No, standing in solidarity with Palestinians is not antisemitic!

The attack on Emma Watson by former and current ambassadors of Israel – carried in all the major news outlets – shows that solidarity with the Palestinians, and concretely the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), is becoming a major headache for the pro-Zionist lobby. It follows the news that more than 20 acts have pulled out of the 2022 Sydney festival, just 48 hours before opening night, boycotting the festival over a sponsorship deal with the Israeli embassy.

The pro-Zionist lobby is working hard on changing the definition of ‘antisemitism’ and Emma Watson’s case is one of its purest expressions. She is being labeled “an antisemite” – not because she has expressed any kind of hatred of or discrimination against Jews. She hasn’t even mentioned Israel in her online post. She is being smeared as antisemitic, solely because of her solidarity with the Palestinians! 

This attack is, sadly, also a result of the fact that the Corbyn leadership and sections of the Labour Left didn’t oppose the ‘Anti-Zionism equals antisemitism’ smear campaign when something could have been done about it. Instead of standing in solidarity with Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Chris Williamson, Marc Wadsworth and all the others who were unjustly smeared as antisemitic, those sections of the Left chose to keep quiet – or even actively supported this smear campaign.

Our solidarity movements will have to pay the price, for years to come. But, as the increasing success of the BDS movement shows, resistance is growing, too.