- FYI.... Ann Popplestone CCC TLC 216-987-3584 ... From: Titles [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, AprilMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2000View Source
FW: Protocols of the Elders of Zion Statement
Barnes & Noble.com Statement
Regarding "PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION"
March 22, 2000
In recent weeks some Barnes & Noble.com customers have expressed concern about the classification of a book titled "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" on our Web site, and certain accompanying reviews. Many reports have erroneously stated that this title is classified on our site as "Judaica." In fact, this book has no such classification. However, from time to time Barnes & Noble.com receives copies of the book from out-of-print dealers who classify it as "Jew" or "Judaica," but we remove these classifications as soon as possible and notify the dealers in questions that this is wholly inappropriate. In addition, the reviews in question have been removed from the site after careful review by our editors.
Barnes & Noble.com has worked closely with members of the Jewish community to correct the misinformation regarding this issue. Below, reproduced with his permission, is a statement of support from Rabbi Eric A. Silver of Temple Beth David in Cheshire, Conn. We thank Rabbi Silver for his assistance in this matter:
"At no time did any anti-Semitic intent color Barnes and Noble's actions in this matter, and in fact, I think they are to be absolutely believed on this score. This company carries many books, and each book has its adherents and its detractors. The company's initial response to me was to cite First Amendment freedoms, and indicate that they would carry even controversial books. I would be the first to agree with that position....
A bit of clarification is in order: very often a book is classified by its distributor, and Barnes and Noble simply accepts the classification. An out of print version of "Protocols" that carries the label "Judaica" will be classified that way on the Internet.... That's a far cry from malice. Similarly, if it finds its way onto a shelf in a retail store, there are obvious reasons why the manager would place it in the Judaica area. The title itself is misleading, and pity the poor store manager who obviously doesn't have the time to read every single book in the store.
I think we're done with this issue, and in the best possible way. Please-don't boycott Barnes and Noble. They don't deserve it. They are honest book merchants who go out of their way to provide the reading public with the best in books and service. At no time in any of this was there even a scintilla of malicious intent. Occasionally even a good company will slip up, but once B&N became aware of the book's true nature, they acted with alacrity. The fake review was pulled, and the book is being appropriately identified. I want to commend Barnes and Noble for cleaning up their own act, and I also want to commend the many of you out there who have taken the time to let B&N know of your concern. More than anything else, it proves that this is a company that listens to its customers, and that's what good business is all about."
Rabbi Eric A. Silver
Temple Beth David