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Newsline: Israel’s ambassador to the UN invokes Harry Potter magic in message to Emma Watson

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, had a message for the actress Emma Watson after an Instagram account in her name posted a message that was in apparent solidarity with Palestinians: It’ll take more than magic to solve the conflict. “Fiction may work in Harry Potter but it does not work in reality,” Erdan said on Twitter Monday, attaching a screenshot of a post from Watson’s Instagram account. “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 [Palestinian Authority] (which supports terror). I would be in favor of that!” (https://www.jta.org/2022/01/04/culture/israels-ambassador-to-the-united-nations-invokes-harry-potter-magic-in-message-to-emma-watson) Watson, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, is famous for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series. She and other actors and participants in the series marked the 20th anniversary this week of the first film with an HBO special. It’s not clear however if Watson posted or approved the message or if the person who posted the message was endorsing its pro-Palestinian associations; Watson recently indicated that she has handed over control of at least part of the account to a left-wing activist group, and her Instagram profile bio reads, “Emma’s official Instagram has been taken over by an anonymous Feminist Collective.” The post appearing Sunday on Watson’s page comprised a slogan superimposed over a photo from a pro-Palestinian protest in Chicago in May, when Israel and Hamas were in conflict, and a quote unrelated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict attributed to Sara Ahmed, an Australian feminist theorist. The slogan, which dominates much of the picture, reads “Solidarity is a verb,” and the passage attributed to Ahmed analyzes the meaning of “solidarity.” Visible behind the slogan are protesters bearing banners that read “Free Palestine” and “U.S. & Israel — Hands off Jerusalem.”

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