A group of people standing at on the sidewalk at an intersection, many holding signs, eg Ceasefire Now

A comment on the war in Gaza

We have been deliberating on how to respond to a request from some of our supporters to shed light on the climate impacts of the war in Gaza. We acknowledge that we do not currently have the organizational capacity to develop and implement a consistent process for making a determination on these complex issues. However, we can’t ignore the social and environmental impacts of conflicts—locally and around the world. In addition to the obvious social calamity, conflicts have negative climate consequences, which in turn exacerbate the conflicts. 

Some supporters of TK are active with Palestine Solidarity Kamloops, and we appreciate and would like to support their efforts to build awareness of the environmental and social impacts of the conflict in Gaza by sharing their article. We join them in hoping for a just and lasting resolution.

Climate justice and solidarity with Palestine

Did you know that it’s illegal for Palestinians to collect rainwater? That Israel has uprooted more than 800,000 olive trees in Palestine since 1967 in an effort to erase Palestinian agricultural history and productivity? Or that Israeli control over movement, supplies, and infrastructure results in poisoned aquifers from inadequate sewage treatment?

It has become increasingly clear that human rights abuses and environmental injustices are linked, and Israel-Palestine is a glaring—and urgent—example of this. What we choose to do about it is an opportunity to show what “climate justice” actually means.

Since October 2023, Palestine Solidarity Kamloops has organized actions and events to support justice and peace in Palestine/Israel. The group has organized public demonstrations as well as boycott, letter-writing and postering events, and coordinated communications with our elected representatives.

Israel’s current siege of Gaza has had a staggering carbon cost: the first two months of bombardment produced more planet-warming gases than twenty climate-vulnerable nations do in a year–the equivalent of over three million commercial transatlantic flights.

Beyond the egregious emissions from armed conflict, Israel’s ongoing occupation means Palestinians are disproportionately vulnerable to political, military, and climate disruptions that affect access to basic needs. Poisoned water and soil and limitations on cultivation violate, at a minimum, Palestinians’ rights to a safe environment, to food sovereignty, and to overall self-determination. This “ecocide” is a tool of genocide that destroys the ability of future generations to maintain cultural practices based on their environmental heritage.

We can help! As the climate movement has shown us, every voice, every effort, every action is needed to move the needle. Climate justice needs you.

Palestine Solidarity Kamloops is continuing to collect signatures on a petition submitted to Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo MP Frank Caputo, calling on him to press for justice and peace, including using all available measures to push for: 

  • an immediate and permanent ceasefire
  • two-way arms embargo with Israel
  • supporting South Africa’s application before the International Court of Justice against Israel 
  • withdrawing Canadian support from the bombing and attacks against Yemen.

Please consider adding your voice to our calls and using the petition’s content as a starting point to engage elected officials in the issue.

To acknowledge and assist local Kamloops families whose relatives are directly affected by the siege and bombardment of Gaza, Palestine Solidarity Kamloops is directly supporting the evacuation of loved ones, as well as calling on Canada to expand, improve, and expedite the Gaza Family Reunification Program. This federal plan to issue temporary visas that allow Canadians to bring family members to safety is mired in onerous bureaucracy and biased double-standards that are keeping families apart. Fundraising is currently underway for legal and living costs to bring thirteen relatives of a community member to Kamloops, please consider donating to this urgent cause.

Palestine Solidarity Kamloops invites all Transition Kamloops supporters (and anyone else!) to join in organizing, attending events, or participation in political campaigns that support the Palestine liberation movement. For more information or to get involved, visit @PalestineSolidarityKamloops on Instagram or email PalestineSolidarityKamloops@duck.com to sign up for the newsletter and stay informed.

Sources:

https://www.aljazeera.com/program/the-stream/2024/3/5/how-is-palestine-connected-to-the-climate-justice-movement

https://visualizingpalestine.org/visuals/olive-harvest

https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2019/11/28/palestine-is-a-climate-justice-issue

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/at-cop28-activists-and-officials-voice-concern-over-gazas-war-torn-environment

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