LONDON: Emma Watson has been backed by fellow actors, including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo, after being accused of antisemitism by an Israeli former envoy to the UN.
Watson showed support for Palestine on her Instagram profile by posting a picture to her 65 million followers that contained the words “solidarity is a verb” surrounded by Palestinian flags.
The post has so far received more than 1 million likes and garnered over 100,000 comments.
But the message was branded antisemitic by Danny Danon, a former science minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and ex-ambassador to the UN, who hit back with a post that read: “Ten points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
Israel’s current ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, posted: “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 and seeks the annihilation of Israel) and the PA (which supports terror).”
But more than 40 celebrities from the film industry have now backed the Harry Potter star for her stance, with a statement saying they “oppose injustice” anywhere and “stand with those seeking an end to oppression.”
The statement, published by Artists for Palestine, went on to say: “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.
“We recognize the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid.”
Artists for Palestine statement in full below:
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. We oppose injustice anywhere in the world and stand with all those seeking an end to oppression.
We stand against ongoing Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.
We recognize the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid, as described by Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, Israel's leading human rights organization, and by Palestinian and international human rights experts.
We condemn all forms of racism, including antisemitism 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. We see the former as a legitimate and necessary form of political and ethical expression and the latter as racism – pure and simple.
The late Desmond Tutu once said, 'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.' Heeding Tutu's moral appeal, we stand on the side of justice, freedom, and equal rights for all. This is the least we can do.