Activism and BDS Beat 6 January 2022
Israel’s former envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, smeared actor Emma Watson as an anti-Semite after she reposted a photo to her Instagram account of a Palestine solidarity demonstration with the words “Solidarity is a verb.”
Danon is a far-right politician who has called for Palestinian “national suicide” and has a lengthy history of racist incitement against Arabs and Africans.
Earlier this week, Watson – known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films – posted the image, which was originally made by the Bad Activist Collective, a leftist media activist organization.
The image accompanied a quotation about solidarity by Sara Ahmed, a British-Australian scholar and writer.Watson’s post has so far received more than 1.2 million likes.
As of Wednesday, Watson’s post remains active.
In the past, other high-profile figures have deleted their posts or released apologetic statements after expressing support for Palestinians.
Meanwhile, activists, journalists and human rights defenders have admonished Danon and pointed out the use of false accusations of anti-Jewish bigotry in order to shut down support for Palestinian rights.
Losing the culture war
This attempt by Israeli leaders and their supporters to accuse Watson of anti-Semitism is just a part of a gasping effort by Israel and its advocates to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Jewish bigotry.
But it isn’t working.
In October, for example, best-selling author Sally Rooney was subjected to similar smears after she refused to allow an Israeli company to buy the Hebrew translation and publication rights for her latest novel.
Pro-Israel media and lobby groups attempted to portray her decision as a boycott of the Hebrew language – a predictable insinuation that her solidarity with Palestinians is motivated by prejudice.
Rooney has not backed down.
Act.IL, the Israeli government-funded app that sends its users on “missions” to bully, harass and smear cultural figures, students, activists and scholars who express support for Palestinian rights, attacked Rooney.This week, Act.IL launched a similar, desperate campaign against Watson.
The app urged its users to comment on social media “to show Emma Watson that Hamas, as a terrorist organization, is the true enemy, both for Palestinians and for Israelis.”Jewish Voice for Peace rebuked Israel’s app for manufacturing a public support campaign as the apartheid state continues to lose “the culture war.” Watson is not the only Harry Potter-affiliated actor to express support for Palestinians.
Actor Miriam Margolyes, who played Professor Sprout in the films, is one of more than 1,000 British artists who have pledged not to cooperate with Israeli state-funded institutions as part of the cultural boycott campaign.
And the late Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape, was a longtime Palestinian rights activist who directed a play based on the letters of Rachel Corrie, the US activist who was murdered by an Israeli soldier driving a modified Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza in 2003.
Permalink Guy replied on
Kudos to Emma for standing up to injustice .The tide is slowly changing .One can see it in their desperate fight to use the term "antisemite" for anyone that dares to call them out .Strange though ,that the Palestinians are semitic also .
Permalink Frank Dallas replied on
The public has been bamboozled about accusations of anti-Semitism, largely thanks to the MSM which has steadfastly refused to explore the issue in depth and has denied access to those who can explain. The BBC will slavishly report the statistics produced by the CST as if they are objective. Of course, they may be, but they should be open to examination. The media never look behind them, merely report them as fact. In the same way, the media never challenged the notion that Labour was riddled with anti-Semites, a very simple thing to do. There is still no evidence of "institutional anti-Semitism" yet the public believes, according to polls, some 30% of Labour members are racists. This episode, however, moves into different territory. Watson has tens of millions of followers and is obviously not a nasty racist. Many of her followers are young. It's in the nature of such followers to be loyal to the people they admire. They will not quickly or easily accept she is guilty, and they will message one another. The internet will ensure the opposition to the accusation against her takes off. Further, she is known world-wide. The whole Corbyn business was a closed book to many parts of the world. It's a pity in a way that it requires popular culture to expose the lies of the Israeli State, but their stupidity is monumental. Had they let Watson's tweet pass without comment, it would hardly have been noticed. Now it's a cause celebre, it's profile will expand, it will stick around and as she has so much support she's unlikely to pull back. Watson is no intellectual or great cultural figure. She's just a liberal minded Brit who can recognise oppression when she sees it. That's very bad news for the Israeli State because most people are like her in that regard. Millions of youngsters will now explore the Israel-Palestine issue online and will know more than they would have if Danon had restrained himself. Support for Palestine is racist is a doctrine in tatters.
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