Dozens of actors and film industry personalities have joined Harry Potter star Emma Watson to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Last week, the actress shared a post from her Instagram account with the words “solidarity is a verb” over a picture of Palestinian flags. The post has so far attracted more than 1.2 million likes, as well as thousands of comments.
In a statement released on Thursday, more than 40 figures from the film industry endorsed Watson’s message in a joint statement.
“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,” they said in the statement.
The artists cited reports by rights organizations that Israel is committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution.
“We recognize the underlying power imbalance between Israel, the occupying power, and the Palestinians, the people under a system of military occupation and apartheid,” they said.
The statement also referenced the eviction of Palestinians from their homes.
“We stand against ongoing Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem (al-Quds) neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
The artists, including Watson’s Harry Potter co-stars Miriam Margolyes and Julie Christie, also said they denounce all forms of racism, including Islamophobia.
“Opposition to a political system or policy is distinct from bigotry, hatred and discrimination targeting any group of humans based on their identity.”
Signatories included famous film professionals and TV figures such as Steve Coogan, Peter Capaldi, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Maxine Peake, Viggo Mortensen and Harriet Walter.
Screenwriter and producer James Schamus and directors Asif Kapadia, Mira Nair and Ken Loach have also spoken out in support of the actress.
The post elicited widespread support from Palestinian activists but drew fierce criticism from Israeli officials with some accusing Watson of antisemitism.
Several celebrities have come in support of the Palestinian cause over the past few years.
In October 2021, bestselling Irish author Sally Rooney said she had chosen not to sell the translation rights for her latest novel to an Israeli-based publishing house, citing concerns about the Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
The developments come as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement is already urging countries around the world to impose a military embargo on Israel, and boycott firms complicit in its occupation of the Palestinian territories.