Home Politics 13/October/2021 09:39 AM

Award-winning Irish novelist turns down translation by an Israeli publisher citing solidarity with the Palestinians

Award-winning Irish novelist turns down translation by an Israeli publisher citing solidarity with the Palestinians
Novelist Sally Rooney.

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, October 13, 2021 (WAFA) – Award-winning, acclaimed author and novelist Sally Rooney has turned down a request by an Israeli publishing company to translate into Hebrew and sell her latest novel "Beautiful World, Where Are You" citing solidarity with the Palestinian people in their drive for independence from Israel, a move that was praised by Palestinians.

The 30-year-old author has rejected an offer from the Israeli publisher that translated her two previous novels into Hebrew; she explained in a statement released on Tuesday.

"Earlier this year, the international campaign group Human Rights Watch published a report entitled "A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution". That report, coming on the heels of a similarly damning report by Israel’s most prominent human rights organization B’Tselem, confirmed what Palestinian human rights groups have long been saying: Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid under international law," Rooney’s statement read.

"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." "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," she said in the statement. "In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality," she added.

"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. In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality," she said.

Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian intellectual and former politician, welcomed Rooney’s stance.

"Genuine solidarity end empathy. Sally Rooney refuses to be complicit in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. Quality literature makes a difference," she wrote in a tweet.

K.T./M.K.

 

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