Hollywood film stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, Charles Dance, and Peter Capaldi, have shown support for Emma Watson and Palestinian solidarity.
Last week, the “Harry Potter” alum was accused of anti-Semitism after she shared an Instagram photo of a pro-Palestinian protest featuring a banner that read “solidarity is a verb.” Watson captioned the post with a quote from intersectional feminist scholar Sara Ahmed regarding the meaning of solidarity.
“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. —Sara Ahmed”
The post was criticized by Israeli officials, including Danny Danon, a former science minister from Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and United Nations’ Israeli ambassador, who commented, “Ten points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
Israel’s current UN ambassador Gilad Erdan reacted on twitter:
Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality. If it did, the magic used in the wizarding world could eliminate the evils of Hamas (which oppresses women & seeks the annihilation of Israel) and the PA (which supports terror). I would be in favor of that! pic.twitter.com/u1TrP3sqSS
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) January 3, 2022
A letter was organized by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network “standing together for Palestinian rights,” by more than 40 notable celebs, including Jim Jarmusch, Gael García Bernal, Steve Coogan, Maxine Peake, and Viggo Mortensen, that said, “We join Emma Watson in support of the simple statement that ‘solidarity is a verb’, including meaningful solidarity with Palestinians struggling for their human rights under international law.”
The artists, including Watson’s “Harry Potter” co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, cited a report by Human Rights Watch, which claimed Israel commits crimes of apartheid and persecution. “We recognise the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid,” the letter continued.
“We stand against ongoing Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The team of artists noted that they condemned any form of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
“Opposition to a political system or policy is distinct from bigotry, hatred and discrimination targeting any group of humans based on their identity,” they wrote.