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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 18:15 GMT
Amazon denies backing Israel
Jerusalem Post
Amazon has cancelled its deal with the Jerusalem Post

Amazon.com has denied it is offering customers the chance to "support" Israel by buying goods through its website.

The world's largest online retailer has demanded that the Jerusalem Post's online edition retract a clearly labelled and prominently displayed advertisement on most of its news pages.


You may not in any manner misrepresent or embellish the relationship between us and you... including expressing or implying that Amazon.com supports, sponsors, endorses or contributes money to any charity or other cause

Amazon
"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."

The chief executive of the Jerusalem Post did not respond to BBC News Online's request for an interview.

A source at the paper said the "advertisement" had not been paid for by Amazon and half of the commissions from referral sales were paid to charities "that support Israeli causes".

False advertising

Amazon operates an "associate" programme that allows websites to earn up to a 15% referral fee for purchases made through links to the retailer.

But it forbids associates from implying that the deal means they support the websites ideologically.

"You may not in any manner misrepresent or embellish the relationship between us and you... including expressing or implying that Amazon.com supports, sponsors, endorses or contributes money to any charity or other cause," the company states on its website.

Amazon, which claims more than 800,000 associates worldwide, provides the artwork to link to its home page which the associate is not allowed to modify without permission.

The Amazon spokeswoman said the Jerusalem Post published its link without approval.

Other sites, such as Shop4Israel.com, clearly explain the money raised through Amazon would be donated to charities "to help the state of Israel and our brothers and sisters who live there".

Ms Smith said that Amazon had never donated any money to Israel or charities that support Israeli causes.

Amazon has previously been accused of supporting Palestinian groups through associate agreements.

The Jerusalem Post is published by Hollinger International, which also owns the UK's Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and the Spectator magazine.

See also:

25 Oct 02 | Business
23 Jul 02 | Business
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