Thunberg reiterates support for Palestinians after criticism

AFP , Tuesday 5 Dec 2023

The Swedish branch of the climate movement Fridays for Future (FFF), best known for activist Greta Thunberg, Tuesday reiterated its support for Palestinians in Gaza following criticism of its stance on the Israeli war on Gaza.

Greta Thunberg
File Photo: Climate activist Greta Thunberg. AFP


At the end of October, several politicians in Germany urged the German branch of the movement to cut ties with its international branch over its and Thunberg's outspoken pro-Palestinian remarks.

"Contrary to what many have claimed, Fridays for Future has not 'been radicalized' or 'become political'," FFF Sweden wrote in op-eds published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet and British newspaper The Guardian.

"We have always been political because we have always been a movement for justice."

"Advocating for climate justice fundamentally comes from a place of caring about people and their human rights," it wrote.

"That means speaking up when people suffer, are forced to flee their homes, or are killed - regardless of the cause."

"Standing in solidarity with Palestinians and all affected civilians has never been in question for us," it added.

Fridays for Future's international group has blasted the genocide in Gaza, and slammed "Western support and misinformation machines".

Luisa Neubauer, who heads the German chapter of Fridays for Future, said in a recent interview with Die Zeit weekly that Thunberg's view of the conflict was one-sided.

"I'm disappointed that Greta Thunberg had nothing concrete to say about the Jewish victims of the massacre of October 7," she said.

FFF Sweden wrote on Tuesday that "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," it said.

The movement also condemned a "sharp increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic statements, actions and hate crimes in Sweden and the world", stressing the need "to distinguish between Hamas, Muslims, and Palestinians; and between the state of Israel, Jewish people, and Israelis."

Israel killed nearly 15,900 people in the territory, around 70 percent of them women and children, in its brutal war on Gaza.

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