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11 May, 2021 22:59

Greta Thunberg tries to walk fine line of neutrality on Israeli-Palestinian clash, but Twitter mob demands that she take a side

Greta Thunberg tries to walk fine line of neutrality on Israeli-Palestinian clash, but Twitter mob demands that she take a side

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, normally a figure revered by her protective left-wing allies, has learned the hard way that rocket attacks over Israel are a touchier subject than solar panels and carbon-trading schemes.

After wading into the conversation about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Monday, when she retweeted a post by anti-Israel activist Naomi Klein, the 18-year-old Thunberg tried to strike a more ecumenical chord on Tuesday, saying, “To be crystal clear: I am not against Israel or Palestine. Needless to say, I'm against any form of violence or oppression from anyone or any part.

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“And again,” she added, “it is devastating to follow the developments in Israel and Palestine.”

Thunberg's comments came as Hamas militants in Gaza rained more than 100 rockets on Israeli cities on Tuesday evening. A building in suburban Tel Aviv was reportedly struck, following Israel's bombing of the Hanadi tower residential complex in Gaza earlier on Tuesday.

Thunberg's effort to stay neutral on the dispute was met with backlash, as observers called her uninformed or selectively outraged. Others suggested that her priorities were misplaced, “caring more about sea turtles than actual Palestinian adults and children being murdered under ethnic cleansing.”

Jennine Khalik, an anti-Israel writer and designer, urged Thunberg to be “on the right side of history.” Author Max Blumenthal quipped that perhaps Thunberg could be provoked to outrage if today's headline were, “Israel authorities deny solar panels, greenhouses to Palestinian farmers in West Bank.”

But Thunberg also faced pushback earlier, when she promoted Klein's tweet and added, “Devastating to follow the developments in Jerusalem and Gaza.”

German Green Party politician Volker Beck replied, “Do you have a say about the Hamas rocket attacks, and how is their positive impact on the climate?”

Economist Saki Bigio offered Thunberg advice that she apparently tried to follow: “Greta, you expose the green agenda if you side on a political conflict. You are one of my heroes. Don't lose focus.”

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