One of the world’s largest E-commerce platforms, Amazon has been accused of offering free shipping campaigns to Israel and near west settlements. According to the Financial Times research, Amazon’s offer extends to nearly all Israeli settlements in the contested region, which are considered illegal under international law. The research reports also claim that a free shipping campaign has been in action since November of last year, weeks after Amazon launched its operations for the Israeli market. Initially, the e-commerce giant started selling in Israel in November and offers free shipping on orders of more than $49. In the name of free shipment campaign, people in Israel and Israeli settlements have been offered free delivery charges. However, folks who place an order with Palestinian Territories as their location, the shipping cost is as much as $24.
Human rights campaigners claim that “by offering the discount exclusively to addresses listed as Israeli West Bank settlements, but not the Palestinian Territories, Amazon is assaulting a geopolitical dispute that is increasingly creating two sets of rules for two increasingly intertwined populations”. However, in response to all these allegations, Amazon claims that “there is nothing deliberately discriminatory about the campaign and that the price tag on shipments to Palestinian territories is purely a logistical issue due to the customs and additional inspections goods go through at the Israeli-controlled border”. Moreover, founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos’s pro-Israel political stance is the main reason for the company’s perceived pro-Israel bias.