Israeli envoys invoke Harry Potter in response to Emma Watson’s Palestine Instagram post

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli envoys invoke Harry Potter in response to Emma Watson’s Palestine Instagram post

UN envoy Gilad Erdan said 'magic' doesn't work in real life, while his predecessor Danny Danon wrote '10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite'

Danon and Erdan's posts
Danon and Erdan's posts

Israel’s current and former envoys to the UN used Harry Potter references in response to actress Emma Watson’s post in solidarity with Palestinians.

Two diplomats responded to the star’s Instagram post which appeared on Sunday. It comprised of a slogan superimposed over a photo from a pro-Palestinian protest 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.”

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, responded to her Instagram messaging, saying: 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 favour of that!”

Danny Danon, the former envoy in New York and current chair of World Likud, shared a screenshot of the star’s Instagram post saying: “10 points from Gryffindor for being an antisemite.” Gryffindor is the name of the house her character Hermione Granger was in.

Danon’s tweet was quoted more than 2,500 times, with the majority of responses being criticism.

Danon and Erdan’s posts

Among those to respond was Tal Ofer, an Israeli-born Brit and former representative on the Board of Deputies, who said “ showing solidarity with Palestinians isn’t an antisemitic manifestation. You would be surprised but many Jews in Israel and in diaspora express their solidarity too.”

David Schneider, a British Jewish actor and director, said: “Just as antisemitism in support of the Palestinian struggle against oppression damages that cause, so do crass dismissals of solidarity for Palestinians as antisemitism damage the fight against genuine antisemitism.”

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 notes that it is a repost of a graphic and text originally shared by the Bad Activist Collective. The original post in May noted that the photo was from a pro-Palestinian protest. Watson’s post does not include that information.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: