Not just Google: Amazon turns to censorship, too
Google shouldn't feel lonely in its attacks on free thought. Amazon engages in book censorship – when the author is Israeli, and the book, A History of the Palestinian People by Assaf Voll (pictured), is a blank book, a satire on Palestinian claims to be the indigenous people with an ancient history in the Holy Land.
A History of the Palestinian People ranked #2 in the bestseller category for Israel and Palestine (beating out Michael's Oren's seminal book on the Six Day War; several recently published left-leaning books; and even Dan Senor and Saul Singer's terrific Start-Up Nation: the Story of Israel's Economic Miracle, which came in at #10). In the Middle East History category it also rose to the number two spot; and in the All Books category it reached a respectable ranking of #341.
The book … was described as the "fruit of many years of research" and proclaimed itself to be the most comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history, with emphasis on the Palestinian people's unique contribution to the world and to humanity." (snip)
Every single page is blank.
Amazon yanked Voll's book in two days. The Jerusalem Post reports that Amazon caved to an organized campaign by Palestinian activists:
Voll says that Amazon sent him a message explaining their decision to remove the book … "During a quality assurance review of your CSP catalogue, we found that your book(s) are resulting in a disappointing customer experience. Indicators of a poor customer experience may include customer refunds and feedback. As a result, the following book(s) have been removed from sale on Amazon."
Welcome to the new world of our digital corporate giants, who cave to SJW and pro-jihadi activists but stand on principle when conservatives complain.
I know because I once inadvertently went to battle against Amazon about Mein Kampf and won my 15 minutes of international fame...sort of. The year was 2000, and I was doing research on Mein Kampf being a bestseller in Arabic, which led me to the Amazon page. To my utter amazement, there was a positive description of the book. Amazon's "editorial review" said Mein Kampf, which claims that Jews are in a worldwide conspiracy against the human race and must be exterminated, might be true and is "worth checking out."
I wrote to Amazon and was told the company would do nothing about its own editorial review, because free speech. I contacted the Anti-Defamation League, who also told me to get lost. The ADL has never cared too much about anti-Semitism coming from liberals.
It was the early days of the internet, and I had no intention to start anything, but I wrote a five-sentence email to my circle of friends. I said I didn't shop in the sort of bookstores that sold Mein Kampf, that giving the book a positive editorial review is odious, and that I wouldn't be buying books at Amazon again. Next thing I knew, my email had passed from friend to friend in America, crossed the ocean to Israel, was read in the Israeli Knesset, and was written up in the Jerusalem Post. The new internet age had amplified the power of one.
Amazon removed the offending description of Mein Kampf. There is now an accurate description of the book. Mein Kampf is sold in all formats and has 1,400 four-star reviews. The top review says Hitler is still admired and adored; it all depends who you speak to.
But a blank book satirizing Palestinian claims to a long history in Israel? That's banned on Amazon.
The Palestinian population in Israel today is mostly the grandchildren of migrant workers from Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, who flooded into Jewish areas in search of work. Most were such recent immigrants in 1948 that the U.N., in setting up its special department for refugees, defined as "Palestinian" any Arab who had lived in Israel for two years.
It doesn't take the wisdom of Solomon to tell who the false mother is and who the true, and whether the baby should be cut in half. The politically correct version of Palestinians as the indigenous people has an abhorrent goal. As the Palestinians pithily sum it up: Death to the Jews.
The American left – including majorities in the Democratic Party and new digital corporate giants such as Google and Amazon – believes that Israel does not have a moral right to its own country. Progressives have chosen to champion injustice and call it justice, champion violence and call it peace, champion propaganda and call it truth.
Amazon is joining in with their censorship of a satirical voice that dares to question this left-wing orthodoxy. It is a dangerous game.