Sally Rooney says she's not antisemitic - we've seen this playbook before

October 13, 2021 12:42

Here we go again. This time it's Sally Rooney, the feted novelist, who I’m sure would say doesn't have an antisemitic bone in her body - but who just happens to want to stop Jews from reading her latest book.

To be fair, none of Ms Rooney's friends have yet told us about her unantimsemitic bones. But I promise you, one of them - perhaps, if she is oh-so-clever, a Jewish friend, because some of her best friends are Jewish, I'm sure - will soon offer us that insight. It's stage two of this all too familiar playbook.

In her statement yesterday, Ms Rooney told us that she was "very proud" to have had earlier books published in Hebrew, so no way was she targeting Jews. No, no, no, perish the thought. It wasn't Jews she was targeting, it was Israel.

After all, who could possibly think there was any connection between targeting Jews for boycott and targeting the world's only Jewish state? Who could think there was any connection between refusing to allow an Israeli publisher to translate your work into Hebrew and refusing to allow a publisher in the only country in the world where Hebrew is the official language to translate your work into Hebrew?

I often wonder when these BDS-types come up with this stuff whether they genuinely think anyone is going to fall for it, or whether they just think it's a hoop through which they have to jump in order to keep up the pretence.

There was a perfect example of this last week, when supporters of disgraced 'academic' David Miller posted a petition online demanding his reinstatement by Bristol. The petition attacked how "the campaign against Professor Miller is specifically designed to conflate criticism of Zionism with hatred of Jews."

Because, of course, in no way does Prof Miller have any issue with Jews, and nor do his supporters. The petition then went on to blame the Jews for his sacking: "Those putting pressure on the university to sack him included the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation, the Jewish Labour Movement and the Community Security Trust." (Only the ZF is an Israel-focused body - all the others are concerned with British Jews.)

The Jews did it! It was the Jews! But how dare you accuse us of blaming Jews.

To be clear about Ms Rooney’s behaviour: I believe this is unambiguous. BDS is antisemitic in cause, effect and intention. Its one target is the world's only Jewish state, because it does not conform to the arbitrarily demanded political positions of the BDS advocates, positions demanded only of the world's only Jewish state. Those who push for BDS and those who observe it may not consider themselves antisemitic, but in their behaviour they place themselves on a continuum which includes the Jackboot - and worse.

Sally Rooney doubtless wants to burnish her credentials as a progressive literary warrior. But the only credentials she burnishes by boycotting Israel, I contend, are racist.

Featured Photo by Chris Boland
October 13, 2021 12:42

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