ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday led the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, on a guided tour of the sites where Hamas slaughtered over a thousand people on October 7 – stopping at one stage to look suitably sombre at a baby’s cot.

It was something of a coup for Netanyahu to get a man who’s not only the wealthiest on the planet but heading towards becoming the most famous, to share his nation’s grief at the loss of so many, not only for PR reasons, but because of the powerful grip that Musk has over global communications systems. The SpaceX boss – coincidentally, of course – agreed on the same day to deploy his Starlink high-speed internet access system over the Gaza Strip, but only when Israel agreed that he could do so.

They say a week is a long time in politics, and nowhere has this maxim been more vividly illustrated than in the speed with which Musk has entered the good books of Tel Aviv. For it was only last week that the White House – provider-in-chief of the bombs being used to level Gaza – described as “hideous” an “anti-semitic” tweet from Musk propagating the ‘Great Replacement Theory’ beloved of far-right wingnuts who believe Jews are attempting by stealth to take over the world by replacing white Christians.

You may remember the most well-known manifestation of the Great Replacement ethos – the Charlottesville fascist demonstration of 2017 when Nazis carried flaming torches while chanting “The Jews will not replace us!” After the march President Donald Trump infamously remarked of the anti-Nazis and the Nazis that there were “very fine people on both sides”.

Musk incurred the wrath of the Biden administration when he responded to a tweet full of naked anti-immigrant hate and accusing Jewish communities of “pushing hatred against whites” with the words “actual truth.” But while this flagrant anti-semitic tweet caused anger and consternation in Washington DC, if it discombobulated anyone in the Israeli regime Squinter missed it, and by Monday any dissatisfaction with Musk’s words had been completely forgotten about as Netanyahu rolled out the red carpet for a guy that Israel’s biggest ally had dismissed as a hideous anti-semite. 

Days before, Israel had summoned the Irish ambassador for a dressing down over a statement by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in which he referenced the Old Testament parable of the lost and found son in relation to the release of Israeli-Irish child hostage Emily Hand. This, thundered Tel Aviv, was an attempt to absolve Hamas of blame for her kidnap – as if Varadkar was attempting to persuade the world that Emily had wandered off and got lost in a shopping mall.

Less worthy of criticism – in Israel and elsewhere – was Netanyahu’s choice of Old Testament stories:  that of the Amalekites. The Israel PM just days after October 7 likened the coming fate of Gaza to that of the Biblical tribe, who were prophesied to be slaughtered – men, women and children. Oh, and camels, cows and sheep as well. Don’t forget the animals, whatever you do.

And after Apple, Disney, IBM and Comcast stopped advertising on Twitter because they were unhappy with the amount of Nazi content on the site, Musk sat down with Israel President Isaac Herzog for a chat about the future. And did Isaac berate Elon for his “hideous’ anti-semitic tweet or for anti-semitic content on his social media site? Well, no – surprise, surprise. He told Musk he has “an important role” to play in battling anti-semitism. Which was nice. 

There hasn’t been a longer week in politics than the one when the Israelites fell out with the Amelekites.