Just days after Emma Watson appeared alongside her co-stars in the Harry Potter reunion special episode, she’s received major backlash over a pro-Palestinian message she posted on Instagram.
The actress has been accused of antisemitism by Israel’s former ambassador to the UN after she posted an Instagram photo in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
On Jan. 3, Watson reposted a pro-Palestine graphic created by the Bad Activist Collective. The post featured the quote “solidarity is a verb” placed on the background of a photo from the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine protest in May 2021. This was accompanied by a caption quoting the British-Australian feminist scholar, Sara Ahmed.
The quote read: “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.”
Checkout the post here:
Watson’s post has sparked outrage by some, including senior officials from the Israeli government. Danny Danon, former Israeli UN ambassador, tweeted Watson’s post with the caption, “10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
He was joined by current Israeli UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan on Twitter who wrote:“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!”
However many people have also come out in support of Watson’s post, with an overwhelming majority of comments praising Watson for her activism.
Mr Danon’s comments were criticised by Sayeeda Warsi, Conservative peer and former co-chairman of the Conservative Party, who said: “Showing solidarity with Palestinians is not antisemitism. Appalling comments from former Israeli Ambassador to the UN.”
Husam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian Mission in the UK,praised Watson for her post. He wrote, “Solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice is a human and moral duty on all freedom loving people. Thank you to Emma Watson…”
Watson, 31, has often handed over the control of her social media accounts to various activist groups. During Cop26 in Glasgow last year, Ms Watson gave climate activists access to her Instagram account and her bio still says that the account “has been taken over by an anonymous Feminist Collective”.
Watson has been a vocal activist for much of her career, particularly in regards to feminism. In 2014, she was appointed UN Women Goodwill ambassador and launched the HeforShe campaign. Since then she has spoken in support of transgender rights, Black Lives Matter and the climate change movement.
Emma Watson isn’t the only celebrity to come under fire for showing solidarity on either side of the Israel-Palestine row. Gigi and Bella Hadid, who are half-Palestinian have faced similar backlash in the past for being vocal about their stance on the ongoing conflict.