Books Flash 90

We’ve been reading about the Irish writer Sally Rooney who’s been making a splash for her alleged refusal to have her latest novel in the hands of an Israeli publisher.

Even that part is confusing, which we’ll get to in a minute.

She’s 30. She focuses on millennial angst, and her books…two previous and now this latest one…are all bestsellers, translated and sold around the world, including Israel.

Not so, however, for her latest, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” for which she wants Hebrew excluded. No Hebrew for her, suddenly. Or so it appeared when the scandal first broke.

Now, apparently, somebody got it all wrong. Now she says that she has no objection to Hebrew, only Israel. She wants no Israeli publisher.

Why? For all the usual leftist reasons…even though most Israeli publishers are leftists.

Either way, here’s a millennial who’s had an anti-Semitic epiphany and we wonder if this is where’s it’s going for millennials.

If so, it is necessary to share what came, to me at least, upon reading the news about Sally Rooney.

For some reason, or for obvious reasons, flashback-style, I remembered a gray-haired lively-looking woman who got to talking with me at the train station in Atlantic City.

There was immediate kinship when she cited my book of memoirs, and then said she also had a story hard to believe, but true.

In Berlin, before the war, she’d been a hospital nurse.

“Then the Nazis came.”

She was fired, as were all Jewish doctors and nurses. But before she left, in one day she saw enough.

“The German nurses came, and what they did was – one by one they grabbed Jewish newborns by the ankles, and smashed their heads against the walls. Nurses!”

Sally Rooney, I conclude, would have been such a nurse. On the topic of Jewish survival, we mince no words.

Writers Ezra Pound, Celine, Roald Dahl, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner and others would have been such doctors.

This is the company Rooney chose, the dark side of literature, and no amount of “social justice” sophistry can “make a crooked thing straight.” (Ecclesiastes.)

Rooney’s high-minded aversion to Israel’s defensive actions against Hamas, against Hamas’ firing 10,000 rockets from Gaza, can only mean she prefers dead Israelis.

Is this millennial? Is this Irish? Is this nurture? Is this nature? Pick any one or all. For Rooney, a daughter of Ireland, she likely drank her animosity from mother’s milk.

Shouldn’t a novelist be prided for original thinking, rather than dish views so derivative??

Of all the countries in the world, she chooses Israel to boycott, the country that supports equal rights for all its citizens.

The Palestinian Arab Cause has never been about that, but only about wiping Israel off the map ever since Grand Mufti Haj Amin el Husseini schemed with Hitler.

Sally Rooney should know this if she is to be taken seriously…and she should know that activist writers are boring, especially when they choose the wrong side.

For the big-time literary anti-Semites as mentioned, Israel was far from their minds, and for some, modern Israel had yet to be born.

What was their beef?

No, it wasn’t about Israel. It was never about Israel. It was always against Jews everywhere and elsewhere that they bore a smoldering grudge.

You too, Sally Rooney.

Today, we remember them with regrets…and even their finest works come with an asterisk. Knut Hamsun’s remarkable “Hunger” case in point.

This is not good company to keep, Sally Rooney. What a waste.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website:

Jack Engelhard banner
Jack Engelhard banner Courtesy