Emma Watson labeled anti-Semite by Israeli officials as many defend her for posting pro-Palestinian picture

Israeli officials criticize actress, many defend saying solidarity with Palestinians not to be equated with anti-Jewish sentiment

British actress Emma Watson has been labeled as an anti-Semite by Israeli officials after she posted a message of support for Palestine. The actress, well known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, posted an image on her Instagram that showed an image of a Palestinian protest with a banner saying ‘solidarity is a verb’ written across it.

The post elicited widespread appreciation and backing from the Palestinian side. However, Israeli officials slammed the post, calling Watson an anti-Semite.

Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Danny Danon tweeted a screenshot of Watson’s instagram post using a common Harry Potter related phrase – ten points from Gryffindor – to accuse Watson of anti-Semitism.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan also criticized Watson in a similar manner saying she was not in the magical world of Harry Potter and reality was different. He added that he would like to use magic, if possible, to eradicate Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

The comments initiated massive backlash on social media with many criticizing the Israeli officials. A peer for the UK’s Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi called Danon’s comments appalling. She said that showing solidarity with Palestinians was not equivalent to anti-Semitism.

MSNBC personality Ayman also chimed in, calling the whole situation ridiculous. Using sarcasm, he said that even posting a picture that vaguely referenced solidarity was enough to get the poster labeled as an anti-Semite.

International journalist Richard Seymour stated that the whole ordeal was a ploy by extremists to label anyone who disagreed with them as an anti-Semite.

Researcher Elizabeth Tsurkov also contributed to the discussion by calling Danon an embarrassment. She said that criticizing Israeli policies did not make anyone an anti-Semite.

The image posted by Watson’s account was made by the Bad Activist Collective during fighting last year when Israeli jets bombarded the Gaza strip in retaliation to rocket attacks. Several celebrities including Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid expressed their solidarity with the Palestinian cause at that time.