Greta should pipe down about Palestine

Why has the baby-faced activist swapped wailing about climate change for demonising Israel?

Lauren Smith

Topics World

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Kudos to Greta Thunberg who, at just 21 years old, has apparently become an expert not only on the environment, but also on the Middle East’s most intractable conflict. It seems the pint-sized activist has taken a break from carping about climate change to protest instead about Palestine.

Yesterday, Thunberg was spotted at a rally in Malmö, Sweden, demonstrating against Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. She joined 12,000 other anti-Israel protesters near Malmö’s town hall, as they marched towards the venue where the Eurovision final will be held on Saturday. Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and set off green, black and red smoke flares. They chanted slogans like ‘Israel is a terror state’ and ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.

Draped in a keffiyeh, Greta told reporters: ‘Once again, young people are showing the world how to react.’ Apparently, we should all take our lead from a crowd that is furious because a young Israeli woman has been allowed to sing a power ballad.

This isn’t Greta’s first foray into the Israel-Palestine issue. Last year, shortly after Hamas launched its horrific 7 October pogrom in southern Israel, Greta announced on X that she would ‘stand for Gaza’. She then turned her weekly Fridays for Future climate strikes into Palestine marches. At one point last November, she was filmed at a pro-Palestine rally in Stockholm chanting ‘Crush Zionism’. Needless to say, this is not exactly a call for peace.

If you’re confused as to what these demands for the destruction of Israel have to do with reducing carbon emissions, then you’re not alone. Surely, there won’t be a Palestine left to free if humanity is going to be wiped out by climate catastrophe within the decade, as Thunberg and her fellow cultists have predicted.

Explaining herself in a co-authored piece in the Guardian last December, she wrote: ‘There is no climate justice without human rights.’ But the human rights of Israelis don’t seem to ever figure in Greta’s activism. She accuses Israel of committing ‘genocide’, ‘war crimes’ and ‘mass killing’, while minimising Hamas’s own brutalities as occurring ‘within the broader context of Palestinians having lived under suffocating oppression for decades’. Apparently, we just need to understand the context and nuance behind the mass murder of civilians and mass rape of women on 7 October.

Just like the hordes of twentysomethings play-acting as revolutionaries on campuses across the US and UK, Greta seems to have developed strong opinions about the legitimacy of the Jewish State practically overnight. Most of these people probably couldn’t find Rafah on a map or name the river and the sea they’re chanting about. More than anything, they are just following the latest fashions and reciting woke orthodoxy. Perhaps Greta would appear terribly gauche and off-trend if she carried on beating the tired old climate drum while there is a new, more exotic banner to wave.

The most charitable reading of Greta’s Gaza glow-up is that she’s as clueless about Palestine as she is about climate change. In any case, it’s high time the world stopped putting her on a pedestal.

Lauren Smith is a staff writer at spiked.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics World


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