According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, anti-Semitism is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews”. It adds that manifestations of anti-Semitism “might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”.
“However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”
As well as being liked more than a million times and prompting 100,000 comments, Watson’s post has drawn support from high-profile figures. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the former cabinet minister and current peer, responded to Danon’s tweet: “Repeat after me: Showing solidarity with Palestinians is not anti-Semitism. Appalling comments from former Israeli Ambassador to the UN. These constant attempts to stifle any and all support for Palestinians must be called out.”
Donald Moynihan, a political scientist at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, tweeted: “This sort of messaging diminishes attention to real cases of anti-Semitism.”
Watson has used her celebrity as a platform for a number of causes.
In 2014, she became a UN goodwill ambassador for women and spoke at UN headquarters in New York to launch the website HeForShe, which urges men to advocate for women’s equality. She has also shown support for Black Lives Matter and transgender rights.
This marks the first time that she has gone on record about the Palestinian cause. In the quotation from Sara Ahmed, she explains: “Solidarity involves commitment and work as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings or the same lives or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”