Sally Rooney Nixes a Hebrew Translation of Her Novel

Author's decision is due to her opinion on the Israel-Palestine conflict
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2021 1:52 AM CDT
Updated Oct 16, 2021 7:00 AM CDT
Sally Rooney Won't Allow a Hebrew Translation of Her Novel
Lenny Abrahamson, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal, Sally Rooney and Ed Guiney participates in the Hulu "Normal People" panel during the Winter 2020 Television Critics Association Press Tour, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Sally Rooney, an author who's been referred to as "the first great millennial novelist," is making her stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict crystal clear: The 30-year-old won't allow a Hebrew translation of her latest novel. Rooney rejected an offer from Israeli publisher Modan, which published her first two novels in Hebrew, to release an edition of Beautiful World, Where Are You, the Times reports. According to the Jerusalem Post, Rooney has made no secret of her opposition to Israel, joining thousands of other artists who in July signed a letter accusing the country of apartheid and calling for "an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military; especially the United States," as well as for an end to "trade, economic and cultural relations."

Characters in Rooney's novels are even known to criticize Israel in the dialogue; in the plot of one, characters attend a protest against Israel set during the Gaza War in 2014. Rooney is Irish, and the Post notes that due to what many in Ireland see as similar struggles to what they went through with Britain, the country has quite a few residents who support Palestine. In an opinion piece at Forward, Gitit Levy-Paz writes that a cultural boycott, which Rooney supports, "is among the most slippery of slopes. The deployment of boycotts has in the past led to human atrocities that any loving soul would distance itself from. It is not always remembered, but among the first steps taken by the Nazi regime in Germany was the initiation of a boycott of Jewish businesses." (More Israel stories.)

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