Contact B'nai B'rith

1120 20th Street NW, Suite 300N Washington, D.C. 20036


B’nai B’rith President Seth J. Riklin and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement: 

One month after a social media post expressing solidarity with people in Gaza but not Israel following the most gruesome atrocities targeting Jews since the Holocaust, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has escalated inflammatory rhetoric on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Media reports have highlighted a video of her chanting “Krossa Sionismen,” or “Crush Zionism,” at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Stockholm on Nov. 23.

Zionism means nothing more than support for Israel’s right to exist—and Thunberg’s chanting of a shocking slogan more identified with genocidal forces in the Middle East discredits her as a legitimate interlocutor in the international community. 

Five of Thunberg’s eight Instagram posts since Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7—murdering some 1,200 people and taking some 240 hostage, overwhelmingly civilians, while firing thousands of rockets at Israelis from among Palestinians in Gaza—have included signage singling out the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and only the cause of a “free Palestine,” for amplification. 

Hamas, a jihadist group with an explicitly anti-Semitic charter, is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. Thunberg’s social media posts, accompanied by hashtags including “#StandWithPalestine,” also repeatedly feature Jews signaling support for Palestinians but no Muslims, Arabs or others affirming Israelis’ right to existence and equality.

After her initial Oct. 20 post, our United Nations and Intercommunal Affairs Director David Michaels wrote in an op-ed in DC Journal and the Boston Herald that the 20-year-old activist delivered a “grave betrayal” to numerous “allies and supporters among Israeli and other Jews who have repeatedly been not just terrorized and traumatized but dehumanized, marginalized, maligned and abandoned.”

He continued, Thunberg’s stunning callousness “has signaled that there is literally nothing Israel’s attackers can do to inspire equal care for the legitimate rights and very lives of Israelis.” 

Hamas has continued to perpetrate carnage from the Gaza Strip—a territory from which Israel withdrew completely and unilaterally in 2005.

No one, let alone a public figure with outsize influence on young people worldwide, should be permitted to incite violent hatred. As long as she promotes bigotry, Greta Thunberg should be shunned by world leaders and all those committed to peace and genuine coexistence.