Sally Rooney under fire with Jewish community as she refuses to release Dublin based novel in Israel

By Amy Donohoe

Sally Rooney has come under fire with the Jewish community as she refused to release her latest Dublin based novel in Israel.

The author has decided not to allow her new novel Beautiful World, Where Are You to be translated into Hebrew by an Israeli-based publisher due to her stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Equally, she has also received praise for her strong political stance regarding Israel's current regime.

The acclaimed Irish author, 30, was "very proud" to have had her previous two novels translated, but for now she had "chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house".

She wants to express her solidarity with the "Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality".

The writer said in a statement she felt unable to work with Modan, describing it as a company "that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people".

She also expressed support for the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.

(Press Association Images)

Ms Rooney said: "Of course, many states other than Israel are guilty of grievous human rights abuses. This was also true of South Africa during the campaign against apartheid there.

"In this particular case, I am responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, including all major Palestinian trade unions and writers' unions.

"I understand that not everyone will agree with my decision, but I simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.

"The Hebrew-language translation rights to my new novel are still available, and if I can find a way to sell these rights that is compliant with the BDS movement's institutional boycott guidelines, I will be very pleased and proud to do so."

Beautiful World, Where Are You, was published in September and became a bestseller in Ireland and the UK, almost instantly.

It centres on the romantic exploits of an award-winning Irish novelist called Alice Kelleher and explores the themes of love, friendship and conflict surrounding social class.

Her first two novels - Conversations With Friends and Normal People - were both published in Hebrew by Modan.

(BBC)

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