Oscar-nominated filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson has defended Irish author Sally Rooney’s decision to not have her latest book, Beautiful World, Where Are You, translated into Hebrew by an Israeli publishing house, The New Arab reported.
The Irish Jewish director voiced his support on Twitter, describing the writer as “someone of great insight and moral courage” and expressed his “dismay” at the criticism directed at Rooney’s show of support for the Palestinian cause.
Oscar-nominated director @lennyabrahamson has defended #SallyRooney in the wake of the controversy over her decision not to sell the translation rights to her new book to an Israeli-based publishing house.https://t.co/pvGePOlSko
— The Palestine Project (@PalestineProjct) October 20, 2021
“It’s been dismaying to read some of the criticism of Sally Rooney’s decision not to publish her new novel, through a particular Israeli publisher,” the filmmaker wrote in a statement published on Twitter.
Abrahamson has already directed the TV adaption of Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People and is currently filming an adaptation of the Irish writer’s first book, Conversations with Friends.
In his post, Abrahamson expressed qualified support for the Boycott, Divestments & Sanctions (BDS) movement, which Rooney cited when turning down the Israeli translation deal, saying that while he did not agree with all its aspects, he “broadly” supported its principles.
Some thoughts on the recent coverage of Sally Rooney’s position on Israel: pic.twitter.com/q8CwOMirhE
— lenny abrahamson (@lennyabrahamson) October 16, 2021
“While I don’t agree with all aspects of the BDS movement, support for it is a principled and defensible position motivated in the majority of people by genuine concern for human rights,” wrote the filmmaker.
“Above all, I completely reject the suggestion that those who take her view, or who strongly criticise Israel, must harbour some deep-rooted anti-Semitic animus.”
Rooney faced criticism from Israel supporters when she announced this month that she would not let an Israel-based publishing house translate Beautiful World, Where Are You into Hebrew.
She has responded to allegations of anti-Semitism saying she would allow a Hebrew translation if it was “compliant with the BDS movement’s institutional boycott guidelines”.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)