Photo Credit: Dan Taylor, Heisenberg Media / Wikimedia CC
Elon Musk, 2013

South African-born U.S. and Canadian business magnate, inventor and founder/CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink, Elon Musk was in Israel this week to “do some hiking, party in Jerusalem and visit Masada … Live free or die.”

Musk managed to squeeze in a meeting on Tuesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his time in the Jewish State.


“This morning, before coming here, I met with Elon Musk, a man of vision, perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time. He is a genius,” Netanyahu enthused in his opening remarks at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, held in Dimona.

Musk told Netanyahu, “Israel is a technological power,” the prime minister said. “He said that he appreciates what we are doing here. And then he said, and he did not know I was coming here, he told me ‘The Negev could provide you with all your energy needs. The Negev is the energy future of the State of Israel. You could spread solar systems here that would give you more energy than you need or could need. Clean energy,’” Netanyahu told cabinet ministers.

“I tell you what he told me: ‘If you only want it’ – and I tell you that I want it. I want a vibrant, flourishing and developing Negev – andnd we will continue to do this, to develop it as has never been done in the history of Israel,” Netanyahu vowed.

One of the top innovators in the world, Musk is known for quietly going off into corners and then suddenly emerging with sparkling new cutting-edge ideas.

He didn’t announce his trip to Israel, but he was spotted in a “Jerusalem speakeasy” where a good-humored bartender taught him how to “play with fire.” Within two hours of uploading his adventure to Instagram, Musk had racked up nearly 250,000 ‘likes’ and his private visit to Israel was secret no more.

Musk also managed to sandwich in time to discuss a collaboration between his electric car company (Tesla Inc.) and Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Cortica, which has raised nearly $70 million since it was founded in 2007.

Cortica’s technology enables self-driving cars to identify moving elements in its environment and make informed decisions, including to predict changes likely to occur in the surroundings.