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05th Jan 2022

Emma Watson accused of antisemitism after Palestinian solidarity post

Danny Jones

The accusation comes from a former Israeli ambassador to the UN

Emma Watson has been accused of antisemitism after she shared a post showing solidarity with the Palestinian people and their ongoing struggles on her Instagram.

As you can see below, the 31-year-old actor’s post is nothing more than a repost of the phrase ‘Solidarity is a verb’, shared by the Bad Activist Collective and pulled from British-Australian scholar Sara Ahmed’s book Living a Feminist Life.

The caption is clearly a virtuous one, quoting empathetic lines such as: “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.”

However, people on social media were outraged when Danny Danon, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and remaining representative, labelled her an “antisemite”, jibing “10 points from Gryffindor”.

As with any discussion surrounding the historic Israel-Palestine conflict, people online were just as much in disbelief as they were angered by the suggestion which came from nothing more than a well-meaning sentiment.

Many people labelled the response as “parody-like” or a “satire” with one pointing out that many of those who support Israel recently took a similar approach following the death of Desmond Tutu.

Many people pointed out that as well as simply showing solidarity with suffering regardless of whether a group’s struggle is than same as another – ergo the chosen passage – much of the reaction from pro-Israel voices fundamentally mistakes Watson’s sympathy for Palestine with support for the militant group Hamas.

Furthermore, the UN’s current Israeli ambassador also took issue with the post, remarking that if the universe of Harry Potter were real “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)”.

Commenting in the wake of both Danon and Erdan’s posts, antisemitism author Dave Rich said that whether you agree with their points or not, he believes “Emma Watson’s post isn’t, in and of itself, antisemitic”.

He goes on to caveat that: “It may be simplistic, ignorant, one-sided, and many other things, but it isn’t antisemitic and expressing solidarity with Palestinians doesn’t […] make Emma Watson an antisemite.”

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