Posted Friday, May 18, 2001

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This is not a matter of free speech rights
-- Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (annual salary: $750,000) -- revealing how sensitive they are now becoming to allegations that they are the traditional enemies of free speech.


London, Friday, May 11, 2001

[Images added by this website: Simon Wiesenthal, who is paid $50,000 per annum for the use of his name; a sheet of World War II deathmask stamps of Reinhard Heydrich: IRVING COLLECTION]


"Nazi" auctions banned



ON-LINE auctioneer eBay has promised to ban the sale of all items related to Nazi Germany and race-hate groups from this week.

Earlier, eBay had discontinued the sale of similar memorabilia of recent origin, but exempted items more than 50 years old, which were deemed "historical."

WiesenthalThe Simon Wiesenthal Center, which had lobbied for the change for two years, welcomed the decision, maintaining that eBay had become the largest on-line retailer of Nazi material.

"Because eBay charges for auction listings and gets a cut of successful sales, it is morally responsible for what is available on its massive site," declared Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center's associate dean.

Rabbi Cooper said he had urged the company to follow the stricter European rules on hate material in its US operations.

"This is not a matter of free speech rights," he argued.

Heydrich death-mask stampsAccording to Mike Jacobson, a lawyer for eBay, overseas expansion and public opinion were key factors in its decision. "Given our expansion, as well as feedback we've received from our users," he said, "we reviewed our policy and concluded that these changes are appropriate."

The company, based in San Jose, California, will permit the continued sale of German stamps and coins from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as Second World War material.

But its new policy will additionally ban material associated with murders committed an the past 100 years, and of letters, artwork and other goods with the names or faces of criminals.

The Internet portal Yahoo! banned Nazi and Ku Klux Klan memorabilia in January, in the wake of court rulings in France and worldwide protest.

Earlier this month, eBay knocked from the top spot as the most-visited e-commerce site.

Related items on this website:

Holocaust survivors sue Yahoo! over sale of Nazi items | May Sue Yahoo CEO | Will Cyberspace Look Like France or America?
International Herald Tribune on the Yahoo ban: "Who are the real Nazis?"
Yahoo! to ban Nazi memorabilia from website

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