London (In Palestine Today)- British actress and BAFTA-winning, Miriam Margolyes, has expressed her support for Emma Watson’s recent stand on Palestine, explaining that “criticising Israel is not in itself, an anti-Semitic stance.”
Last Monday, the Harry Potter actress Emma Watson was smeared by two Israeli officials, after she shared a picture on Instagram in solidarity with the Palestinians with the phrase, “Solidarity is a verb”.
The former and current Israeli ambassadors to the UN, lashed out at Watson, accusing her of “being an antisemite” and saying that “fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality.”
— Ambassador Danny Danon | דני דנון (@dannydanon) January 3, 2022
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
Speaking to Palestine Deep Dive, the Harry Potter co-star, Miriam Margolyes, said, “I totally support Emma Watson’s recent remarks on Palestine. All decent people should too.”
Calling Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people as “disgraceful”, Margolyes, who was born to a secular Jewish family in Oxford, said that “anti-semitism is not at issue.”
“What matters is opposing cruelty, speaking out for compassion. Criticising Israel is not in itself, an anti-Semitic stance. Conflating the two is a form of disguised censorship.”
Since university and before even becoming an actor, the pround anti-Zionist has been a staunch supporter of the anti-apartheid movement.
Margolyes has also been outspoken in her disgust at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, as she visited Gaza herself once before and the West Bank several times.
Following her visit, she said that she “wanted to see what’s going on, to learn – and it’s not a happy experience,” as she told the Guardian.
She explained her mission: “I hope to be able to shift a very harsh attitude [among Jews] towards Palestinians. It’s very hard to talk about Palestine to Jewish people – they see me as a betrayer. I’m trying to tread carefully but I’m very angry and shocked. Minds have got to be changed.”
“I believe Jews are compassionate people because of what we’ve suffered. We must not put that suffering on to others.”
Last year, she told Kim Hill in a radio interview for RNZ that, “When you see the treatment of the Palestinians and the way their life is curtailed, you cannot help but burn with a sense of anger and injustice. I’ve seen it. It’s not that I listened to other people telling me about it. I saw it. And it hurt me, it shocked me.”
As a signatory to Artists for Palestine UK’s pledge for Palestine, Margolyes also endorses the cultural boycott of ‘Israel’ in line with the BDS Movement until ‘Israel’, “complies with International law and universal principles of human rights.”
Alongside other Jewish Labour Party members, Margolyes has been vocal in her opposition to the Party’s adoption of the controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism, which has been widely condemned for effectively stifling legitimate criticism of ‘Israel’.
Margolyes also co-signed a letter in The Guardian opposing the adoption of the definition, which read: “The IHRA definition smuggles in anti-Zionism, in the guise of antisemitism, as a means of protecting the Israeli state and thus western foreign policy.”