Israel accuses Sally Rooney of obstructing peace in Middle East by refusing publication of book

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Israel’s foreign ministry has accused Sally Rooney, the novelist, of obstructing peace in the Middle East by denying a request to translate her book into Hebrew.

Rooney has said she supports a cultural boycott of Israel and will not allow the translation rights to her latest novel to be sold to an Israel-based publishing house. She explained her decision as an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people “in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality”.

The acclaimed Irish author has said that the company in question, Modan, “does not publicly distance itself from apartheid”.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry told The Telegraph that Rooney’s decision was “narrow-minded” and hampered peace in the Holy Land.

“It’s an unhappy position that promotes narrow-mindedness and hinders peace, dialogue, or any meaningful change. Literature is a tool to promote dialogue and conversation, ”they said.

“There is something fundamentally flawed about an intellectual who refuses to engage in conversation and instead maintains the silence of public opinion.”

“Literature and art are intended to promote dialogue”

Nurit Tinari, director of the culture division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: “The boycott movement is an illegitimate campaign that has been marred by anti-Semitism from the day of its founding until today.

“Literature and art are meant to foster dialogue. We would expect an author to want to foster dialogue, hear other points of view, and influence through discourse.

“If Ms. Rooney had only visited Israel and studied the situation in depth, I don’t think she would have made such a discriminatory decision that would exclude a whole group of people based on where they live and what language they speak.

The move was hailed by pro-Palestinian activists who said Rooney recognized his “deep moral duty not to harm our liberation struggle.”

Rooney had previously approved the Modan translations of his first two bestsellers, Conversations with Friends and Normal People. But she refused to allow the company to do the same with its latest, Beautiful World, Where Are You.

His boycott was first noted by Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper. Rooney set out his position in a lengthy statement yesterday.

“The Israeli system of domination and racial segregation”

She said: “It would be an honor for me to have my latest novel translated into Hebrew and available to Hebrew speaking readers. But for now, I have chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israel-based publishing house.

Rooney, 30, referred to reports from human rights organizations which, she said, confirmed that “Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of the ‘apartheid under international law’.

Rooney explained that she supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for an economic and cultural boycott of “complicit” Israeli companies and institutions.

“It is modeled on the economic and cultural boycott that helped end apartheid in South Africa,” Rooney said.

“Of course, many states other than Israel are guilty of serious human rights violations. This was also the case for South Africa during the campaign against apartheid.

“In this case, I am responding to the call of Palestinian civil society, including all the major Palestinian unions and writers’ unions.

“I understand that not everyone will agree with my decision, but I just don’t think it would be fair for me under the current circumstances to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly take its distances from apartheid and does not support the UN. stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.

“Solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom”

Rooney said she would be prepared to sell the rights to the Hebrew language “if I can find a way that complies with the institutional boycott guidelines of the BDS movement.”

She ended her statement by saying: “I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS National Committed, has expressed support for Rooney.

He said: “We note with pride the historic solidarity expressed by Irish cultural figures with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

Dr Yara Hawari, author and PACBI member, said: “Sally Rooney supports the moral appeal of Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid.

“Palestinian writers, like me, applaud Rooney for his unwavering support for Palestinian human rights. “


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