Leading writers and poets support Irish author’s decision to refuse publication in Israel

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Dozens of prominent writers and poets have expressed support for a successful Irish novelist’s decision to reject a contractual offer with an Israeli publisher following decades-long acts of aggression and injustice against the regime against the Palestinians.

In a letter published Monday, seventy outstanding writers, poets and playwrights supported Sally Rooney’s decision not to sell the translation rights to an Israeli publisher, describing it as an “exemplary response to the growing injustices inflicted on the Palestinians.”

Last month, Rooney turned down an offer to sell the Hebrew translation rights to his new novel – Beautiful people, where are you – to the Israeli publisher Modan, who had published his two previous books, on his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Irish best-selling novelist said at the time that she supported the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, and that she opposed collaboration with an Israeli company “that does not publicly distance itself. apartheid ”and supported the UN bill. rights of the Palestinian people.

BDS is a Palestinian-led transnational organization that works to end international support for the oppression of Palestinians by the Israeli regime and lobbies Tel Aviv to comply with international law.

In the letter organized by Artists for Palestine, a UK-based cultural network supporting Palestinian rights, names as distinguished as Kamila Shamsie, Monica Ali, Kevin Barry, Rachel Kushner, Geoff Dyer, Pankaj Mishra, Carmen Callil and Ahdaf Soueif are seen.

“Palestinian artists have called on their international colleagues to end their complicity in Israel’s violations of their human rights, and that for many of us is a clear ethical obligation,” the authors wrote. “Sally Rooney’s refusal to sign a contract with a major Israeli publisher … is therefore an exemplary response to the growing injustices inflicted on the Palestinians.

The letter also highlighted Human Rights Watch’s finding in April that Israel was committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.

The letter underscored that Rooney was one of more than 16,000 signatories of “A Letter Against Apartheid” in May, calling for “an immediate and unconditional end to Israeli violence against the Palestinians.”

Two bookstore chains with outlets both in Israel and in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank said at the time that they were removing Rooney’s novels from their stores in retaliation.

“Like her, we will continue to respond to the Palestinian call for effective solidarity, just as millions of people have supported the campaign against apartheid in South Africa,” the authors concluded, adding: “We will continue to support the non-violent Palestinian struggle for freedom, for justice. and equality.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law because they are built on occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Israel’s colonization activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

The Palestinians want the West Bank to be part of a future independent Palestinian state with eastern Al-Quds as its capital.

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