Middle East conflict: Environmentalists: Israel wants to “eliminate” Palestinians

Middle East conflict: Environmentalists: Israel wants to “eliminate” Palestinians

It’s actually about the climate, but the Gaza war also plays a role at COP28. There is drastic criticism of Israel. German organizations do not want to support this.

At the UN climate conference in Dubai, a network of environmental organizations awarded the negative “Fossil of the Day” prize to Israel – with drastic formulations about the ongoing military operation in the Gaza war.

“Israel’s actions aim to eliminate the Palestinian people through the unfolding genocide and ethnic cleansing,” said the Climate Action Network (CAN). According to its own information, it includes more than 1,900 civil society organizations in more than 130 countries and at the international level – including Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF and Germanwatch. Some of the German organizations distanced themselves.

A press release on Sunday evening said the “conflict” had already cost the lives of 7,000 Palestinian children. Over the past two days, Israel has bombed clinics and burned surrounding refugee tents, including their residents. There is no mention of the Islamist Hamas, which triggered the war with an attack on Israel on October 7th.

Participation in CAN committee suspended

The Bonn-based organization Germanwatch distanced itself. “Despite Israel’s very problematic actions in the Gaza Strip, we neither adopt nor support the justification for the fossil of the day to Israel on December 10, 2023,” explained Political Director Christoph Bals in response to a dpa request. Germanwatch was only able to get involved in the selection process indirectly via CAN Europe. “We voted against Israel’s selection and – when it was finally carried out – communicated our red lines for the reasons. Unfortunately, this submission was not taken into account this time.”

As a consequence, participation in the CAN International Political Coordination Group was suspended in the morning. According to Bals, the committee of around 50 people met daily during COP28 to make strategic agreements. However, we continue to work in the working groups on important climate issues.

Greenpeace and Oxfam distance themselves

Martin Kaiser, head of Greenpeace Germany, “clearly distanced himself from this statement” and criticized the link between the climate crisis and the Middle East conflict. Although Greenpeace International is a member of the network, it did not vote for the selection and would not do so. “Greenpeace Germany has clearly condemned the murderous attack by Hamas, stood with the threatened Jewish people in Germany and at the same time expressed its great concern about the many deaths on both sides and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” said Kaiser further.

Oxfam Germany also distanced itself. “We do not adopt this statement and do not support it in any form,” the organization said when asked. People are dismayed by the “unscrupulous violence of Hamas” and condemn it in the strongest possible terms. At the same time, they are also concerned “about the escalating military violence and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.” The organization was not involved in the selection or justification.

WWF Germany stated that it was also not involved in the selection or the justification. However, the organization did not distance itself from further collaboration with the network. The many civilian victims of the war moved many in the climate movement, it was said. “Different actors decide on different strategies.” Violations of international law are condemned. “We stand in solidarity with the victims of terror and the civilian victims of the conflict on both sides and stand with the Israelis and Palestinians who long for a real and lasting peace.”

The Gaza war also plays a role at the UN climate conference with its 97,000 participants from all over the world. The conflict is repeatedly discussed during protests on the site.

Source: Stern

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