With the fear that antisemitism is on the rise again, Congress is looking to effectively respond to the threat. The Jewish Insider reports that Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL-23) is leading thirty-four Congressional Democrats in signing a letter to Amazon demanding the retail giant pull antisemitic products from its online store.
Specifically, the letter cites Hebrews to Negroes, a book and its documentary film companion promoting Black Hebrew Israelite ideology. The works claim that Black people are the true descendants of the Biblical Israelites, while modern Jews are impostors.
Other antisemitic tropes, including Holocaust denial, are present. This odious media gained national attention in November when Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving shared links to the documentary on his social media, resulting in his suspension.
This is not the first time Rep. Wasserman-Schultz has publicly called out antisemitism.
Wasserman Schultz in the past has called out her fellow Congressional Democrats on the issue, most notably Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Wasserman-Schultz condemned Tlaib's "outrageous progressive litmus test" that progressivism and support for Israel are incompatible, as has defended Israel's response to a Hamas attack that Omar accused the Jewish State of perpetrating "ethnic cleansing" and an "apartheid system."
Notably, Reps. Tlaib and Omar are not listed as signers of Wasserman-Schultz's letter.
Despite Wasserman-Schultz's letter, the article notes that Amazon will not take action against the documentary. He quotes Amazon's CEO as saying, "as a retailer of content to hundreds of millions of customers with a lot of different viewpoints, we have to allow access to those viewpoints, even if they are objectionable — objectionable and they differ from our particular viewpoints." Nonetheless, it is mentioned that this affair is "creating a precedent" in Amazon's content oversight process, which is described as "pretty involved."
This ultimately raises a question: how do we maintain freedom of speech while also minimizing the influence of objectionable opinions?