Acclaimed Young Novelist Boycotts Israel

Complies with anti-Semitic BDS guidelines.

The bestselling young novelist Sally Rooney from Ireland has refused to allow the translation of her latest novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, into Hebrew by an Israeli publisher. This includes the Israeli firm that had published her previous two novels in Hebrew. Rooney, who has bought into the blood libel that Israel is an “apartheid” state, said that she is taking this stance now to show her full support for the Israel-hating Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS).

It’s certainly not surprising that Rooney would march in lockstep with the anti-Semitic BDS movement, which wants to strangle the Jewish State economically.

The 30-year-old firebrand signed an anti-Israel diatribe last May entitled “A Letter Against Apartheid.”  It called upon governments to “cut trade, economic and cultural relations” with Israel. This letter claimed that Israel’s proportionate defensive military actions in Gaza last May, in response to Palestinian terrorists’ launch of thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilian population centers, was somehow a “massacre” by a “colonizing power.”

Rooney claimed that her refusal to deal with an Israeli-based publisher in connection with her latest novel does not necessarily mean that she is ruling out the translation of her book into Hebrew altogether. “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,” Rooney said.

Rooney is engaging in sophistry. If Rooney were to permit a non-Israeli publishing company to publish Beautiful World, Where Are You into Hebrew outside of Israel, she would have to make sure that her publisher does not own or run a business in Israel in order to be compliant with BDS’s guidelines. In any case, Rooney said that she could not deal with a publisher “that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.”

As Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer tweeted, “Sally Rooney’s book won’t be published in Hebrew because there’s no such thing as a ‘BDS-compliant’ Hebrew publisher. To be that, a publisher would have to agree to not selling its books in Israel and to Israelis who are…the overwhelming majority of the Hebrew-reading market.”

While acknowledging that many states other than Israel, in her words, are “guilty of grievous human rights abuses,” Rooney explained her obsession with Israel.  “I am responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, including all major Palestinian trade unions and writers’ unions,” Rooney declared.

Rooney’s demonization, delegitimization, and discrimination against the Jewish State of Israel are the hallmarks of today’s version of anti-Semitism.

Why, for example, has Rooney gone after Israel while not showing any outrage over the Communist Chinese government’s imprisonment and torture of Uighur Muslims living inside China? Perhaps, Rooney is willing to give the Chinese Communists a free pass because she herself sees the world through “a sort of Marxist framework.”

“My parents are socialists and I was brought up in a like left wing household with strong socialist principles,” Rooney told an interviewer in 2019. “I mean my mother raised us with the maxim of, like, from each according to their ability to each according to their need.”

Rooney’s “Marxist framework” has even led her to see America's superhero characters in ideological and racialized terms.

“Batman is a product of capitalism’s inequities,” Rooney wrote in 2016. “In an era of racialized police brutality, incipient climate crisis, unprecedented wealth inequality, and mass surveillance, what does ‘evil’ look like? Who, or what, are the ‘good guys’ fighting? Because Batman’s superpower is private property, his real nemesis is the destabilization of the private property system,” according to Rooney’s neo-Marxist analysis.

“The superhero genre exemplifies the US citizen in a white body, because in these narratives, the exemplary citizen is white,” Rooney added. “In the mirror of the superhero, America is reassured of its good qualities.”

Rooney has been lionized in elite literary circles. The New Yorker, for example, called Rooney the “first great millennial novelist.” But look beneath the surface and what emerges is typical of the white left wing progressives who style themselves as social warriors while benefiting from the capitalist system they claim to hate.

Rooney, a young white Irish woman raised by socialist parents, is profiting from the lucrative publishing deals that the capitalist system she rails against has made possible.

Whatever talents Rooney may possess as a novelist, Rooney has added anti-Semite to her real world “credentials.”


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