Israeli NGO Vows Amazon Boycott over Carter Review
By Jonny Paul
January 18, 2007
LONDON - The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has opened a campaign to censor on-line retailer Amazon.com following the posting of a critical review of former US president Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.
The group said the article, written by a customer, was "hostile" to Carter's viewpoint and had been placed in the wrong section of the Web page on the book.
In an e-mail, ICAHD said it was "deeply disturbed" by the treatment of Carter's "important new book" and had issued an ultimatum demanding Amazon move the negative review and "restore a semblance of balance" by giving "comparable space and prominence to a more positive evaluation" of the book.
The group is asking people to write to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, and to boycott the company. The e-mail says: "You insist on running the complete, 20-paragraph, 1,636-word text of a review unabashedly hostile to Carter's viewpoint.
"You have refused to add information shoppers should have in evaluating this review: the fact that the reviewer, Jeffrey Goldberg, is a citizen of Israel as well as the US, and that he volunteered to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces, for which he worked as a guard at a prison for Palestinian detainees.
"And you have refused to balance his negative review by giving comparable space to a favorable assessment of the book, even though positive reviews by qualified experts have appeared in many reputable publications."
The ICAHD said it was "not interested in supporting a corporation that uses its power in the marketplace in such a biased and unconstructive way on such an important issue."
An ultimatum is then delivered: "If you do not, by January 22, remove the Goldberg review, move it to the more appropriate 'See all Editorial Reviews' page, or restore a semblance of balance by giving comparable space and prominence to a more positive evaluation of Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, we... pledge to stop shopping at Amazon... and encourage our friends, family and associates to do likewise."
In a March 2005 brief, NGO Monitor, part of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, described the Committee against House Demolitions as "a well-funded, blatantly political and ideological one-man NGO, which couches its radical anti-Israel agenda and demonization in the rhetoric of human rights."
The brief continues: ICAHD coordinator Jeff "Halper routinely uses terms such as 'apartheid' and 'war crimes' to refer to Israeli policy against Palestinian terror, supports a 'one state solution,' and advocates sanctions and boycotts."
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