Hollywood stars show solidarity for Emma Watson and Palestinians

Over 40 actors, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Capaldi and Ramy Youssef, have come out in support of Emma Watson’s Palestine solidarity post.

Last week Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, posted an image of a pro-Palestinian protest with the phrase “Solidarity is a Verb.” The message of solidarity was widely praised but provoked fury from right-wing Israeli officials.  

Now, major celebrities from the world of film and TV– including Charles Dance, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Coogan and Asif Kapadia – have endorsed Watson’s message saying they too ‘oppose injustice’ anywhere and ‘stand with those seeking an end to oppression.’

“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,” reads the statement published in Artists for Palestine.

Citing recent reports on Israeli apartheid by Human Rights Watch and Israel’s leading human rights organisation, B’Tselem, the artists, including Watson’s Harry Potter co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, state:

“We recognize the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid.”

On Israel’s forced evictions of Palestinians, the statement adds: “We stand against ongoing Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

The letter rejected the deliberate false conflation some people make between opposing a political system or policy and bogotry.  

“We condemn all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. Opposition to a political system or policy is distinct from bigotry, hatred and discrimination targeting any group of humans based on their identity. We see the former as a legitimate and necessary form of political and ethical expression and the latter as racism – pure and simple.”

The actors, directors and others conclude by quoting the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

“Heeding Tutu’s moral appeal, we stand on the side of justice, freedom, and equal rights for all. This is the least we can do,” they add.

Full list of signatories of the letter:  

Khalid Abdalla, actor

Udi Aloni, director

Carter Burwell, composer

Peter Capaldi, actor

Kathleen Chalfant, actor

Henry Chalfant, director

Julie Christie, actor

Elaine Collins, executive producer

Steve Coogan, actor, comedian

Liam Cunningham, actor

Charles Dance, actor

Andy de la Tour, actor

Frances de la Tour, actor

Stephen Dillane, actor

Brian Eno, composer

Bella Freud, designer  

Gael García Bernal, actor

Kerry Godliman, actor, comedian

Gemma Jackson, production designer

Jim Jarmusch, director

Asif Kapadia, director

Aki Kaurismäki, director

Peter Kosminsky, writer, director

Ralf Little, actor

Jim Loach, director

Ken Loach, director

Michael Malarkey, actor, musician

Art Malik, actor

Miriam Margolyes, actor

Matt McGorry, actor

David Michôd, director

Viggo Mortensen, actor

Oren Moverman, writer, director, producer

Mira Nair, director

Rebecca O’Brien, producer

Maxine Peake, actor

Michael Radford, writer, director

Dominic Rains, actor

Mark Ruffalo, actor

Susan Sarandon, actor

James Schamus, screenwriter, director

Elhum Shakerifar, producer

Robyn Slovo, producer

V (Eve Ensler), playwright

Cat Villiers, producer

Harriet Walter, actor

Mat Whitecross, director

Susan Wooldridge, actor

Ramy Youssef, actor, producer

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