and openly defies basic morality and international law. In reality, the opposite of anti-Semitism is, of course, to resist and reject all forms of murderous stereotyping. Always, everywhere, and against everyone. You never side with the stereotypers and the perpetrators. No, not even those who claim to represent former victims. (And, by the way, it doesn’t matter if you feel “aspirationally Jewish,” as Musk now tells us he does. There are many Jews – real ones, not the “aspirational” type, freshly fine-tuned by Ben Shapiro – who are opposed to Israel’s crimes, too.)

And the third big lie Musk is supporting now is that the memory of the Holocaust is the property of Zionists to do with as they please. And what they want is always the same: Namely, use it to shut down any resistance to their own agenda.



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