Challenging Israel’s climate apartheid in Palestine

Protest against trees uprooting, As Sawiya, West Bank, 2.5.2020
Palestinian farmers examine their damaged olive trees, which are suspected to have been cut down by Israeli settlers, As-Sawiya village, West Bank, May 02, 2020. The farmers were prevented from tending to their land by Israeli soldiers who declared it a closed military zone. (credit: Ahmad Al-Bazz)
In Palestine, climate change is compounded by political and economic decisions.

By Muna Dajani | Al-Shabaka | Jan 30, 2022

In the case of Palestine, the effects of climate change are influenced and exacerbated by Israeli settler colonialism and theft of natural resources.


Through its participation in the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and other international forums, the Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to promote a state-centric approach to climate change that ultimately blocks legitimate climate and environmental justice in Palestine. In effect, Palestinian leadership has reduced the Palestinian liberation struggle – inherently a struggle for climate and environmental justice – to a failed state-building project since the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Justice is rarely addressed in these international conventions and forums, leaving Palestinians confined to the logic of international donors who seek to manage the occupation instead of pressuring Israel to end it. The normalization and depoliticization of Israel’s climate apartheid characterize the existing approach to addressing Palestine’s climatic and environmental issues, and they must be countered by Palestinians and international climate justice advocates alike.

Normalizing and Depoliticizing Climate Apartheid

In Palestine, the peacebuilding framework has shaped cooperation programs that depoliticize environmental and climate issues, and thus, fail to disrupt Israel’s settler colonial practices. Indeed, donor-funded initiatives like EcoPeace and the Arava Institute have for years used slogans such as “the environment knows no borders” and “bringing people together.” Fundamentally, these initiatives only serve to disregard what is clearly a situation of climate apartheid, and to promote climate change as yet another arena where cooperation and dialogue are the answer in lieu of radical political change.

Read the full article here →

%d bloggers like this: