Leading authors back Sally Rooney’s boycott of Israeli publisher

The authors described Rooney's decision as "an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians”.

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Seventy leading authors, poets and playwrights from around the world signed a letter endorsing Sally Rooney’s decision to turn down an offer with an Israeli publishing house, describing it as “an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians”.

In a letter organized by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network “standing together for Palestinian rights”, names of leading authors including Kevin Barry, Rachel Kushner, Geoff Dyer, Pankaj Mishra, Carmen Callil and Ahdaf Soueif said they supported Rooney’s decision.

Among the signatories are award-winning Irish authors Niamh Campbell and Kevin Barry; Rachel Kushner, Eileen Myles and Eliot Weinburger from the US; Monica Ali, Caryl Churchill, China Miéville and Kamila Shamsie from the UK.

“Palestinian artists have asked their international colleagues to end complicity in Israel’s violations of their human rights, and this for many of us is a clear ethical obligation,” the authors write. “Sally Rooney’s refusal to sign a contract with a mainstream Israeli publisher – which markets the work of the Israeli Ministry of Defence – is therefore an exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians.”

The letter cited a Human Rights Watch’s conclusion in April that ‘Israel’ is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution. It also highlighted the fact that Rooney was one of more than 16,000 signatories to A Letter Against Apartheid in May, calling then for “an immediate and unconditional cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinians”.

“Like her, we will continue to respond to the Palestinian call for effective solidarity, just as millions supported the campaign against apartheid in South Africa,” say the writers.

Rooney had announced last month that her recently published novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You?” will not be translated into Hebrew by an Israeli company because she supports a cultural boycott of the occupation state.

Two Israeli major bookstores said Books by Rooney will no longer be sold by them, after her decision.

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