Greta Thunberg stands with Palestine, cyberbullied over octopus plushie

21 Oct 2023 09:13am
The original photo with the octopus plushie that many Israeli supporters were offended by. PHOTO FROM THUNBERG’S X
The original photo with the octopus plushie that many Israeli supporters were offended by. PHOTO FROM THUNBERG’S X

SHAH ALAM - Climate activist Greta Thunberg posted a of herself and three other activists with signs that read "Free Palestine," "Climate Justice Now," "This Jew Stands With Palestine" and "Stand With Gaza."

The group expressed their support for the Palestinian people as the latest genocidal attacks on Gaza City entered its second week.

"Week 270. 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," Thunberg said on X.

Accompanying the message was a photograph of Thunberg and three other individuals holding the signs.

She had reposted the photo and message after opting to delete the original statement when online users started accusing her of being anti-semitic by having a stuffed octopus doll by her side in what the internet now calls “Greta-Octopus Scandal”.

She said she was unaware that the octopus doll could be a symbol of anti-semitism and that it was a toy autistic people used as a means of communication. Thunberg has been diagnosed with autism.

“It has come to my knowledge that the stuffed animal shown in my earlier post can be interpreted as a symbol for anti-semitism, which I was completely unaware of.

“The toy in the picture is a tool often used by autistic people as a way to communicate feelings.

“We are of course against any type of discrimination, and condemn anti-semitism in all forms and shapes. This is non-negotiable. That is why I deleted the last post,” she said.

The new image attached to the post was the exact same photo but the octopus had been cut off seeing that it was on the far right.

Pro-Israeli supporters have since utilised Thunberg’s image and edited it to make her look pro-Isis and pushed the narrative on X.

Earlier this week, the 20-year-old was charged by British police after being arrested at a demonstration outside a London hotel where an oil and gas conference was taking place. She was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 15.

The genocial aggression on Gaza began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise intrusion that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into occupied land by land, sea, and air claiming Israeli 1,400 lives. Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers following 75 years of colonisation.

The Israeli forces then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Palestine, with the aim of targetting Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, along with stepping up raids and arrests in the occupied West Bank.

In addition to launching a sweeping bombardment campaign ahead of an expected ground invasion, Israel ordered a ‘full siege’ on Gaza that has led to electricity supplies being severed as water, food, fuel and medical supplies run out.

Gaza's Health Ministry reported Friday that more than 4,000 Palestinians have been killed and 12,493 wounded by Israel's ongoing bombing campaign since Oct 7 as of Oct 19.

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