Resist Greenwashing And Fight For Climate Justice
Palestine is an environmental justice issue.
During the Nakba of 1948, Zionist paramilitary forces destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages and towns, separating native Palestinian people from their natural resources and spiritual and cultural connection to the land. Today, while climate change will have significant impacts on the region, the UN development program considers the Israeli military occupation an environmental risk in its own right.
- Israel destroys native plant life and ecosystems and disposes of waste across the West Bank, and military occupation and other policies increase climate vulnerability for Palestinian people. (Al Shabaka, OpinioJuris)
- Since 1967, Israel has uprooted over 800,000 native olive trees. (Visualizing Palestine)
- Israel also controls the vast majority of the water supply for the West Bank and Gaza, using these water resources to provide unlimited water to Israel and its illegal settlements while Palestinian people suffer severe water shortage. 97% of water in Gaza is undrinkable. (B’Tselem, Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine)
In Wadi Foquin, the construction of illegal Israeli settlements has dried up groundwater springs, and has involved disposing waste and sewage on Palestinian farming land, rendering it unusable. The Israeli government has further approved road and industrial zone construction, which steals more land from the village, and damages the few remaining wild and forested areas. Learn more at Friends of Wadi Foquin and MD2Palestine.
In Al Walaja, the Ein Hanya spring is one of the largest and most important springs in the Jerusalem area. Since 2018, Israeli police patrol the spring and it has been closed to Palestinian people, all while Palestinians in Al Walaja face home demolitions. Read more in these graphics.
To justify this destruction, Israel often employs “greenwashing”: using environmental rhetoric to cover up Israel’s violent colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and repression of the native Palestinian people.
In January 2022, the state-supported Jewish National Fund (JNF) destroyed Palestinian Bedoin farmland and violently arrested Palestinian families and children, all for a “forestation” project aimed at removing the Indigenous Palestinian people. The JNF relies on racist, colonial tropes of the Israeli state “making the desert bloom,” which has been one of the ways Israel has justified its colonialism and land theft. (Al Jazeera)
Sierra Club’s greenwashing trips
While Israel damages the environment and uses greenwashing to cover up its ethnic cleansing, Sierra Club—one of the oldest environmental organizations in the U.S.—has announced that it will continue to run greenwashing trips to Israel. These trips normalize Israel’s separate-and-unequal apartheid and occupation, crossing Palestinians’ BDS picket line.
Sierra Club must stand firmly against apartheid and in solidarity with the Palestinian people as part of its commitment to racial, economic, and environmental justice, and as part of its attempt to repair past harm toward Black and Indigenous communities in the U.S. and around the world.
Join us to take action today! Demand the Sierra Club end its greenwashing trips to apartheid Israel.
While many Members of Congress support the Green New Deal, the connections between anti-militarism, ending military funding to Israel, and environmental justice are less often understood in Congress.
Our planet only has a narrow chance of limiting global warming. A radically transformed world is necessary, where people, land and the climate are protected.
From Palestine to the U.S., Indigenous people demand an end to their criminalization and the return of their land. It is clear that environmental justice means defunding the militarization that destroys both land and life, including U.S. military funding to Israel.
Watch our 2022 Earth Day briefing to learn more.
And take action by supporting legislative asks focused on climate justice and anti-militarism. Tell your Congressmember to:
- Cosponsor H.R. 2590, the Palestinian Children and Families Act.
- Sign the No War, No Warming Pledge, to commit to 1) clean up, remediate and transition military bases, 2) reallocate funding from harmful institutions toward community resources, and 3) end weapons manufacturing and distribution, and war profiteering.
- Cosponsor H.R. 3884, the Philippines Human Rights Act.
- Between A Rising Tide and Apartheid: Palestinian Climate Vulnerability graphics by Visualizing Palestine
- Greenwashing explainer by Decolonize Palestine
- The Right of Return is LANDBACK position paper by NDN Collective
- Land Day graphics by USCPR