Hollywood stars back Emma Watson after Palestinian solidarity post
More than 40 personalities from the world of cinema, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo and Viggo Mortensen voiced their support for British actress Emma Watson, after she was criticised by Israeli officials for issuing a statement in solidarity with Palestine last week.
“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,” the artists said in a joint statement.
The statement was organised by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network "standing together for Palestinian rights".
The artists, including Watson’s former co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, cited a report by Human Rights Watch which states that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
Other signatories include Egyptian-American actor Ramy Youssef, musician and composer Brian Eno and Oscar-nominated film director Mira Nair.
“We recognise the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid”, they added.
The letter also included references to Israel’s eviction attempts of Palestinians from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Watson’s post, which included a picture of a Pro-Palestine protest with the words "solidarity is a verb" in the middle, was strongly lambasted by Israeli officials, including Danny Danon, a former science minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
The post was also criticised by Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, who said: “Ten points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.”
"Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality," he added.
However, the artists pushed back against such allegations in their letter, syaing: "opposition to a political system or policy is distinct from bigotry, hatred and discrimination targeting any group of humans based on their identity".