James North & Philip Weiss
Mondoweiss / January 4, 2022
The British actress Emma Watson dares to celebrate solidarity with Palestinians to her 64 million twitter followers and Israeli officials land on her, with the U.N. ambassador lecturing her about Palestinian terror and another ambassador calling her an antisemite.
Yesterday the British actress Emma Watson, who is an activist on gender issues and has 64 million followers on Instagram, reposted an image from a Palestine rally last May with the message, “Solidarity is a verb,” and a quote about solidarity from Sara Ahmed, the feminist scholar.
And to judge from the crazed reaction by Israeli officials, you’d think Israel had been assailed by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations.
Watson (31) became famous for her role in Harry Potter movies and was appointed an ambassador for the U.N. on gender equality in 2014. She reposted an image originally posted by the Bad Activist collective, of a rally in Chicago during Israel’s onslaught on Gaza. That collective supports a number of leftwing causes including action on climate change and is said by Watson to run her Instagram account.
Watson added this quote from Sara Ahmed.
“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.” — Sara Ahmed
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., seized on Watson’s post to lecture the actress about the evils of all Palestinian institutions.
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!
Danny Danon, the former ambassador to the U.N. and now chairman of the World Likud organization, called Watson an antisemite.
10 points from Gryffindor [locale in witchcraft school in Harry Potter novels] for being an antisemite. @EmmaWatson
The Times of Israel says that Danon has been widely scorned for the comment. “Thousands of Twitter users pounced on Danon, with most of them mocking the former UN ambassador, accusing him of misusing the epithet.”
This is a revealing moment because it shows how thin skinned Israeli leaders are. Granted immunity forever by the U.S.’s diplomatic backing, Israeli leaders fear the grassroots Palestinian solidarity movement and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign for equal rights (BDS) as existential threats. So any time anyone with any prominence expresses solidarity with millions of people living under apartheid, they have to be smeared. Danon and Erdan are representative. The country’s foreign minister, a centrist, lately said that the global “debate” about Israel as an apartheid state is venomous and “radioactive.”
Scott Roth writes:
These people never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to hurl scurrilous charges at anyone who calls attention to Palestinians in a way that doesn’t dehumanize them.
The Jerusalem Post is even a bit sober about what is happening to Israel globally.
Watson joins a long line of celebrities and influencers who have expressed solidarity with the “Free Palestine” movement. Such comments became more popular in May during Operation Guardian of the Walls.
James North is a Mondoweiss Editor-at-Large
Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-2006
h/t Dave Reed, Adam Horowitz.