Leading booksellers urged to censor a ‘wide range of neo-Nazi’ material

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Leading booksellers urged to censor a ‘wide range of neo-Nazi’ material

HOPE not hate calls on retailers such as Amazon to stop selling books such as ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' and bomb-making manuals

Leading booksellers were this week asked to self-censor by an anti-fascist group which said a “wide range of neo-Nazi hate material” was for sale on their websites.

The call from action comes from HOPE not hate, which said anti-Semitic works including Holocaust denial and notorious forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ were being advertised alongside bomb-making manuals.

Activists identified Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones and WHSmith as among those faith leaders and Conservative MPs have asked to reconsider what they sell.

Books by authors such as David Irving are on sale together with neo-nazi terror novel The Turner Diaries, an inspiration for Oklahoma bomber Tim McVeigh and London nail-bomber David Copeland. The Anarchist Cookbook is also advertised for sale on several websites.

“We were dismayed to learn that these vile hate-filled books, are openly available on the websites of respected retailers,” said Board of Deputies’ president Jonathan Arkush.

“I would hope that these outlets are not seeking to profit from these heinous books, and therefore should urgently amend their policies and correct this appalling lapse.”

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, who is Jewish, said: “Extremist, hate-filled books have no place on the websites of respected retailers like Waterstones or Foyles. No-one is saying we should ban these books but why do these high street chains want to give these vile authors the veneer of respectability?”

Joe Mulhall, a researcher at HOPE not hate, said the booksellers were “providing a veneer of legitimacy to some of the world’s most extreme neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic tracts” which had “helped inspire terror and driven hate towards minorities”.

However, he acknowledged the important principle of free speech in the West, adding: “While we abhor these books, we are not saying that people do not have the right to write and publish books we disagree with… We are arguing that mainstream book retailers should not profit from extreme hate content.”

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more: