Not content with mainstreaming anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers, the mainline church-supported U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has now decided to politicize Amazon. On its main web site it announced its latest anti-Israel effort:

Below, please sign up to help us “save (the) amazon!” It’s not good for the world’s biggest online retailer to sell products that support inhumane policies.

By signing up, you agree to:

1. Search Amazon.com,

2. Identify a product that aids the Israeli occupation, or generates profit from it (examples are: Ahava skin cream, CAT boots, or Motorola walkie-talkies),

3. Use your own words to add a critical review of that product to Amazon.com,

4. Email us a link where we can see your review on Amazon. We’ll collect and share the best ones in our upcoming media campaign to highlight the growing movement for boycotting Israeli occupation.

Here’s an example of what they are advocating, from a “review” of Ahava Smoothing Moisturizer:

I would have wanted to know the actual origin of this product before I purchased it because my first concern is that there is a moral issue here. These Ahava products are illegally stolen from Palestinian natural resources in the Occupied West Bank and are produced in an illegal settlement. There are lots and lots of products out there that are just as good or better,that certainly do not carry the tainted image of being illegal under international law.

When I found out about the origins of Ahava products, I tossed out my jar of Ahava moisturizer because the sight of it made my skin crawl.

By the way, the Ahava Smoothing Moisturizer was quite average and not worth crossing ethical and moral boundaries for.

The reviews will have nothing to do with the products in question, of course. (The last line in that one was repeated word-for-word in another, and is a lie, I’m sure–the “reviewers” have never tried the product, you can be sure of that.) They will simply be the content-free sloganeering of Israel haters, for instance this one:

After decades of Zionists getting away with running more and more Palestinian people out of their homes, taking more and more land for “Jews only” settlements, you want me to buy a Dead Soul Product? Not a chance!

I’ve already contacted Amazon about the politicization of its product reviews. Here’s my email to the company:

To whom it may concern:

I have been an Amazon customer for over 10 years, and have been overwhelmingly satisfied with my experience dealing with your company. In the name of helping you maintain the high standards for which Amazon is world-renowned, I wish to bring a problem not of your making to your attention.

I have recently discovered that a political organization called the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is seeking to politicize the products reviews on Amazon. It is urging like-minded activists to write “reviews” of products from such companies as Ahava, Caterpillar, and Motorola that are for the purpose of making political points rather than actually reviewing the product. An example of that activity can be found at:

http://www.amazon.com/Ahava-Smoothing-Moisturizer-normal-1-7oz/dp/B000LZDJ1G/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289672657&sr=8-1-fkmr0

When I shop through Amazon, I am looking for honest opinions about the items I buy, not someone’s efforts to harangue me about their pet political beliefs. I realize it will take precious limited resources to filter out such reviews, but I believe it would be worth the time and manpower necessary in order to keep Amazon the world-leader in retailing that it has come to be.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

David Fischler

Feel free to use this as a starting point for your own contact.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten a response from Amazon:

Thanks for bringing these reviews to our attention. Each of the reviews mentioned will be read by a member of our Communities team.

Any reviews we find outside our guidelines will be removed. Any changes made will appear online soon.

I then checked the Ahava item linked above, and all of the political statements are gone. Way to go, Amazon!