Late last month, Amazon stopped selling neo-Nazi and KKK products after Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) sent a letter urging the site to remove all products from Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)-designated “hate groups.” On Wednesday, the company stopped endorsing products from Infowars’ Alex Jones. Even so, as John Rossomando of The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports, the site is still selling “Make Israel Palestine Again” t-shirts, without revealing where the t-shirts come from — suggesting they come direct from Amazon.
Is Amazon endorsing the destruction of the state of Israel? If a user chooses a specific size, the site will reveal that this product is “In Stock” and that it “Ships from and [is] sold by Amazon.com.” This contrasts with a great deal of merchandise Amazon sells that comes from third-party sources.
Amazon does not reveal who produces these shirts as it does with most products on “Amazon Fashion.” It seems reasonable for a user to believe that the company itself is designing and selling this product.
Similar shirts are available on Etsy.com.
The slogan “Make Israel Palestine Again” is used often on social media, including a Twitter page and an Instagram account. An image on the Twitter feed shows President Trump wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat Photoshopped to say “Make Israel Palestine Again.”
— MAKE ISRAEL PALESTINE AGAIN (@PalestineAgain) December 20, 2017
Anti-Israel activists with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement have adopted the slogan.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Amazon reviews are highly publicized and polarized. Three users rated the “Make Israel Palestine Again” t-shirt with five stars. “Get tons of compliments everywhere I wear this shirt!” RK reported. “One day the Palestinians will have their home again,” YoYo chimed in. A user named “ethan allen” added, “I love this shirt.”
Others gave the shirt one-star reviews. “Joanofark06” denounced the shirt as “ISRAEL HATE,” declaring, “This is a HORRIBLE, EVIL shirt, and I will not stand for this. I will refuse to buy from Amazon, ever again, until this shirt gets taken down, as Israel is God’s land, an our bible mentions Israel over 100 times.” The user went on to paint with a broad brush, declaring that “Muslims hate the Jews, just like satan does.” While not all Muslims “hate the Jews,” anti-Semitism is rampant in the Muslim Middle East, and opposition to the state of Israel’s very existence seems the last acceptable form of anti-Semitism.
Another user declared that “Adolf [Hitler] would love this shirt.” “Techamaki” noted that “At the same time that Amazon is removing Amazon Choice from Infowars Life products for political purposes they are promoting anti-semitic hate speech.”
Emanuela Prister reviewed the product, saying, “Wear it so to let others know you are a nazi.” Prister quipped that the anti-Israel t-shirt is “a recommended buy for descendants and cultural heirs of fascists and Nazis who wants to end Jews once and for all.”
Joe Holmes denounced the shirt as a “LIE!” He argued that “Palestine isn’t a state. Israel was given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Palestinians are Arabs. Israel doesn’t belong to the Palestinians.”
A user named “JJ” called the shirt “offensive and inappropriate,” declaring that it “does not belong on a reputable website. Shame on you Amazon!”
While Amazon should have the right to sell whatever it wants, the company should certainly not endorse anti-Israel t-shirts, especially since opposition to Israel is so often linked with outright hostility to Jews in general. If a third party creates these t-shirts, all the tech giant has to do is make it clear they are not the source for them and do not endorse their message. If Amazon is producing these shirts directly, as the website implies, this act does indeed bring shame on the company.
Then again, Amazon is already being sued for excluding Christian organizations like D. James Kennedy Ministries and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) from its charity arm, Amazon Smile, because the SPLC marked them as “hate groups.” The SPLC’s “hate group” markings are notoriously unreliable, and the organization recently awarded $3.375 million to a Muslim reformer the group had defamed an “anti-Islamic extremist.”
Surveys have revealed widespread liberal bias — and fear among conservative employees terrified of being “outed” — in Silicon Valley. Amazon needs to make clear that it does not endorse BDS and anti-Israel messages like “Make Israel Palestine Again.” If the company (rightly) refuses to sell KKK and neo-Nazi products, why is it selling an anti-Israel and arguably anti-Semitic t-shirt under its own name?
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article linked to, but did not cite, The Investigative Project on Terrorism and John Rossomando. The article has been corrected to give due credit.