Why Amazon Should Stop Selling Anti-Semitic Tracts

In 2009, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) sued the online retailer for selling dozens of neo-Nazi books on its German website—books that have been banned in Germany. Yet not only are Amazon’s European websites still selling such books, they are now available on the U.S. website as well. Ron Radosh writes:

You will find [available on Amazon] The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews, The Six Million: Fact or Fiction, and many other such vile specimens of “literature.” If you don’t think readers are convinced by [such books], just look at the comments of those who have read [them]. . . .

[M]y concern for how such Nazi-like rot is so easily available for purchase should not lead to the accusation that I am calling for censorship. These modern deluded and insane racists can freely write and publish their own writings, and undoubtedly do sell them at “White Nationalist” events. Their availability does not mean that Amazon has to make them available for a wider public. The fact that these books exist does not mean [Amazon] must sell them.

Clearly, the AJC’s 2009 suit did not work. It’s time for Amazon to look carefully through its catalogue and delete these and other similar books for good.

Read more at PJ Media

More about: Anti-Semitism, Censorship, Internet, neo-Nazis, Politics & Current Affairs

How to Save the Universities

To Peter Berkowitz, the rot in American institutions of higher learning exposed by Tuesday’s hearings resembles a disease that in its early stages was easy to cure but difficult to diagnose, and now is so advanced that it is easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. Recent analyses of these problems have now at last made it to the pages of the New York Times but are, he writes, “tardy by several decades,” and their suggested remedies woefully inadequate:

They fail to identify the chief problem. They ignore the principal obstacles to reform. They propose reforms that provide the equivalent of band-aids for gaping wounds and shattered limbs. And they overlook the mainstream media’s complicity in largely ignoring, downplaying, or dismissing repeated warnings extending back a quarter century and more—largely, but not exclusively, from conservatives—that our universities undermine the public interest by attacking free speech, eviscerating due process, and hollowing out and politicizing the curriculum.

The remedy, Berkowitz argues, would be turning universities into places that cultivate, encourage, and teach freedom of thought and speech. But doing so seems unlikely:

Having undermined respect for others and the art of listening by presiding over—or silently acquiescing in—the curtailment of dissenting speech for more than a generation, the current crop of administrators and professors seems ill-suited to fashion and implement free-speech training. Moreover, free speech is best learned not by didactic lectures and seminars but by practicing it in the reasoned consideration of competing ideas with those capable of challenging one’s assumptions and arguments. But where are the professors who can lead such conversations? Which faculty members remain capable of understanding their side of the argument because they understand the other side?

Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Freedom of Speech, Israel on campus