"Much of the world is looking the other way" at the situation in the Gaza Strip. This was the message conveyed by the Swedish branch of Fridays for Future, of which Greta Thunberg is a member. The environmental movement on Tuesday reiterated its solidarity with Palestinians under bombs in Gaza in response to criticism of the climate group over the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
At the end of October, there were calls in Germany for the German branch to cut ties with the international climate movement. They accused the young activist of taking positions deemed pro-Palestinian in the conflict. "Fridays for Future has not radicalized and not become political. We have always been political because we have always been a movement for justice," he wrote in an op-ed published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet. An English version is published in the British newspaper The Guardian.
Dissension within the environmental movement
"Advocating for climate justice is rooted in concern for people and their human rights," the activists add. "It is natural that we stand in solidarity with the Palestinians and all civilians affected" by the war, they added, stressing that it is their duty as a movement to "speak out when people are suffering, forced to flee their homes and killed – for whatever reason." Thus, the movement believes that "a large part of the world, especially the countries of the North, is looking the other way" to the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Read also"They are bombing Khan Younis, but where can we go?": the impossible escape of residents in southern Gaza
In response to Israel's bombing of Gaza, which followed Hamas' October 7 attacks on Israel, Fridays for Future Sweden denounced the "genocide" in Gaza and criticized "Western support and disinformation machines." The president of the German section of the organisation, Luisa Neubauer, distanced herself from these remarks. She said she was "disappointed that Greta Thunberg has nothing concrete to say about the Jewish victims of the October 7 massacre."
"Committing genocide is not self-defence"
"The fact that Hamas murdered Israeli civilians in a horrific attack can in no way legitimize Israel's war crimes," Fridays for Future Sweden said in the gallery. "Committing genocide is not self-defense and is in no way proportionate."
The movement also condemns the rise of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic acts in Sweden and "around the world," urging people to "distinguish between Hamas, Muslims and Palestinians, just as the State of Israel must be distinguished from the Jewish people and Israelis."