UPDATE 3/16/2022: The Sierra Club shamefully backtracked on a commitment to cancel trips to apartheid Israel. Read more and take action here.
Three weeks ago, we joined a coalition of Palestinian, Indigenous, and other progressive organizations to tell the Sierra Club to cancel their trips that greenwash Israel’s settler colonialism—and they listened. The Unity Intifada has called social justice advocates around the globe to choose solidarity with the Palestinian people over complicity with Israeli apartheid. But now, Zionist organizations are trying to erase this and other hard-won gains by the Palestinian people in the Palestinian struggle for justice.
The Jewish Community Relations Council has already decided to ‘coordinate a nationwide response’ pressuring the Sierra Club to reverse their principled choice. That’s why it’s so important that the Sierra Club hear from you now, to drive home the message that they made the right decision in choosing solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Right now, Palestinian people are steadfastly defending their homes from Israeli ethnic cleansing, challenging greenwashing forestation projects in the Naqab, racist park planning in Jerusalem, and the parching of Gaza through denial of clean water access.
Israel has since its inception used so-called green initiatives as cover for the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people, allowing the apartheid regime to present itself as environmentally-friendly. This disinformation covering up settler colonialism and environmental destruction is known as greenwashing. In fact:
- Israel commits water apartheid, where settlers use three to eight times as much water as the Palestinian people whose lands they occupy in the West Bank, redirecting water to prioritize Israeli settlers.
- Only 11% of trees in Israeli forests are indigenous species. The rest are non-native species replanted by Israel to quickly take over land where lies the the ruins of at least 182 destroyed Palestinian villages.
- The Israeli state has designated much of Palestinian land stolen in 1948 as protected nature parks and reserves, similar to U.S. conservationists’ establishment of national parks on plundered native land. Colonization and erasure of Indigenous people is never green—it’s deadly greenwashing.
In the fight for environmental justice, there are no borders. Tell the Sierra Club to stick with this positive decision as part of its attempt to repair past harm toward Black and Indigenous communities and align with their stated values in support of Indigenous and environmental justice. Take action for justice now.