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