Great figures in the world of cinema, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Capaldi and Charles Dance issued a statement in support of Emma Watson and Palestinian solidarity.
Last week Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, was accused of anti-Semitism after posting an image on Instagram showing a photo of a pro-Palestinian protest with the banner “Solidarity is a verb “written on it. It was accompanied by a quote on the meaning of solidarity from intersectional feminist researcher Sara Ahmed.
The message drew sharp criticism from Israeli officials, including Danny Danon, former science minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, who said: “Ten points less for Gryffindor to be an anti-Semite. “
The current Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, noted: “Fiction may work in Harry Potter, but it doesn’t work in reality. If so, the magic used in the wizarding world could eliminate the evils of Hamas (which oppresses women and seeks annihilation of Israel) and the Palestinian Authority (which supports terrorism).
In a letter organized by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network “in solidarity with Palestinian rights”, more than 40 people named, including Gael García Bernal, Jim Jarmusch, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen and Steve Coogan, said: “We join Emma Watson in support of the simple statement that “solidarity is a verb” including meaningful solidarity with Palestinians who are fighting for their human rights under international law. “
Citing a Human Rights Watch report claiming that Israel commits crimes of apartheid and persecution, the artists, including Watson’s Harry Potter co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, continued, “We recognize the imbalance of underlying power between Israel, the occupying Power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid.
“We oppose 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 artists added that they condemned all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. “Opposition to a political system or policy is distinct from bigotry, hatred and discrimination targeting any group of humans on the basis of their identity,” they said.
Other signatories include writer and producer James Schamus and directors Asif Kapadia, Mira Nair and Ken Loach. Loach was recently kicked out of the Labor Party over this issue.