Sally Rooney, author of “Normal People” and “Conversations with Friends,” will not allow her latest book to be translated or published in Hebrew by an Israeli publishing company.
The Irish author’s agent told Modan, publisher of Hebrew versions of Rooney’s previous books, that Rooney supports a cultural boycott of Israel, according to Forward, which cited a Haaretz report from late September. She added that she would not allow the company to translate or publish a Hebrew version of her third novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You.” (RELATED: 2 Pro-Palestinian Men Charged With Hate Crime For Attack On Jewish Diners In LA)
The book has already become a global bestseller following its release in September.
Hebrew isn’t an Israeli state product or invention. It’s a Jewish language, and cultural boycotts (like academic ones) are unavoidably boycotts of people, not governments. It’s the opposite of what art and culture should be. https://t.co/c0dMshy2Ah
— Dave Rich (@daverich1) October 11, 2021
Rooney told the Guardian that she would sell the Hebrew language rights to her book if she finds a way to do so in compliance with BDS guidelines. BDS is a movement to boycott, divest, and sanction the state of Israel. Rooney signed a letter in 2020 accusing Israel of apartheid.
In addition to the 8 million Israelis who use Hebrew as a primary language, Poland recognizes Hebrew as a minority language. Approximately one million people outside Israel speak Hebrew, according to Babbel. (RELATED: Wednesday Is The 14-Year Anniversary Of ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’ Being Released)
Sally Rooney’s previous books, “Conversations with Friends” and “Normal People,” were translated into Hebrew. They were also published in Chinese by Shanghai Translation Publishing House, which censors books at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party. China is allegedly detaining 2 million Uyghurs in a system of concentration camps where the primarily Muslim minorities are tortured and sexually assaulted as part of an ethnic cleansing project.