British actor Emma Watson has voiced solidarity with pro-Palestinian activism on social media, eliciting backlash from current and former Israeli officials and praise from pro-Palestine social media users.
The 31-year-old actor, who is known for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, reposted a May post from the Bad Activist Collective on Instagram on Sunday that depicts pro-Palestine activists marching with the words “Solidarity is a verb” prominently displayed on the image.
Watson accompanied the post with a quote from British-Australian scholar Sara Ahmed, which said “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.” The quote added, “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 post garnered widespread acclaim from pro-Palestine Instagram users, several of whom thanked her for her support in the comments section, and posted the emoji of the Palestinian flag, many with the hashtags #FreePalestine and #PalestineWillBeFree.
On Monday, Twitter users were left scratching their heads, looking for the tiniest hint of supposed anti-Semitism. Israel’s UN envoy, Gilad Erdan, strongly criticised her post, lashing out at the star on Twitter by saying, “Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality.” He added, “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). I would be in favor of that!”
In the tweet, Another Israel’s envoy to the United Nations Danny Danon also mentioned Watson, who is well-known as a human rights advocate and humanist, by adding her handle. “10 points from Gryffindor for being an anti-Semite,” Danon said, in a reference to the Harry Potter film role in which the actor played the role of Hermione that led to her fame.
Leah Greenberg, the co-executive director of the Indivisible Guide progressive advocacy group, dismissed Danon’s accusations, saying they are “a perfect demonstration of the utterly cynical and bad-faith weaponisation of antisemitism to shut down basic expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Mehdi Hasan, too, was left baffled by Danon’s ‘jibe’. “Former Israeli ambassador to the UN calls Emma Watson an ‘anti-Semite’ for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. Beyond parody,” he shared on Twitter.
Popular Palestinian activist Mohammed El-Kurd shared his amusement. “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?”
From the river to the sea!
More tweeps extended support to the award-winning actor and lauded her for her stance. “So Emma Watson shows solidarity with Palestine and the whole world is shook, the amount of hatred she is getting from trolls is alarming but also we are sending her too much love and appreciation for her bravery to side with justice. Much love from Gaza.”
One more shared, “Award-winning actor Emma Watson has used her Instagram platform with 64 million followers to post a message of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”
“Thank you, Emma Watson,” said one more tweep.
Al-Kurd shared, “All Emma Watson did was post this very simple statement and now Zionists everywhere are in a frenzy. Absolutely hilarious.”
One more user commented, “Thank you, Emma Watson. For amplifying our voice. All the love and respect to the free souls like you.”
She added, “Again, Emma shows the world that supporting Palestine and the Palestinians is a human case. It is a humanity parameter.”