Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Sally Rooney's Anti-Semitism

I have never read a book by Sally Rooney. Until yesterday I had not even heard of her. Apparently, I have not missed much.

But, Rooney, an Irish novelist of dubious talent, recently made news by refusing to allow her latest book-- I forgot the title-- to be translated into Hebrew. By her dim lights she wanted to make an anti-Israeli statement, in support of the notoriously anti-Semitic Boycott Divestment Sanction movement, an effort by leftist Westerners to destroy the Jewish state.

Being as I have never read Rooney’s books, I needed to find a writer who was sufficiently cranky and caustic to offer a definitive commentary. Naturally, the first name that popped into mind was-- Julie Burchill. She has not only cornered the market in cranky and caustic, but she is a marvelously talented wordsmith.

One remarks that the New York Times is covering the Rooney story. Since it ignored the weekend visit of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to Jerusalem to celebrate the success of the Abraham Accords, one can only surmise that it is covering the Rooney question because it is happy to give Rooney a platform where she can defame and malign Israel. And you did not know that the Times has been steeped in anti-Semitism.

Anyway, Burchill has offered up some comments about the latest Sally Rooney kerfuffle in the Spectator.

I recently had to read a book by Sally Rooney in a work capacity, and my goodness that was half an hour of my life I’ll never get back. Come on, how could I be expected to read the whole darn thing when I’d already had the pleasure of Conversations with Friends and come to the conclusion that once you’ve read one book about people getting naked and saying stuff about the pointlessness of life, you’ve read them all?

Her writing is so blank that in parts it reads like a children’s starter book — Janet and John Get Naked and Say Stuff about the Pointlessness of Existence. Rooney describes herself as a Marxist and she doesn’t use speech marks. Is the concept of ‘a plot’ itself a bourgeois construct? Reading Rooney, you might think so.

Burchill describes the Marxist Rooney as Little Miss Sunshine and describes the BDS movement that Rooney so passionately supports:

Little Miss Sunshine is, predictably, a follower of the profoundly joyless and hypocritical Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement which appears to believe that a nation’s rough treatment of certain sections of society only counts as a crime against humanity if Israelis do it: about as logical as believing that there are no calories in food if you eat standing up, with the fridge door open.

And yet, two Rooney works have already been translated into Hebrew, which makes her current bigotry less plausible and less rational:

The Israeli publisher Modan translated Rooney’s first two books, making the situation even less straightforward — and more predictable, as boycotting Israel is never done at the start of showbiz careers (whether the moping Marxist miss likes it or not, she is in showbiz after the phenomenon of the TV adaptation of her second novel Normal People). It happens once the artist is established and in the position to pick (on) and choose.

Ah yes, the moping Marxist miss-- a nice turn of phrase.

Apparently, in certain precincts of the international left, cue the Squad and today’s Democratic Party, hating Israel is de rigueur:

Boycotting Israel is also the fashionable position for rich and famous cry-bullies to take to the tiny state, so as to show they’re down wit da kidz. Da kidz, that is, who are amusingly ignorant about this issue: in 2019 a survey of students at the University of Berkeley in California found that while most claimed to ‘care deeply’ about the Palestinian plight, ‘75 per cent of those students cannot locate those territories on a map and 84 per cent cannot name the decade (let alone the year) in which that occupation began,’ the academic Ron Hassner concluded.

Since Israel represents the power of free enterprise and democratic institutions, and since it has been targeted for extinction by various Arab states since it first came into being, Rooney despises it. It's her Marxist duty.

She considers Palestinian terrorists as her heroes, for asserting their rights. As it happens, and to the dismay of people who run the New York Times, the Palestinians forfeited their rights decades ago in one of the world’s most obscene lost causes.

After all, thanks to the Abraham Accords more and more Muslim states are seeing that Israel is the solution, not the problem in the region. As the states that signed the Abraham Accords made clear that they are not going to allow themselves to be dragged into the muck by a lost cause, the little Marxist miss seems to want to make a deeply ideological and idiotic point.

For our edification, Burchill quotes Rooney’s statement:

I understand that not everyone will agree with my decision, but I simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to 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. 

In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.’

Everyone with a functioning brain understands that the Palestinian cause is to destroy the state of Israel and, via the Hamas charter, to kill as many Jews as possible in the meantime. Hamas has no interest whatever in freedom, justice or equality. It is a terror state that oppresses women and murders gays.

So, Rooney is virtue signaling. In Julie Burchill she has met her match, and has come out looking like the fool that she is.

Allow Burchill, who has been studying Hebrew herself,  the final word:

Whatever the ins and outs, after two decades of Hebrew study, my conclusion is that Rooney’s banal words are not worthy of this ancient and beautiful language.

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