British actress Emma Watson on Wednesday received an online backlash and was accused of antisemitism by Israeli officials for her social media post in solidarity with Palestine.
Watson, known for starring in the “Harry Potter” series, had shared a post on her instagram page on Monday showing her solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Watson’s statement was widely praised by Palestinains and activists, but she received harsher treatment from Israeli officials. Danny Danon, Israel’s former permanent representative to the UN, retweeted her post with the caption: “10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
Meanwhile, the current Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, suggested Watson is colluding with Hamas who are “oppressing women.”
“Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality,” Erdan said, adding: “If it did, the magic used in the wizarding world could eliminate the evils of Hamas (which oppresses women and seeks the annihilation of Israel) and the Palestinian Authority (which supports terror). I would be in favour of that!”
Danon’s comments were met with stern criticism, including from Leah Greenberg, a co-executive director of the Indivisible Project, who said it was “a perfect demonstration of the utterly cynical and bad-faith weaponization of antisemitism to shut down basic expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Watson’s Instagram photo, a repost from the Bad Activist Collective’s account, depicted people marching and holding “Free Palestine” posters. One placard read: “Solidarity is a verb.”
The post was accompanied by a quote from feminist scholar Sara Ahmed: “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future.
“Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”
Watson’s comment was highly praised by Palestinian activists, including Mohammed Al-Kurd, who tweeted: “The Israeli Ambassador to the UN calls Emma Watson an ‘anti-Semite’ for posting ‘solidarity is a verb,’ a week after Zionists smeared Desmond Tutu as ‘anti-Jewish.’ How is this not satire?”
Elsewhere, Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK, praised Watson for her post, saying: “Solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice is a human and moral duty on all freedom loving people. Thank you to Emma Watson.
Following the flareup of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last May, various celebrities voiced their opinions on the cause, including Bella Hadid and Malala Yousafzai.
Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, posted a message of support for Palestinians on her Instagram account that said: “Future generations will look back in disbelief and wonder how we allowed the Palestinian suffering to continue for so long. A human tragedy unfolding right in front of our eyes.”
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