Emma Watson, the renowned Hollywood actress and Harry Potter star who posted in support of Palestine earlier this month, is now attracting support from many other film stars.
The actress on January 3rd posted on Instagram in support of Palestine with a quote from the famous British writer and scholar Sara Ahmed that reads,
“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.”
The post drew criticism from Israeli envoys, at the same time a lot of support from numerous globally.
Lately, over 40 film industry notables showed support for Emma Watson through a public letter. These celebrities include Mark Ruffalo, Gael García Bernal, Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, multi-award-winning screenwriter and producer James Schamus, Oscar-nominee directors Asif Kapadia, Mira Nair, writer-producer Oren Moverman, and Emmy-winner production designer Gemma Jackson among others.
The letter reads in full,
“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.”
The picture was originally posted in May last year by the Bad Activism Collective after Israel carried out an 11-day course of attacks on the Gaza Strip. During that period as well many celebrities reflected their support for Palestine including Susan Sarandon, Bella Hadid, Riz Ahmed, and Zayn Malik among others.
The post has garnered over 1.4 million likes and over 150k comments. many users thanks Watson for weighing her support towards Palestine and used hashtags like #FreePalestine and #PalestineWillBeFree.
However, the post also witnessed criticism including a tweet from Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. The tweet said,
“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!”
Danny Danon, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, said,
“10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite,”
Bashing the criticism, some users user came up with their commentary. A noticeable one was from Mohammed El-Kurd, who played a crucial role in raising international awareness about the forced eviction of Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. El-Kurd said,
“All Emma Watson did was post this very simple statement and now Zionists everywhere are in a frenzy. Absolutely hilarious.”
Another one came from Ayman, the host of MSNBC Original Podcast ‘AMERICAN RADICAL’, saying,
“No joke, we are at the point where merely posting a vague picture referencing solidarity with Palestinians on Instagram gets you labeled as an antisemite. It’s only Jan 3. May God give me patience for the this year.”