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How did an Irish writer spark outrage in Israel?



BBC


Posted on: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 – 5:40 AM | Last update: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 – 5:40 AM

Irish writer Sally Rooney has sparked controversy after she refused to translate her new book into Hebrew by an Israeli company.
Rooney, whose writings are very popular, said that her position comes in support of calls to boycott Israel because of the latter’s policies towards the Palestinians.
The writer said it would be “an honor” to receive an offer to translate her book, Beautiful World, Where Are You, into Hebrew by a publishing house that shares her political stance.
A senior Israeli minister said such boycotts amounted to anti-Semitism.
Rooney issued a statement clarifying her position after she was accused of completely refusing to translate her story into Hebrew.

This came after it was found that the Irish writer rejected an offer from the Israeli publishing company “Modan” to own the rights to translate the book.
Rooney said she is proud that her two previous stories – A Conversation with Friends (2017) and Ordinary People (2018) – have been translated into Hebrew.
But the writer added, “For the time being, I have decided not to sell the translation rights to a publishing house based in Israel.”
The Irish writer relied on a recent report by Human Rights Watch accusing Israel of racism. Rooney said her decision came in support of the “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” movement that supports the Palestinians, and calls for a comprehensive boycott of Israel.
Rooney stressed her refusal to “accept a new agreement with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid, and does not support the rights of the Palestinian people sanctioned by the United Nations.”
“The rights to translate my new novel into Hebrew are still available, and if I find a way to sell these rights in line with the BDS directive, I’ll be happy and proud to do so,” the author said.
Apartheid was a policy of discrimination and discrimination applied by the ruling white minority against the black majority in South Africa during the period from 1948 to 1991.
Israel has always said that the “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” movement targets the existence of the State of Israel from the ground up, and that the movement is motivated by anti-Semitism.
Israel strongly rejects any comparison between its policies and apartheid, and described the Human Rights Watch report as “false and preposterous.”
The Irish writer’s position received mixed reactions from anger and praise on social media platforms.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said Palestinians “deeply welcome” the Irish writer’s decision, while others argue that Rooney was misrepresented.

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Rooney’s clarification statement did not soften the tone of critics, who considered that the clarification did not change her intentions.
The Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs said on Twitter in Hebrew that “the cultural boycott of Israel is anti-Semitism in a new form, and it is a testimony to the misconduct of it and those who turn towards it.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been a battleground for artists, celebrities and academics.
Earlier this year, Rooney signed an open letter supporting Palestinian artists and writers and accusing Israel of crimes against the Palestinian people.
Rooney’s writing has won numerous awards in the UK, most notably the Sunday Times Young Writer Award 2017 and the Costa Book Award in 2018.