This week, Amazon blacklisted the pro-Israel group Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), removing it from the Amazon Smile charity donation service. The far-left smear group the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) inspired this blacklisting by accusing PJTN of being a “hate group” like the Ku Klux Klan. D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) sued both Amazon and the SPLC when Amazon booted it from Amazon Smile. PJTN told PJ Media this group is also considering legal action.
“We are not in touch with D James Kennedy Ministries, however PJTN is already seeking legal council on the matter,” PJTN President Laurie Cardoza-Moore told PJ Media on Wednesday.
Earlier that day, the pro-Israel group announced that it had been blacklisted by Amazon Smile. Amazon confirmed that it booted PJTN due to the SPLC’s accusation.
“I initially thought it comical that Proclaiming Justice to The Nations had been placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups alongside the KKK. However, I have now learned that this political witch hunt against those that don’t share SPLC’s extremist liberal views has been adopted as a religious doctrine by Amazon,” Cardoza-Moore said. “This could dramatically affect our ability to raise funds and function as a non-profit organization.”
According to its website, the organization’s mission involves educating, advocating, and activating “Christians, Jews and all people of conscience in building a global community of action and prayer in support of Jews and Israel. We are engaged in winning the ideological, social, moral and spiritual battle for the mind of this generation.”
A 501c3 non-profit organization, PJTN was established “to educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and Israel against the rise of global anti-Semitism.”
PJTN has taken a firm stance against the anti-Israel Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement. Cardoza-Moore told PJ Media that her group has been responsible for 15 anti-BDS resolutions to date, most recently in Ohio. The group has also launched a boycott against Airbnb when the company agreed not to list rentals in what it referred to as “occupied territory” in West Bank settlements.
PJTN also called for the resignations of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). Israel banned Omar and Tlaib from entering the country, due to their support for BDS. In calling for Omar’s resignation, PJTN specifically noting her support for “the anti-Semitic BDS movement” and Omar’s tweet declaring that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
“BDS, anti-Israel and anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Help us rid the worldview of anti-Semites from all our communal spaces, from our churches to our schools and all the way to the UN.,” the organization’s website declares.
When asked about the SPLC’s accusation that PJTN is an “anti-Muslim hate group,” Cardoza-Moore said it is “absurd.”
“It’s absurd. PJTN exists to fight the oldest hate on earth: anti-Semitism. If standing up to anti-Semites like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar is what got us blacklisted then so be it,” she said.
“It would appear that PJTN has become a canary in the coal mine to warn what happens when big tech is allowed to create discriminatory policies based on the nefarious listings of political organizations with an axe to grind,” she said in a statement. “If speaking out against the anti-Semitism of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib has put me on the SPLC list, so be it. However, in a free country that cherishes freedom of expression, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, technology companies like Amazon should not be allowed to blacklist charities in this way.”
“We call on our supporters to increase their support during this difficult time and call on our elected officials to ensure that our voice is not silenced by the alliance of far-left groups and their enablers in Silicon Valley,” the statement concluded.
The SPLC enjoys tremendous cultural and economic power. While the organization originally gave legal representation to poor people in the south, it began suing the KKK in the 1980s. After bankrupting many KKK-affiliated groups, the SPLC began expanding the purview of the “hate” it monitors, including conservative and Christian organizations on its list of “hate groups.” Former employees have outed the “hate group” list as a scam to raise money. A former spokesman said the group’s “aim in life” is to “completely destroy” the organizations it blacklists.
In addition to Amazon, companies like Eventbrite, Hyatt Hotels, Chase bank, and others have blacklisted mainstream organizations that found themselves on the SPLC’s list. Early this year, Michigan state officials launched a “hate crimes unit,” citing the SPLC’s annual report on “hate groups.”
The SPLC does not deserve this kind of credibility. In March, the SPLC lost its co-founder, president, legal director, and a major board member amid a sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal.
The “hate group” accusation also inspired a gunman to target the conservative Christian Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Convicted of terrorism, he confessed that he intended to shoot everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by their heads.
Many of the individuals and organizations slandered by the SPLC have launched legal attempts to fight back. After the SPLC smeared a Muslim reformer as an “anti-Islamic extremist,” the organization settled his defamation lawsuit by paying $3.375 million. One of the current defamation lawsuits has reached the discovery process, threatening to unearth the smear factory’s secrets.
Yet many defamation lawsuits are struck down because the SPLC claims that its “hate group” accusations are mere opinion, protected by the First Amendment. After D. James Kennedy Ministries sued the SPLC and Amazon for defamation and discrimination in 2017, an Alabama district court dismissed the suit in September 2019. DJKM is appealing the decision.
The SPLC does not treat its “hate group” accusations as mere opinion. It has pressured Big Tech to blacklist non-profit groups like DJKM and PJTN, and its staff have cited the “hate group” numbers in congressional testimony as if they were scientific statistics. The SPLC is trying to eat its cake and have it, too, and DJKM is calling the far-left smear factory’s bluff. PJTN is considering joining the party.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.