CEO of X, formerly Twitter, Elon Musk threatened to suspend users from his social media platform for using the pro-Palestine phrase “from the river to the sea” and the word “decolonization” in relation to the Israeli war on Gaza.
Musk said that these two phrases and “similar euphemisms” imply genocide, and will result in the suspension from the X platform, in a post on 18 November.
In response, some social media users criticized Musk’s focus on Palestinian calls for freedom. Journalist Dan Cohen stated that the 1977 Likud Party charter explicitly states that “between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.”
“Yet when Palestinians call for their freedom using the same formulation, you denounce it as genocidal and censor. Way to bow to the Israel lobby,” he wrote in response to Musk.
“At risk of stating the obvious, anyone advocating the genocide of *any* group will be suspended from this platform,” the X CEO later posted.
Critics of the phrase “from the river to the sea” claim it implies the erasure of Jews and destruction of the Israeli state, while others have contended that it calls for liberation from Israeli oppression and occupation for all Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Historic Palestine.
This saga on X started on 17 November when Musk was accused of being anti-semitic after he called an anti-semitic conspiracy theory the “actual truth.”
“Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them […] those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much,” a social media user said on X.
In response, Musk wrote “You have said the actual truth,” which caused social media outrage, accusing the X CEO of endorsing the claims that Jewish communities push “hatred against Whites.”
The White House also criticized Musk for repeating antisemitic language.
“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie behind the most fatal act of Antisemitism in American history at any time, let alone one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement on 17 November.
“We condemn this abhorrent promotion of Antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms,” he added.
This resulted in a large advertising boycott on X by major U.S. companies, including Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros Discover, and NBCUniversal parent Comcast to pause their advertisements on X. The European Commission, TV network Paramount, and movie studio Lionsgate have also pulled ad dollars from X.