“It’s never our intention to offend our guests with the merchandise we carry,” said Target.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Barnes & Noble and Target have agreed to stop selling several books related to Holocaust denial following a request by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), the international Jewish human rights organization announced Tuesday.
“At a time of surging antisemitic hate crimes here in the U.S., it is beyond the pale that a book would be marketed by someone who insults the memory of 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of SWC.
“We assume these large online booksellers do not mass-market books promoting terrorism or pedophilia,” Cooper said.
SWC sent a letter to the chairmen and CEOs of Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, and several other online booksellers, protesting the sale of Carlos Porter’s “Not Guilty at Nuremberg” and three German-language titles associated with Holocaust denial.
Target responded, “We appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns about this book. It’s never our intention to offend our guests with the merchandise we carry. Please know that we have removed this book from our assortment.”
Barnes & Noble also pulled the book, saying, “As soon as we are made aware of any such offending titles, we take prompt action to remove offending titles in accordance with our policy, as we did with ‘Not Guilty at Nuremberg.'”
“We had not been aware of this title’s existence on barnesandnoble.com. Upon receipt of your correspondence, in accordance with our content policy, we immediately removed it from our website. We also alerted Lightning Source, who have assured us that they also have deleted this title from their books for sale,” the bookseller said.
SWC announced that it will continue to demand that “such hateful, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying books,” still marketed online by other companies, are also removed.
Earlier this month, SWC announced that it is, for the 19th year, monitoring “texts of hate and violence” at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The organization said that its findings have led the fair to blacklist recidivist publishers of hate.
SWC has fought in the past for the withdrawal of titles such as “The Rothschilds: A Family that Controls the World” from online giant Amazon.
Despite these efforts to remove books from the marketplace, SWC revealed that its stance on the issue of censorship is complex, tweeting on March 4, “No entity, government or private sector should make itself the censor of books and ideas for the rest of us. That is the core and foundation of totalitarianism.”
Abigail Shrier is right to raise the alarm. No entity, government or private sector should make itself the censor of books and ideas for the rest of us. That is the core and foundation of totalitarianism. @AbigailShrier https://t.co/IBFv4UqDtT
— SimonWiesenthalCntr (@simonwiesenthal) March 4, 2021