[UPDATE BELOW] 9:37AM EST: NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), a child of Holocaust survivors, is leading the charge among his colleagues to force American Express to rescind the merchant agreement of notorious Holocaust denier David Irving, who has commenced a United States book tour to promote his new hate-filled tome entitled, Banged Up: Survival as a Political Prisoner in 21st Century Europe. “The notion that a well-regarded financial entity like American Express conducts business with someone of Irving’s ilk is absolutely astounding to me,” remarked Hikind.
To express their outrage, Hikind and a dozen elected officials, including Senate Democratic Conference Leader John L. Sampson, wrote to AMEX Chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault saying, “By processing charges for tickets to Mr. Irving’s United States, hate-filled speaking tour, as well as for his publications, your company is sanctioning his repugnant message.”
The letter continues, “According to your own merchant reference guide, ‘American Express has built a brand that is synonymous with trust, integrity, security, quality, and customer service. We work diligently to uphold our reputation and restrict Merchants from engaging in activities that would harm our business or brand.’ Surely, Mr. Irving’s actions constitute a breach of the merchant agreement. My undersigned colleagues and I strongly urge you to rescind Mr. Irving’s merchant agreement.”
Previously, Irving has claimed that people pretend to be Holocaust survivors because, “there’s money involved and they can get a good compensation cash payment out of it.” Some of his other rabid and factually perverse comments include, “It [the Holocaust] is something like a religion…..The Intellectual Adventure is that we are reversing this entire trend within the space of one generation – that in a few years time, no one will believe this particular legend anymore……Yes, hundreds of thousands of people were killed, but there were no factories of death. All that is a blood libel against the German people.”
In response to Irving’s outrageous statements, Hikind remarked, “It is my sincere hope that American Express will do the right thing in this regard, and take swift and decisive action to revoke Mr. Irving’s privileges to bring us one step closer to putting Mr. Irving out of business.”
The following elected officials lent their names to the letter sent to AMEX Chairman Chenault:
Assemblymembers Peter Abbate, Michael Benjamin, Vivian Cook, Rory Lancman, Nick Perry; Senators Eric Adams, Carl Kruger, John Sampson, and Diane Savino; Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene, Michael Nelson, and Kendall Stewart.
5:00PM EST: Assemblyman Hikind has just released the following statement:
AMEX SPOKESPERSON: “DAVID IRVING’S ACCOUNT HAS BEEN REVOKED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY”
HIKIND: “We applaud American Express for doing the right thing. Let this be a lesson to all of us to remain vigilant against hate-mongers like Irving.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)