Amazon bans book with blank pages despite its bestseller status

Books with blank pages have been sold as joke and gag items for decades and the title that Amazon is now refusing to sell is no different. There was no deceptive advertising involved as any customer who read the description would have understood that the pages were blank. Reader stupidity and SJB activist outrage combined to create a perfect storm that has succeeded in pressuring Amazon to remove Assaf A. Voll’s best-selling book, ‘ A History of the Palestinian People.’

The lengthy paperback was described as “a fruit of many years of research,” and was proclaimed to be “the most comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history, with emphasis on the Palestinian people’s unique contribution to the world and to humanity.”

Shed Simove is a man who made a fortune selling blank books with titles like ‘What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex’  and Fifty Shades of Gray (which has 50 different gray pages) yet Amazon chose to remove ‘A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era’ by Israeli author, Assaf A. Voll after it became a huge Internet sensation and inspired debate.

…The historical account, which reached the impressive second spot on the online shopping site’s list of best-selling books in the category of “Israel and Palestine History” and topped the “Middle East History” section, evoked a lot of fury from many surprised customers.

Why were they so upset? Because the paperback, which is described on the site as “the comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history,” is actually an empty book. All 120 of its pages are blank.

Voll, the man behind the sensation, told the global pro-Israel organization United with Israel that he had “no intention of deceiving anyone.” Voll says that Amazon sent him a message explaining their decision to remove the book from the site.

According to him, the message stated: “During a quality assurance review of your CSP catalogue, we found that your book(s) are resulting in a disappointing customer experience. Indicators of a poor customer experience may include customer refunds and feedback. As a result, the following book(s) have been removed from sale on Amazon.”

However, Voll and others have speculated that the “poor customer experience” Amazon was referring to in their message was actually the result of pressure that was applied on the site by anti-Israel activists. One such example is the website Welcome to Palestine, the self-described “largest online encyclopedia of Palestine” which published an article called “Amazon removes racist book after international outrage.”

The article claimed that “countless complaints were sent to Amazon.”

Voll fended off claims that his book was deceiving, telling United with Israel that a preview button indicated that the book was devoid of actual content.

“There are other empty books on Amazon,” he said, pointing to another case similar to his. “One of which was even a bestseller that topped the sales table, titled Reasons to Vote for Democrats: A Comprehensive Guide.”

So what do you think? Is the book a fun gimmick or a joke that went too far? Was it a politically motivated book making a point about Palestinians being an invented group of Arabs who are mainly Jordanians?

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