Thursday , December 2 2021

Author Sally Rooney forbids new novel to be translated into Hebrew in an attempt to boycott Israel



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Hebrew readers will no longer be able to get a copy of Sally Rooney’s latest novel “Beautiful World, Where Are You.”

On Tuesday, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Irish author had refused an offer from the Israeli publisher Modan to translate her books into Hebrew. Modan translated her earlier books. The newspaper wrote that Rooney’s agent mentioned her support for Israel’s cultural boycott, also called the Boycott, Disinvestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement, as a reason for this rejection.

“When Modan approached Rooney’s agent in an attempt to sign another translation agreement, the agent announced that Rooney supported the cultural boycott movement over Israel and therefore did not approve the translation into Hebrew,” Haaretz reported.

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Rooney’s agent later confirmed that the author refused publication by Modan, but declined to comment on whether it was a boycott.

In a later statement, however, Rooney cited the BDS movement as her reason.

The Boycott, Distance and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a Palestinian-led, anti-racist and non-violent grassroots campaign calling for an economic and cultural boycott of complex Israeli companies and institutions in response to the apartheid system and other serious human rights violations, “Rooney wrote.

Israelis take part in a rally calling for the release of Israeli soldiers and civilians held by Hamas in Gaza, in front of the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)

Israelis take part in a rally calling for the release of Israeli soldiers and civilians held by Hamas in Gaza, in front of the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)
(AP Photo / Sebastian Scheiner)

She continued, “I understand that not everyone will agree with my decision, but I just do not feel that under the current circumstances it would be good to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-established rights of the Palestinian people. “

Rooney stated that if she could find a way to sell a translation of her novel that complied with the BDS movement, she would still publish her book in Hebrew.

Rooney has written three novels, “Conversations with Friends”, “Normal People”, and her latest “Beautiful World, Where Are You”. Her novel “Normal People” was adapted into a television series by Hulu.

Rooney’s decision was opposed by critics and critics alike.

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The BDS movement has received support in recent years despite its ties to anti-Semitism. In July, the popular ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s announced a boycott on sales of products in “Occupied Palestinian Territory”. In response, the State Department issued a statement denying the BDS movement.

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