In the past month, Amazon has removed 850 links to antisemitic books and Holocaust deniers from websites around the world following joint efforts by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and the World Jewish Congress (WJC).
In recent years, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs has been working to remove antisemitic content and Holocaust deniers from online sales sites after discovering that these are used to spread antisemitic ideology around the world and to increase the number of antisemitic activists. This is being done by accusing the Jews of a variety of conspiracies and by distorting the memory of the Holocaust to the point of presenting the atrocity as a justified response to the “cruelty of the Jews,” or as an attempt by the Jews to profit from suffering that did not occur in order to enslave peoples and countries. Others blame the Jews for promoting the Holocaust in order to purge the Nazi past and make it legitimate.
With the completion of its research, the Ministry contacted the Amazon legal department which welcomed the information and set an example for similar sales websites throughout the world by removing links to some 320 books, many of which were available in several languages, bringing the total of links removed to 850 books.
Some of the books removed from the site are by infamous Holocaust deniers, including:
- Maurice Bardèche, a French Holocaust denier, who wrote the book Nuremberg or the Promised Land immediately after the war in 1948, which casts doubt on the existence of the Holocaust.
- Robert Faurisson, a well-known French Holocaust denier. After discovering discrepancies between various documents, such as the exact number of those murdered in Auschwitz, Faurisson claimed that the Holocaust did not happen at all.
- Roger Garaudy, a French philosopher and Holocaust denier who converted to Islam in 1982, and in 1998 was fined for Holocaust denial after claiming that the murder of six million Jews was a “myth.” His book – The Founding Myths of Modern Israel.
- Germar Rudolf, author of the Encyclopedia (for Denying) the Holocaust, in which it is alleged that the gas chambers were used for sanitation and not for killing Jewish prisoners and others.
- Jürgen Graf – Swiss writer, Holocaust denier, who fled Switzerland and moved to Russia, and wrote the book: The Holocaust on Trial.
- Fred Leuchter – Holocaust denier, technician and manufacturer of execution equipment, who became infamous after publishing The Leuchter Report, a pseudo-scientific document claiming that the gas chambers in Auschwitz never existed and are a “myth.”
In response to Amazon’s move, Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich said:
“80 years ago, it was, among other things, antisemitic books sold in millions of copies that helped Hitler rise to power and lead a murderous ideology. The removal of 850 antisemitic books is a critical and pioneering move by Amazon. The statement here is clear: Holocaust denial and antisemitism will never pay off for its distributors! The other e-commerce and social media networks must follow Amazon’s steps and make it clear that they will not give a platform to antisemitism.
“On International Holocaust Day, we all remember and ache: Where antisemitic content is distributed, they may try to harm the Jews, so it is a war in which we must persevere and fight to the fullest extent. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I say in a clear and firm voice: Holocaust denial is antisemitism. This dangerous enterprise of Holocaust deniers trying to erase and cover over the testimonies of Holocaust survivors must be backed up against the wall and held firm without compromise.”
Yogev Karsenti, the director of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs Program to Combat Antisemitism said:
“This is a welcome move by Amazon. We started working on this project in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress about a year-and-a-half ago. We couldn’t figure out how antisemitic content could be sold freely without any control, and also our research suggested that Amazon’s algorithm was allowing more and more such material to be offered for sale. Antisemitic activists were using Amazon’s distribution capabilities to reach audiences they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to, and more than one offered their books for free or at ridiculously low prices, to reach those activists.
“Amazon’s removal of such books sends a very important message to the entire world. Antisemitic activity begins with ideological extremism, and by removing this content and impairing their ability to distribute it, we prevent more serious outcomes. We cannot allow extremists a platform. Now, thanks to Amazon’s actions, it will be much harder for antisemites to consume antisemitic literature, and it will be more difficult for antisemitic ideologues to spread their wares around the world.”