“We, the undersigned, condemn author Sally Rooney’s decision to not to sell the Hebrew language translation rights for her novel “Beautiful World, Where Are You” to an Israeli-based publishing house, and her statement that this is because of her support for the anti-Israel boycott movement.
Her claim that she is looking for a “BDS-compliant” Hebrew publisher means that in practice the novel will not be translated, as to be “BDS-compliant” such a publisher would have to not sell books in Israel and to Israelis, who are the vast majority of the Hebrew-reading market.
We do not believe that Israel, a democracy, is a country that deserves to be boycotted.
Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are ugly, divisive and discriminatory, and will not further peace.
Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance, and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement can be made towards a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Cultural engagement builds bridges, and nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use.”