close
Fiction publisher

Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic – like all BDS – The Forward

It was already clear that something was wrong with acclaimed novelist Sally Rooney when I read her 2018 book “Normal People” and the characters randomly began to disparage Israel:

“They went to demonstrate against the war in Gaza… Marianne wanted her life to have meaning so, she wanted to stop all violence committed by the strong against the weak… and now she knew that she was not at all powerful and that ‘she would live and die in a world of extreme violence against the innocent.

This description of the 2014 war, which most readers would barely register, but is a very clear red flag to anyone who really knows what happened back then – i.e. a conflict. which began because Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers and fired missiles at Israeli civilian centers – was sandwiched between a paragraph about Marianne’s boredom and a paragraph in which she and Connell, the other character main, tell each other that they love each other, but in a way that seems bored.

The lines about the Jewish state preying on the weak came out of the blue in a book that had nothing to do with geopolitics – it’s the story of the rich and sad Marianne and the poor but popular Connell, who have had a melodramatic for years and – out of relationship – in which the self-proclaimed Marxist author seemed to argue, as the Beatles and J.Lo did before her, that wealth will not bring you love and happiness. . (You might notice that I didn’t really like the book, even without the part on Israel.)

It’s read, I had an argument at my book club in Tel Aviv, like Rooney had an ax to beat against Israel. Lo and behold, it turns out she does.

The authors are not the same as their characters; if someone writes about a murderer or a racist, there is no reason to assume that the author is either.

I don’t know, for example, what comedian Dave Chappelle really thinks about Jews and Israel. The “Space Jews” joke in its latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” is a case of Holocaust reversal, the claim that Jews in Israel behave like Nazis.

As uncomfortable and angry as it made me, it happened in the context of a special in which Chappelle, as always, was telling jokes that he knew would offend many groups of people, and in which he asked viewers to think about why we laugh at some of these jokes and not others. There is a difference between a character in a book or a character on stage playing with anti-Semitism, however ugly that sounds, and their creator actually defending it.

But Rooney did the latter this week.

The world learned a few days ago that Rooney had decided that she would no longer allow the publication of her books in Hebrew, the historical language of the Jewish people, the language heard in synagogues and Jewish schools around the world, by the Israeli publisher who translated his first two books.

Amid accusations that this was not just an anti-Semitic move, but fundamentally anti-art and anti-cultural, Rooney released a clarification. The novelist now claims that “it would be an honor” for her works to be translated into Hebrew, but only in a manner “in accordance with the institutional boycott guidelines of the BDS movement.”

Her statement was apparently intended to show that she does not want to discriminate against Jews. Instead, she made it clear that the opposite is true, but that she thinks she can defend herself from being labeled an anti-Semite – perhaps not surprising to the former top debater. European University Debate Championships. The chances that his latest book, “Beautiful World, Where Are You”, will be available in Hebrew is almost nil – good luck finding a Hebrew fiction publisher who doesn’t sell to the two Israeli bookstore chains that hold the vast majority of the book. market, or that do not violate the standards of the BDS movement in multiple ways.

This is a helpful reminder that BDS is, at its core, an eliminationist movement. It is not against the so-called “occupation”. He seeks to get rid of the State of Israel and replace it with a Palestinian state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. As its founder, Omar Barghouti said, the movement “to oppose[s] a Jewish state in any part of Palestine ”and“ there will be no Zionist state like the one we are talking about [presently]. “

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

It goes without saying that there is only one Jewish state, and its elimination would certainly endanger a plurality of the world’s Jews. It would undoubtedly endanger all Jews by bringing us back to the vulnerable situation we found ourselves in before 1948, when we had no place of our own to flee genocide, expulsions, pogroms and farhuds.

Moreover, BDS and its supporters have never offered a convincing argument as to why the Palestinians deserve self-determination and the Jews do not.

The bottom line is, as deputy chairman of the Council of Deputies of British Jews, David Mendoza-Wolfson, said that Rooney “will not allow the publication of his latest work in Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people, at unless it is permitted by those who advocate for the destruction of the only Jewish state in the world.

Rooney is no fool; she surely realizes it. All the evidence indicates that she is promoting an anti-Semitic movement. It is always up to him to prove the contrary.

Lahav Harkov is diplomatic correspondent and senior associate editor of the Jerusalem Post.

To contact the author, send an email to [email protected]

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Reviews | Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS

Sally Rooney’s refusal to work with Israeli publisher is anti-Semitic, like all BDS



Source link

Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson