‘Greta Thunberg is no longer a climate activist – Israel-hater is the main job’: Fury over eco protester’s Palestine stance, as Fridays for Future movement distances itself from her
- Greta Thunberg has come under fire for her pro-Palestine stance in Germany
Greta Thunberg today came under fire over her pro-Palestine stance in Germany, where the local chapter of climate movement Fridays for Future distanced itself from the climate protester’s views on the Israel-Hamas war.
Thunberg, wearing the Palestinian black and white scarf, had urged ‘ceasefire now’ at a climate protest in Amsterdam on Sunday before a man grabbed her microphone and said, ‘I’ve come for a climate demonstration, not a political view’.
Thunberg had accused ‘the people in power of not listening’ to the ‘voices of those who are being oppressed’ in the Gaza Strip during her speech in front of tens of thousands of climate protesters.
Her comments in Amsterdam marked ‘the end of Greta Thunberg as a climate activist,’ said Volker Becker, the president of the German-Israel Society DIG, adding that ‘from now: Israel hater is the main job’ for the Swedish activist.
The Israeli embassy in Germany also wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that it was ‘sad that Greta Thunberg is again misusing the climate stage for her own purposes.’
Thunberg’s ‘one-sided’ view of the Israel-Hamas war, which saw 1,400 Israelis slaughtered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, has meant the German chapter of the Fridays For Future movement has distanced itself from the activist.
Thunberg had accused ‘the people in power of not listening’ to the ‘voices of those who are being oppressed’ in the Gaza Strip during her speech in front of tens of thousands of climate protesters
Thunberg, wearing the Palestinian black and white scarf, had urged ‘ceasefire now’ at a climate protest in Amsterdam on Sunday before a man grabbed her microphone and said, ‘I’ve come for a climate demonstration, not a political view’
After the Palestinian and Afghan women spoke and Ms Thunberg resumed her speech, noting that ‘the people in power have not been listening,’ a man came onto the stage and interrupted her, grabbing the microphone on Sunday
Luisa Neubauer, who heads the German chapter of the movement, said that Thunberg was ‘extraordinarily reflective and far-sighted’ in the past but that the German climate branch will now have to examine ‘with whom we still have a basis to work based on common values’.
‘It is obvious that for many global organisations, global realities diverge when it comes to Israel and Palestine. But that does not justify anti-Semitism or disinformation,’ warned Neubauer.
Luisa Neubauer had previously told Die Zeit weekly of her regret over what she called Thunberg’s one-sided view of the conflict.
‘I’m disappointed that Greta Thunberg had nothing concrete to say about the Jewish victims of the massacre of October 7,’ she said.
On Sunday, Thunberg was talking to a crowd of tens of thousands in Amsterdam when she invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman onto the stage.
‘As a climate justice movement, we have to listen to the voices of those who are being oppressed and those who are fighting for freedom and for justice. Otherwise, there can be no climate justice without international solidarity,’ she said.
After the Palestinian and the Afghan woman, Sahar Shirzad, spoke and Ms Thunberg resumed her speech, noting that ‘the people in power have not been listening,’ a man came onto the stage and interrupted her, grabbing the microphone.
‘I have come here for a climate demonstration, not a political view,’ he said, before he was ushered off as crowd members booed.
Greta Thunberg addressed tens of thousands of people who gathered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 12, 2023
Climate activist Greta Thunberg was briefly interrupted by a man who approached her on stage after she invited a Palestinian and an Afghan woman during Amsterdam Climate March on Sunday
An aerial view of the ‘March for Climate and Justice’ led by climate activist Greta Thunberg in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 12, 2023
Ms Thunberg takes part during a march for climate and justice in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 12, 2023
Ms Thunberg then grabbed the mic back and repeated: ‘Calm down.’
After a brief pause she started chanting: ‘No climate justice on occupied land.’
The man’s identity was not clear. He was wearing a jacket with the name of a group called Water Natuurlijk that has elected members in Dutch water boards.
Before Ms Thunberg took to the stage, the event was briefly interrupted as a small group of activists at the front of the crowd waved Palestinian flags and chanted pro-Palestinian slogans.
She appeared undeterred and was later seen dancing behind the stage as a band played.
Since October 7, when Hamas fighters stormed Israel’s borders, killing around 1,400 mostly civilians, the wider movement Fridays for Future International has been putting up solidarity calls on social media with Gaza, which has come under relentless Israeli bombing over the Hamas attack.
The international group blasted the ‘genocide’ in Gaza where more than 11,000 people have been killed according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry, and slammed ‘Western support and misinformation machines’.
The incident on Sunday came after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Amsterdam calling for more action to tackle climate change in a mass protest just 10 days before a national election.
Organisers claimed that 70,000 people took part in the march and called it the biggest climate protest in the Netherlands.
Tens of thousands of participants march for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museumplein, led by Ms Thunberg during the ‘March for Climate and Justice’ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 12, 2023
Demonstrators marched for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museumplein, led by Ms Thunberg during the ‘March for Climate and Justice’ in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on November 12, 2023
Tens of thousands of participants march for climate and justice from Dam Square to Museumplein, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on November 12, 2023
Carrying placards reading: ‘Our house is on fire’, ‘In 2050: Daddy, what are trees?’, and ‘Climate Justice Now,’ demonstrators packed into Amsterdam’s central square and set off through the streets.
Ms Thunberg was among those walking through the historic heart of the Dutch capital.
Political leaders including former European Union climate chief Frans Timmermans, who now leads a centre-left, two-party bloc in the election campaign, later addressed the crowd in a square behind the landmark Rijksmuseum.
‘We live in a time of crises, all of which are the result of the political choices that have been made. It has to be done and it can be done differently,’ the organiser, the Climate Crisis Coalition, said in a statement.
While the coalition included the Fridays for Future youth movement, protesters were all ages and included a large contingent of medics in white coats carrying a banner emblazoned with the text: ‘Climate crisis = health crisis’.
‘I am a paediatrician. I’m here standing up for the rights of children,’ said Laura Sonneveld. ‘Children are the first to be affected by climate change.’
Tackling climate change is one of the key policy areas for political parties contesting the November 22 general election.
‘It is time for us to protest about government decisions,’ said Margje Weijs, a Spanish teacher and youth coach. ‘I hope this influences the election.’
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