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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Standing up for Palestine

Congratulations to Sally Rooney, the Irish novelist who refused to allow her best-selling new book to be translated into Hebrew by an Israeli company. The author says she was answering the call from Palestinian civil society to impose “an economic and cultural boycott of complicit Israeli companies”, referring to BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – as an “anti-racist and non-violent” movement.

The acclaimed writer turned down a bid by the Modan Publishing House to translate and publish Beautiful World, Where Are You because she could not “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”.

But “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.”

Ms Rooney cited reports published by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch earlier this year belatedly recognising Israel’s system of apartheid imposed on Palestinians. These reports “confirmed what Palestinian human rights groups have long been saying: Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets the definition of apartheid under international law”, she said.

Sally Rooney joins the ranks of writers, artists and sports personalities who have publicly pledged support for the Palestinian cause in recent years. Let’s hope that more will follow to defy the Zionists and take the principled stand in support of the Palestinian cause.