Actress Emma Watson Posts in 'Solidarity' of Palestine and Gains Ire of Israeli Ambassador

Actress Emma Watson was called out by a high-ranking Israeli official on Monday after posting a pro-Palestinian message on her Instagram account.

Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Representative to the United Nations, wrote on Twitter that "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!" Erdan continued.

Erdan tweeted the message in response to an Instagram post from Watson on Sunday, which contained a quote from British-Australian feminist Sara Ahmed accompanied by a picture of Palestinian protestors.

"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," the quote stated. "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."

Watson, 31, is known for her activism on a variety of issues, particularly sustainability, women's rights and climate change. As an actress, she became world-famous as a child for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series.

Watson has shown support for Palestinians in the past and has become one of a number of high-profile Hollywood stars to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Emma Watson
A number of Israeli officials have criticized actress Emma Watson for posting a pro-Palestinian message on her Instagram account. Here, Watson can be seen at the Earthshot Prize 2021 this past October in London. Joe Maher/Getty

Online outlets throughout the Middle East heralded Watson for posting the message, with a number of Palestinian and Arabic newspapers praising her for standing in solidarity with the Palestinian Territories.

However, the opinion on the Israeli side was remarkably different, with some pro-Israeli pundits going as far as to call Watson antisemitic.

Danny Danon, who served as the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations from 2015 to 2020, tweeted that he was taking "10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite," mocking Watson's role in the Harry Potter series.

Numerous Israeli newspapers also called out Watson's stance on the issue, with The Jerusalem Post noting that "Israelis in the comments [on Instagram] didn't hesitate to express their opinions on the post with some simply commenting encouragement for Israel and some informing Watson that she should have educated herself before posting."

Indeed, reactions to the Instagram post were mixed, with many users expressing support with pro-Palestinian messages and emojis of the Palestinian flag. However, others backing Israel were more critical, pointing out that Hamas' treatment of women seemed to go against Watson's history of feminist activism.

However, some people also expressed anger at Israeli activists who felt that calling Watson's pro-Palestine stance antisemitic took away from "actual" antisemitism.

"This sort of messaging diminishes attention to real cases of antisemitism," Georgetown professor Don Moynihan tweeted in response to Danon's comment.

In the past year, the entertainment industry has strengthened its voice on the Middle East conflict. In May, over 125 Hollywood figures signed a letter urging the fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Territories to stop.

Newsweek reached out to Watson's agency for comment.