Rebecca Stadlen Amir
March 21, 2018

Technology mogul and superstar entrepreneur Elon Musk referred to Israel as a “technological power” during his visit to the country this week.

Evidence of his travels around Israel has been popping up on Musk’s personal Instagram feed since Tuesday. Between hiking the mountaintop Masada fortress and enjoying Jerusalem’s culinary scene, Musk met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday morning.

Paid respects to Masada earlier today. Live free or die.

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Their two-hour breakfast meeting in Jerusalem focused on the future of technology. Netanyahu said Musk is a genius, calling him “perhaps the greatest technological visionary of our time.”

Netanyahu reported that Musk referred to the Negev desert as “the energy future of the State of Israel,” capable of meeting all of the nation’s energy needs. “You could spread solar systems here that would give you more energy than you need or could need. Clean energy,” Netanyahu said, citing Musk. “If you only want it.”

Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is reportedly visiting Israel to acquire autonomous driving technology and was rumored to have met with Israeli artificial intelligence vision firm Cortica. However, in a Twitter post he said the report “is completely false. Never even heard of Cortica. Just taking my kids on a Spring Break trip to see ancient historical sites in Israel & Jordan.”

This was not the first talk of a joint venture between an Israeli startup and Musk’s electric car company, Tesla. In early 2016, Globes reported that the South African-born billionaire visited Israel to meet with Mobileye executives about using the company’s sensors in Tesla vehicles. The deal fell through after several months, before Mobileye was acquired by Intel in a $15 billion deal.

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