London (In Palestine Today)- More than forty figures from the world of film have issued a statement in support of the Harry Potter star Emma Watson after being accused of antisemitism over Palestinian solidarity post, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Capaldi and Charles Dance.
Last week, Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, was smeared by two Israeli officials, after she shared a picture on her official Instagram page in solidarity with the Palestinians with the phrase, “Solidarity is a verb”.
In the caption to the post, Watson shared a quote to her 64 million followers from British-Australian activist Sara Ahmed, who 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.”
“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 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
In a letter organised by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network “standing together for Palestinian rights”, more than 40 named people said, “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,” they added.
Citing a report by Human Rights Watch stating ‘Israel’ is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution, the artists, including Watson’s Harry Potter co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, continued, “We recognise the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid.”
“We stand against ongoing Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The artists added that they condemned 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,” they said.
“We see the former as a legitimate and necessary form of political and ethical expression and the latter as racism – pure and simple.”
The letter concluded by quoting the late Desmond Tutu who 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 signatories said.
The signatories include the screenwriter and producer James Schamus and the directors Asif Kapadia, Mira Nair and Ken Loach. Multi award-winning screenwriter and producer James Schamus (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Oscar-nominated directors Asif Kapadia (Amy), Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay) and writer/producer Oren Moverman (The Messenger), also supported Watson.