Climate activist Greta Thunberg found herself in hot water after posting and subsequently deleting a pro-Palestinian message on social media, facing criticism for inadvertently using a symbol that some interpreted as antisemitic.
The Controversial Post:
Early Friday morning, the 20-year-old Swedish activist shared a photo featuring herself and three other activists holding signs that expressed support for Palestine and called for climate justice.
The signs included phrases such as “Free Palestine,” “Climate Justice Now,” and “This Jew Stands With Palestine.” The photo also featured a blue octopus with a frowning face sitting on one of the activists’ legs.
In the caption, Thunberg stated, “Today we strike in solidarity with Palestine and Gaza. The world needs to speak up and call for an immediate ceasefire, justice, and freedom for Palestinians and all civilians affected.”
However, she swiftly deleted the post and reposted an almost identical photo with the stuffed animal removed.
See the post for yourself below:
Clarification and Apology: In a subsequent post, Thunberg explained that she was unaware of the interpretation of the stuffed animal as a symbol for antisemitism.
She clarified that the toy is often used by autistic individuals as a means of communicating feelings. Thunberg emphasized her stance against discrimination and condemned antisemitism in all forms, stating, “This is non-negotiable. That is why I deleted the last post.”
Recent Arrest: This incident comes on the heels of Thunberg’s arrest during an energy protest in London earlier in the week. Alongside 25 other protesters, she was arrested outside a hotel hosting an oil and gas conference.
Thunberg was charged with a public order offense for failing to comply with imposed conditions to prevent serious disruption.
Global Activism: Greta Thunberg gained international recognition as a climate activist after staging weekly protests in front of the Swedish Parliament in 2018 at the age of 15. Named Time’s “Person of the Year” in 2019, she has continued her activism, facing detention and removal from protests in various countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Germany.