UN envoy lashes out at Harry Potter star Emma Watson for Palestinian solidarity post

Gilad Erdan mocks actor, denounces Palestinian Authority and Hamas in response to statement supporting pro-Palestinian activism

Emma Watson poses for photographers at The Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony, Alexandra Palace, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. (AP/Scott Garfitt)
Emma Watson poses for photographers at The Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony, Alexandra Palace, England, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. (AP/Scott Garfitt)

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan lashed out at Harry Potter star Emma Watson on Monday after she expressed support for the Palestinians online.

Watson posted an image on her Instagram account on Sunday showing pro-Palestinian activists with the phrase “Solidarity is a verb.”

In the caption to the post, Watson shared a quote to her 64 million followers from scholar and activist Sara Ahmed.

“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. Solidarity involves commitment, and work,” Ahmed’s quote said.

Erdan shared a screenshot of Watson’s post on Twitter on Monday in response.

“Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality,” he wrote. “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!”

The post came less than a week after Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his home, the first time the PA leader met with a senior Israeli official inside Israel since 2010.

The meeting was strongly criticized by right-wing opposition parties and some hawkish members of the ruling coalition. Gantz pushed back against the criticism and vowed to continue meeting with the PA leader.

Erdan is a former minister for opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and was appointed as Israel’s ambassador to the US and UN by Netanyahu.

Erdan was replaced as US ambassador by Mike Herzog in November.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday he would have no problem meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas if the political conditions justified such talks.

Erdan’s predecessor at the UN Danny Danon managed to evoke a much larger monsoon of responses to his Twitter attack on Watson, whom he branded an antisemite. Thousands of Twitter users pounced on Danon, with most of them mocking the former UN ambassador, accusing him of misusing the epithet

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