NUWEIBA – Amazon removed a book from its website authored by the Hezbollah terrorist group’s second-in-command after an Israeli journalist slammed the retail giant for promoting the work of an “international terrorist.”
“The US administration has declared Hezbollah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem an international terrorist and has forbidden American citizens and businesses from maintaining contact with him,” reporter Haim Isrovitch wrote in the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv, “but the Amazon site sold Qassem’s book, which supports murdering Israeli civilians and casts doubt on Israel’s right to exist.”
“Therefore, the promotion of the book on Amazon.com, which allows Qassem to profit on every sale, raises a clear suspicion of breaking the sanctions and helping to finance terrorism,” Isrovitch wrote.
The Amazon page with the book listing, titled Hizbullah (Hezbollah): The Story from Within, no longer exists.
The controversy surrounding the book started last week when UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis met with Qassem and later recommended his book as “necessary reading” on Twitter. The tweet was later translated into Arabic and retweeted by Kubis’ UN office.
Grateful for an open and substantive discussion on a broad range of topics with Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem of Hizbullah. On top I received a copy of his book – a necessary reading.
— Jan Kubis (@UNJanKubis) May 20, 2019
ممتن للنقاش الصريح حول مروحة واسعة من المواضيع مع نائب الأمين العام لحزب الله الشيخ نعيم قاسم. بالاضافة تلقيت نسخة عن كتابه – قراءة ضرورية. https://t.co/STXFszgNqs
— UNSCOL (@UNSCOL) May 20, 2019
According to Isrovitch, the book is replete with antisemitic and anti-Israel statements. Qassem justifies Palestinian attacks against civilians on the basis that Israeli “soldiers hide from battle, seeking shelter in the villages and towns behind civilians.” Both Hezbollah and Palestinian terror groups including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are notorious for implanting themselves and their weapons within civilian populations.
The book further charges that Zionism is a violation of the most basic human rights.
Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. since 1997, but two years ago the US Treasury Department declared all members of Hezbollah’s leadership, including Qassem, to be international terrorists.
Qassem’s U.S.-based assets were consequently seized and U.S. businesses and private citizens are banned from having any business dealings with him.
Isrovitch contacted Amazon and the bookseller subsequently removed the book from its website.
An Amazon spokesperson told Maariv, “We have comprehensive policies that outline what may be sold in our stores, and carefully monitor our stores to ensure authors and sellers adhere to these policies.”
“Amazon makes a significant investment in, and strictly enforces, our policies. We have developed sophisticated, automated tools that use machine learning to scan listings on Amazon and automatically block or remove listings found to be in violation of our policies,” the spokesperson continued.
“These automated tools are supplemented by teams of investigators that conduct manual, human reviews of our listings on a regular basis. In the rare instance where one gets through, we investigate and remove content that does not meet our policies.”
Qassem, Hassan Nasrallah’s right-hand man, has in the past explicitly threatened Israel with annihilation.
Israel’s foreign ministry last week slammed the UN coordinator, Kubis, for praising the terror leader.
“We are shocked and disappointed by this meeting with a designated terror organization’s leader, threatening Israel, Lebanon and the whole region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted.
We are shocked and disappointed by this meeting with a designated terror organization’s leader, threatening Israel,Lebanon and the whole region. One doesn’t need to read the Naim Qassem book, courtesy of #Hezbollah terrorists, in order to understand this !! 👎@IsraelMFA @UN https://t.co/o7ccAzvXTO
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) May 21, 2019