ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Greta Thunberg doubles down on anti-Israel stance, accuses it of ‘genocide’ in Gaza

Environmentalist poster child from Sweden is not backing down after participating in ‘crush Zionism’ chants

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends the Oily Money Out protest outside the Intercontinental Hotel, in London, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg attends the Oily Money Out protest outside the Intercontinental Hotel, in London, Oct. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Environmentalist poster child Greta Thunberg, who was recently filmed chanting “crush Zionism” at a rally, has co-authored an op-ed accusing Israel of perpetrating a genocide against Palestinians and vowing to speak out against it.

Fridays for Future, the environmentalist movement to which Thunberg, 20, belongs, “has not ‘been radicalized’ or ‘become political,’” Tuesday’s op-ed in The Guardian reads.

“We have always been political, because we have always been a movement for justice,” Thunberg and three other people wrote in the op-ed.

This was apparently a response to criticism leveled at Thunberg for chanting to “crush Zionism” at a rally in Stockholm on November 23.

Following that event, Alon Tal, a former Israeli lawmaker and a prominent environmental studies scientist, told The Times of Israel that Thunberg has had “a historic role in raising global awareness about climate change,” but has “misused her stature to promote racist, violent positions.”

Nigel Savage, a UK-born environmental activist and founder of Jewish environmental nonprofit organization Hazon, said that Thunberg’s actions are indicative of how “large parts of ‘the left’ or ‘progressives’ have been intellectually captured by a naive, distorted and frankly bigoted anti-Zionism.”

From left: Nigel Savage of Hazon, Anneka from the US Christian Climate Observers, David Miron Wapner, Elsa from Christian Climate Observers, and Jakir Manela of Hazon launch the Sinai Climate Partnership from Jebel Musa, Egypt, on November 13, 2022. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

In the op-ed, titled “We won’t stop speaking out about Gaza’s suffering – there is no climate justice without human rights,” Thunberg and the other cosignatories defended their pro-Palestinian advocacy. It owes to “the same reason why we have always held strikes in solidarity with marginalized groups – including those in Sápmi, Kurdistan, Ukraine and many other places – and their struggles for justice against imperialism and oppression,” they wrote.

They added: “The horrific murders of Israeli civilians by Hamas cannot in any way legitimize Israel’s ongoing war crimes. Genocide is not self-defense, nor is it in any way a proportionate response.”

The op-ed mentions a “sharp increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic statements, actions and hate crimes in Sweden and the world.”

Multiple Jewish groups from around the world have reported increases in antisemitic incidents following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

A demonstrator burns an Israeli flag outside a synagogue in Malmo, Sweden, on November 4, 2023. (The Council of Swedish Jewish Communities)

In the Hamas attack, some 3,000 terrorists broke through the border and massacred some 1,200 people, the majority of them civilians, abducting around 240 more. This led to the Israeli counteroffensive in Gaza, in which Hamas says over 16,000 have died.

Israel rejects all accusations of disproportionality in its Gaza assault, saying it is responding to an unprecedented attack on the country and doing its utmost to avoid harm to civilians, while fighting a terror group embedded deeply within the civilian population.

A Swedish 20-year-old who dropped out of school in 2018 to pursue a full-time activism career against what she warns is an impending climate-related crisis, Thunberg is a vocal supporter of Palestinians and has posted photos of herself with signs supporting Gaza, including ones reading “Stop the Holocaust” and “Jews for the liberation of Palestine.”

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