In her email, Rooney cited a report released this year by Human Rights Watch that the Israeli government’s actions meet the legal definition of apartheid, and she expressed support for the BDS movement, which aims to exploit international political and economic interests pressure on Israel. Supporters say the goal of the BDS movement is to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, while critics, including many Israelis, say its real goal is the end of Israel as a state Jewish.
Ms. Rooney is not the first prominent author to decline an offer to publish in Israel. Alice Walker said in 2012 that she would not allow a Hebrew translation of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Color Purple”. Ms Walker, who was born in Georgia in 1944, said at the time: “I grew up under American apartheid and that,” she added of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, “was much worse.
Deborah Harris, a literary agent whose company manages leading writers seeking translation and publication in Israel, called Ms Rooney’s decision painful and counterproductive.
“When it’s ice cream or cement, or whatever it’s one thing, but when it comes to cultivation, I just struggle to see how productive it can be. to change anything, ”Ms. Harris mentioned. “What literature is supposed to do is touch people’s hearts and minds. “
People who might read Ms Rooney’s work in Israel, Ms Harris added, are not the ones who support the policies she likely opposes. “Its audience here is made up of people who fully support a Palestinian state,” Ms. Harris said.