LOS ANGELES: Hollywood actress Emma Watson reposted a post on Instagram that expressed solidarity for the “Free Palestine” movement.
The picture was originally posted by the Bad Activist Collective account in May and shows a sign reading “solidarity is a verb” on the background of a “Justice for Palestine” protest in May after Israel’s latest offensive on the Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of more than 250 Palestinians.
In the caption, Watson wrote a quote from scholar Sara Ahmed about solidarity: “Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same, or that our pain is the same, or that our hope is for the same future,” said the quote.
“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.”
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Watson earned the ire of many users who commented encouragement for Israel over the post. Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan tweeted a condemnation of Watson with a photo of the post.
“Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality,” he wrote. “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!”
Social media users slammed both Erdan and Danon over their comments, with many claiming they “diminished attention to real cases of anti-semitism.”
Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of Indivisible Project, a nonprofit founded in 2016 in response to the election of Donald Trump as president, said Danon’s remarks were “a perfect demonstration of the utterly cynical and bad-faith weaponization of antisemitism to shut down basic expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
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
“Former Israeli ambassador to the UN calls Emma Watson an ‘antisemite’ for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. Beyond parody,” tweeted broadcaster Mehdi Hasan.
Meanwhile, Palestinian activist Mohammed El-Kurd, who played a crucial role in raising international awareness about the forced evictions of Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, responded with, “Cry louder it’s making me laugh.”
Watson joins a long line of celebrities and influencers who have expressed solidarity with the “Free Palestine” movement. Watson is most known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies and Women Goodwill Ambassador to the UN.