Amazon refuses to stop selling anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying literature, despite pleas from Yad Vashem and mounting public pressure.
Amazon is facing mounting public pressure to stop the sale of books promoting Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.
Robert Rozett, director of libraries at Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, dispatched a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for his assistance to “curb the spread of hatred.”
“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote.
Several books with titles such as “The Myth of Extermination of the Jews and Holocaust: The Greatest Lie Ever Told” are available for sale online.
“The Six Million: Fact or Fiction?” by Peter Winter is available for sale via Amazon Germany, where Holocaust denial is against the law.
“Once again, given the presence of anti-Semitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store,” Rozett stated in his letter.
“Holocaust denial and other forms of hate speech indisputably nurture prejudice and hate crimes,” he continued. “Open discussion of ideas is certainly essential to pluralistic and democratic systems, but facilitating the spread of such hate-filled ideas is irresponsible, to say the least. As a major agent for the dissemination of ideas, it is incumbent upon Amazon, as it is also incumbent upon internet providers in general, to act to curb the spread of hatred.”
On Sunday, Rozett indicated that Yad Vashem had approached Amazon before on the subject but the internet retailing giant insisted it would not halt sales of offensive and inciting material, citing freedom of information.
Amazon has yet to respond to the letter.
Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, stated that, “Every day, Amazon promotes a selection of literature advocating Holocaust denial and Jew hatred. Anybody searching Amazon for books about the Holocaust, including children working on school projects, will inevitably be shown Amazon’s squalid cesspool of neo-Nazi titles. Amazon’s conditions prohibit the sale of ‘offensive material’ but these titles are ‘dispatched and sold by Amazon.’ Amazon is profiting from the trade in titles promoting Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic conspiracy myths.”