Amazon denies supporting Israel

Amazon.com has rebuffed accusations that it offers shoppers the chance to ‘support’ Israel by buying goods online. The claims arose from adverts on the Jerusalem Post’s web site, which the retailer has now demanded be retracted.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  November 18, 2002

Amazon.com, the world’s largest e-retailer, has rebuffed accusations that it offers shoppers the chance to ‘support’ Israel by buying goods online. The claims arose from adverts on the Jerusalem Post’s web site, which the retailer has now demanded be retracted.

Most news pages of the Post’s web site (www.jpost.com) contain adverts for Amazon, however these were posted without the retailer’s approval and so it is now demanding their removal.

"They have refused to comply and as of Thursday we have terminated our agreement," Patty Smith of Amazon told BBC News Online.

"We have asked them to take it down and if any sales are made through them they won't receive any commissions," she added.

A source at the paper told the BBC that Amazon had not paid for the ‘advertisement’ and that half of the commissions from referral sales were paid to charities "that support Israeli causes".

The newspaper used Amazon’s ‘associate’ programme, which allows web sites to earn a referral fee of up to 15% for purchases made via the link to the retail.

The programme’s rules clearly state that associates are forbidden from implying that an advert shows ideological support. However, the programme has previously caused similar controversy for Amazon over claims that it was supporting Palestine groups among others.

Smith made it clear to the BBC that Amazon had never donated money to Israel or charities supporting Israel.

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