Amazon faces backlash for selling Sinwar's jihadist bildungsroman

The book, whose blurb advertises Sinwar's role in the Oct 7 atrocities, is a fictionalized account of a jihadist's formative years

Philip Podolsky/i24NEWS|
International booksellers including Amazon incurred outrage on Friday when it emerged that their catalogues include a novel by one Yahya Al-Sinwar, the Hamas leader regarded as the mastermind behind the October 7 massacre.
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The Amazong listing of Sinwar's book
The Amazong listing of Sinwar's book
The Amazon listing of Sinwar's book
(Photo: Screenshot)
It is understood that Sinwar penned The Thorn and The Carnation — described variously as a "thinly veiled autobiography" and a jihadist bildungsroman (a literary genre offering an account of a protagonist's spiritual formation) — during his 22-year-long incarceration in Israeli prisons. It is not known when it was translated into English; yet the edition sold on Amazon was published in December 2023, some two months after the October 7 atrocities made him one of the world's most notorious terrorists.
Moreover, the book's blurb advertises his role in the worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust, waxing poetic about how "through the pages, readers traverse the corridors of his mind, possibly where the seeds for Operation Al-Aqsa Flood initiated on October 7, 2023, were sown."
Sinwar's tale "is not just one of survival; it bears testimony to the spirit of a people in perpetual struggle," the copy intones. "The narrative captures the essence of a life lived in the shadows of conflict and highlights the personal sacrifices made in the pursuit of what Al-Sinwar and his comrades deem liberation and resistance. It is a window into the soul of a movement and the heart of one of its most enigmatic leaders."
The Board of Deputies of British Jews urged Amazon to take the listing down, saying such a book could be used to “propagandize on behalf of a proscribed terrorist organization and also to raise money for it.”
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS
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