Emma Watson is supported by stars after being accused of anti-Semitism

‘We oppose injustice anywhere’: Emma Watson is supported by stars including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo after being accused of anti-Semitism for sharing solidarity with Palestinians

  • More than forty figures from the world of film have endorsed Emma’s words in a joint statement
  • Several of Emma’s former Harry Potter co-stars. Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie have backed the joint statement
  • Israel’s former UN envoy accused the actress of anti-Semitism, after she shared a pictured expressing support for Palestine 
  • Image posted with caption containing solidarity quote from scholar Sara Ahmed 
  • Emma Watson has received a flurry of support from stars including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo, after she was accused of anti-Semitism by an Israeli former UN envoy.

    In a joint statement, over 40 celebrities from the film industry have endorsed the Harry Potter star after she shared a pictured expressing support for Palestine, with the words: ‘solidarity is a verb’ amid a backdrop of Palestinian flags.

    The stars state that they ‘oppose injustice’ anywhere and ‘stand with those seeking an end to oppression.’

    Emma was condemned by the former envoy who shared the post with the words: ’10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.’

    Backing her: Emma Watson has received a flurry of support from stars including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo, after she was accused of anti-Semitism by an Israeli former envoy, (pictured in October 2021)

    Backing her: Emma Watson has received a flurry of support from stars including Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo, after she was accused of anti-Semitism by an Israeli former envoy, (pictured in October 2021) 

    Among the stars showing their solidarity for Emma through the joint statement include multi award-winning screenwriter and producer James Schamus, Oscar-nominated directors Asif Kapadia, actors Peter Capaldi and Maxine Peake. 

    In a statement published by Artists for Palestine, they say: ‘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.’

    Citing recent reports on Israeli apartheid by Human Rights Watch and Israel’s leading human rights organisation B’Tselem, several of Emma’s former Harry Potter co-stars, Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie have backed the statement.

    Shocking: Israel's former UN envoy accused the actress of anti-Semitism, after she shared a pictured expressing support for Palestine

    Shocking: Israel’s former UN envoy accused the actress of anti-Semitism, after she shared a pictured expressing support for Palestine 

    Standing with her: Stars including Mark have signed a letter stating that they 'oppose injustice' anywhere

    Speaking out: The letter also states they 'stand with those seeking an end to oppression' (Susan pictured)

    Standing with her: Stars including Mark (left) and Susan (right) have signed a letter stating that they ‘oppose injustice’ anywhere and ‘stand with those seeking an end to oppression’ 

    Close: Several of Emma's former Harry Potter co-stars, Miriam Margolyes (pictured) and Julie Christie have backed the statement

    Close: Several of Emma’s former Harry Potter co-stars, Miriam Margolyes (pictured) and Julie Christie have backed the statement

    ‘We recognise the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid’. 

    Referencing the Israeli government’s forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes, they add: ‘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.’

    The statement concludes by quoting the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu: ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’ 

    The statement 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.

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    Who are the stars supporting Emma? 

    The 40 stars showing solidarity for her post include:  

    Peter Capaldi 

    Julie Christie

    Steve Coogan

    Liam Cunningham

    Charles Dance

    Ralf Little 

    Ken Loach 

    Miriam Margolyes

    Matt McGorry

    David Michôd, director

    Viggo Mortensen 

    Maxine Peake 

    Mark Ruffalo

    Susan Sarandon 

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    They add: ‘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.’ 

    Last week Emma was accused of anti-Semitism by Israel’s former UN envoy after she posted a picture on social media expressing support for Palestinians.

    She shared an image of a pro-Palestinian rally with the phrase ‘solidarity is a verb’ to her 64.2 million Instagram followers on Sunday.

    The picture was posted with a quote from British-Australian scholar Sara Ahmed, which 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.’

    However, she was accused of anti-Semitism by Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s former Permanent Representative to the UN, on Monday.

    He tweeted a screenshot of the Instagram post with the caption: ’10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.’ 

    Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, also tweeted his dismay at the picture.

    He 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!’

    Solidarity: Last week Emma (pictured in 2019) was accused of anti-Semitism by Israel's former UN envoy after she posted a picture on social media expressing support for Palestinians

    Solidarity: Last week Emma (pictured in 2019) was accused of anti-Semitism by Israel’s former UN envoy after she posted a picture on social media expressing support for Palestinians  

    Upsetting: The picture was posted with a caption containing a quote from British-Australian scholar Sara Ahmed

    Upsetting: The picture was posted with a caption containing a quote from British-Australian scholar Sara Ahmed

    The Instagram post has received more than 1m likes and 101,000 comments.

    The Israeli dignitaries, though, have been criticised for overreacting and ‘misrepresenting anti-Semitism’.

    Alex Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West, said: ’50 points from Likud for misrepresenting Antisemitism. This doesn’t help anyone in the Jewish Diaspora.’ 

    Controversy: Emma was then accused of anti-Semitism by Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel's former Permanent Representative to the UN

    Controversy: Emma was then accused of anti-Semitism by Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s former Permanent Representative to the UN

    Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of Indivisible Project, said Mr Danon’s tweet was ‘a perfect demonstration of the utterly cynical and bad-faith weaponization of antisemitism to shut down basic expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people’.

    It comes after Emma reunited with her fellow Harry Potter stars to celebrate 20 years since the franchise launched with The Philosopher’s Stone – which included Richard Harris, Alan Rickman and Helen McCrory. 

    Speaking about appearing on the reunion without their late stars, she said: ‘It’s obviously amazing to be back, but so many people we thought would be here for much longer like Helen and Alan and Richard.’

    Furious: Gilad Erdan, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, also took to Twitter to share his dismay at the picture

    Furious: Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, also took to Twitter to share his dismay at the picture

    In October, Israeli officials accused acclaimed author Sally Rooney of ‘impeding peace’ in the Middle East by refusing a publisher’s offer to have her latest book translated into Hebrew.

    The award-winning Irish writer defended her decision to refuse the translation of ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ by Israeli publisher Modan, saying she supported a cultural boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. 

    She said the decision to reject the publisher – who she claimed had ‘not publicly distanced itself from apartheid’ – was an expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people ‘in their struggle for freedom and equality’. 

    But Israeli officials hit back, with a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry declaring: ‘This is an unfortunate position that promotes narrow-mindedness and impedes peace, dialogue, or any meaningful change. 

    ‘Literature is a tool to promote dialogue and conversation. There is something inherently flawed with an intellectual who refuses to engage in conversation, and instead supports the silencing of opinion.’    

    Views: Sally Rooney, 30, was asked by Israeli publisher Modan to translate her new book -Beautiful World, Where Are You - but the author allegedly rejected the request

    Views: Sally Rooney, 30, was asked by Israeli publisher Modan to translate her new book -Beautiful World, Where Are You – but the author allegedly rejected the request

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