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12th Oct 2021

Sally Rooney boycotts Isreali publishing house to show solidarity with Palestine

Katy Brennan

The author said she wants to show her support for “Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.”

Sally Rooney has said she will not sell translation rights for her new book to an Israeli-based publishing company, due to her political views on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

She said she would not work with the publisher, Modan, as it “does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.”

While she was proud to have her previous books translated into Hebrew, she has decided to refrain from selling the rights to her latest novel.

Her previous novels, Normal People and Conversations with Friends, were translated into Hebrew by Modan.

In a statement issued by the author, she explained her support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement , a campaign that works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”

She went on to say:

“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 released in September and has quickly become a bestseller in Ireland and the UK. The book revolves around two best friends, Alice and Eileen, as they navigate through life and romantic relationships.