AmEx yanks merchant privileges from author who denies Holocaust

David Irving is not a man with whom many of us would want to be associated. The British-born historian has made a career peddling books and speeches claiming that the Holocaust and Adolph Hilter's realm of genocide are fabrications. He's run afoul of strict laws in Austria forbidding statements of Holocaust denial and even has done jail time there for his beliefs.

Now, it seems American Express doesn't want to be associated with him, either. When Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind learned that Irving accepted American Express from people who wanted to buy his books or buy tickets to his book tour events, he got a dozen lawmakers to sign a letter urging AmEx to drop Irving and alerted the media.
The result? David Irving is no longer a merchant, according to American Express. "It's effective immediately, as of yesterday," which is when the card issuer was made aware of the nature of Irving's business, says AmEx spokesperson Christine Elliott. "The materials that he sells on his website are not consistent with the brand policies that we have in our merchant agreement so we made the decision to terminate his ability to accept the American Express card," Elliott tells WalletPop.

Irving still accepts Visa and Mastercard; Assemblyman Hikind says his office would like to see those issuers drop Irving as well. He acknowledges this will be a longer battle since many different banks use Visa and Mastercard. If dropped by one, Irving could simply take his biased business to another one. "We are figuring out how to do that," Hikind tells WalletPop. "It's a more difficult nut to crack but we intend to crack it. We don't need to have major corporations working with the guy."

Hikind is pleased with AmEx's response, though. "I'm very happy. I think [the termination] was incredibly fast," he says of the company's response.

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