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ILF Letter to Amazon Leadership
6th November 2022
Mr. Jeff Bezos (Executive Chair ) and Mr. Andy Jessy (President & CEO)
Dear Mr. Bezos and Mr. Jessy,
We write this letter to you on behalf of The International Legal Forum (ILF), a global network of lawyers, committed to educating about and combating antisemitism and racial hatred in all its manifestations in the international legal arena, including in the United States.
Specifically, we wish to express our grave concern that the sickening antisemitic documentary and book "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America", not only remains for purchase or rent on your platform but alarmingly, is currently also one of your best-selling items.
The ILF calls for the immediate removal of this film and book from distribution.
"Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" is replete with outrageous antisemitic tropes and Holocaust denial & distortion. It does not have even the pretext of truth or educational value but is seeping with racial hatred, malicious falsehoods, and dangerous incitement.
For example, it calls the extermination of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, as one of the “five major falsehoods” and that Jews have falsified the history of the Holocaust in order to “conceal their nature and protect their status and power.”
It invokes a notorious antisemitic trope used by some Black extremists and supremacists, that so-called “white Jews” are “not the real Jews.” This dangerous theory inspired the 2019 shooting attack at a kosher supermarket in New Jersey, that claimed the lives of three people.
And it also gives voice to and amplifies a host of other common and long-standing antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories about Jewish power, greed, and control.
In recent weeks, the documentary has received unprecedented attention, following its promotion by Brooklyn Nets basketball player, Kyrie Irving, who has since been suspended by the team, over repeated expressions of antisemitism, based in large part, on the contents of this film.
In short, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" is no different to the notorious antisemitic conspiracy manual ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, just adapted for modern consumption and made even more toxic by virtue of social media glorification. In fact, this documentary even refers to The Protocols as ideological inspiration, as well as the notorious antisemite Henry Ford and fabricated quotes by Adolph Hitler.
Although we firmly believe in free speech and the marketplace of ideas, words also have consequences and inspire real life action, violence and acts of racial hatred.
With antisemitism exploding to record levels across United States, including violence against Jews, there can be zero tolerance for the promulgation of such hatred, incitement and antisemitism.
Amazon is a company that prides itself on being a responsible leader in the global community. One of your key leadership goals even acknowledges “We must be humble and thoughtful about even the secondary effects of our actions.”
Earlier this year, Amazon removed dozens of items from distribution containing Nazi propaganda and antisemitic material. “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" is no different. It is not only a work of science fiction, but the peddling in unhinged hate, and deserves to be placed in the dustbin, not given a global platform.
In a few days time, we will mark 84 years since the Kristallnacht, the ‘Night of Broken Glass’, when thousands of Synagogues and Jewish-owned properties across Germany and Austria, were plundered and razed by the Nazis and their enablers. Kristallnacht was a murderous example of the capacity of humans to escalate from indifference, demonization, hate and singling out of a group of people - Jews, in this case - to violence.
It is imperative we learn the lessons from history and accordingly urge you to immediately remove “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" from your platform. We would also be pleased to extend an invitation to Amazon leadership, to discuss this matter further, including about the dangers of disseminating antisemitic and Holocaust-distorting material.
Attorney & CEO, The International Legal Forum