‘Environmental Justice’: College Palestinian Group Blames Israeli ‘Colonization’ for Climate Concerns

File: Protestors hold signs reading "Free Palestine," London, England, July 8, 2016.

By Published on March 13, 2023

Miami University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter held an event on March 9 blaming the “Zionist occupation” of Israel for “environmental racism” and harm to the climate in Palestine, according to the chapter’s Instagram post.

The SJP chapter posted pictures of last week’s event titled “Why Is Palestine An Environmental Justice Issue,” according to a Sunday Instagram post. The event’s purpose was to determine how “environmental justice relates to Palestine” and how Israel’s alleged “Zionist occupation” has contributed to an environmental crisis in the region.

“We talked about many natural resources and original crops of the environment were erased due to the Zionist occupation,” the post’s caption read. “We learned about all of the effects Israeli occupation has had on the land.”

The group accuses Israel of engaging in “green colonialism,” which is defined by SJP as groups or policies that “harm the land and rights of indigenous peoples in the name of environmental protection or climate change, mitigation [and] reinforcing colonial legacies.” SJP claims that Israel’s national parks, reserves and forest projects are simply a cover to hide “depopulat[ing] Palestinian villages” and prevent Palestinians from having access to the land.

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Israel is also pushing environmental “apartheid,” according to the group, which blames the country’s “systemic oppression” of Palestinian resources for adding to current climate change risks, according to the post. SJP also protests Israel’s use of natural resources in the West Bank and Gaza, arguing that Israel is furthering its colonialist state on the backs of Palestinian resources.

The group also took offense to the phrase “Israel made the desert bloom,” referring to Israel’s success with “desalination,” when water is removed from mineral salts and turned into drinking water, according to the Instagram post. SJP argues that Israel’s massive success in irrigating a desert “plays on Orientalist tropes” that only the colonizers could make the land into a “green paradise.”

“This talking point complements the Terra Nullis myth quite nicely, as they both build off each other to create the narrative of the colonists bringing life and civilization to the land,” the post read. “The natives — if they are even mentioned at all — are framed as having lacked the technological or even the moral mettle to make the land thrive.”

MU and SJP did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.


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