When is it okay to publish a blank book that trolls another group, and when is it not?
That’s what happened with A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era, a 120-page blank book created by Israeli author, publicist and editor Assaf A. Voll, which initially reached a ranking of 341 in the All Books category, a ranking of 49 in History, and #1 in Middle East History on Amazon.com.
The book was described on Amazon as “the comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history.”
Voll told United with Israel that he had “no intention of deceiving anyone.” He said Amazon.com, after deciding it would ban the book, sent him a message stating, “During a quality assurance review of your CSP catalogue, we found that your book(s) are resulting in a disappointing customer experience. Indicators of a poor customer experience may include customer refunds and feedback. As a result, the following book(s) have been removed from sale on Amazon.”
From where did the claim of a “disappointing customer experience” arise? One possibility: Welcome to Palestine, the self-described “largest online encyclopedia of Palestine” which published an article called “Amazon removes racist book after international outrage,” claiming “countless complaints were sent to Amazon.”
Voll pointed out that a preview button indicated that the book was blank. He noted, “There are other empty books on Amazon,” pointing to Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide.
As The Jewish Press notes, Amazon sells T-Shirts that erase the Jewish State and replace it with “Palestine,” and sells the virulently anti-Semitic book The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which is chock-full of lies about Jews.
Asked why they still sold the Protocols, Amazon replied, “Amazon strongly believes that providing open access to written speech, no matter how hateful or ugly, is one of the most important things we do. And because we think the best remedy for offensive speech is more speech, we also make available to readers the ability to make their own voices heard and express their views about this and all our titles in reviews and ratings.”
Voll’s book sold well on barnesandnoble.com before it was banned there as well.