20th October 2023

Dear friends,


We are reaching out to our friends, colleagues and comrades in the climate justice community to offer our thoughts, and invite you to engage with us in discussion, and crucially, in action. We invite you to treat us (and each other) with grace as we navigate this desperate situation. We all feel the urgency to stop the unspeakable violence we are witnessing, and that some of us are experiencing – we understand that it can feel impossible to know where to start. But we must start – imperfectly perhaps, but with sincerity, and a commitment to our shared humanity.


Where we’re coming from

The Gastivists Collective is a small collective, many of us with deeply personal connections to the ongoing and rapidly deteriorating crisis in the Middle East. Many of us are Jewish, and we have collective members, and families, living in Israel, Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. Many of us have also been raised in countries like the UK, the US, and countries within the EU – imperialist and white supremacist powers that hold a historical, as well as a current and material responsibility for what is happening.


In the past two weeks we have been prioritising care work and mutual support within our collective, while pondering the big questions that no doubt many of you are grappling with. How do we respond to the horrors that are unfolding, as individuals, as a collective? What kind of power can we leverage? What is our role here? 


Over the last years, we have actively worked in the Eastern Mediterranean to co-create a vision for climate justice that feels relevant in this part of the world. Our work has focused on building trust and understanding between groups that usually do not, or cannot, talk together (Israelis and Lebanese, Turkish and Greeks, Palestinians and Israelis, etc).


It’s been hard, so hard. We’ve made mistakes, we’ve hurt each other, we’ve had to reach out to mediators. But what we are absolutely certain of, is that building empathy, trust and understanding is a necessary first step to build justice in the region. 


For years, we have advocated against Israel’s regime of apartheid and occupation in Palestine. Part of our mission is to draw the links between fossil gas, militarisation and conflict. In fact, when the news of Hamas’ attack broke on the 7th October, we were preparing to release our comic, Peace Is Fossil Free, which features stories of resistance in Palestine and in Israel – in an effort to highlight how fossil gas extraction is magnifying existing tensions in the region.


Why are we engaging?

We are guided by our unwavering dedication to the liberation of Palestinian people from occupation and apartheid. We are guided by our rage and horror at the genocide taking place in Gaza. We are guided by our grief for the Israelis killed in the attack by Hamas, and for the families waiting for news of kidnapped loved ones. We cannot gloss over the atrocity made against Israelis – it does not undermine our commitment to Palestinian freedom to call it out and condemn it. We are guided by our concern and admiration for our activist friends in Israel who are risking so much – including threats of violence –  for voicing dissent. We are guided by our fear for the rise in islamophobia and antisemitism globally, and for how this violence is stoking racism and anti-refugee rhetoric in our communities.


We do not believe that this is ‘both sides-ism. At our core we are guided by our shared humanity and compassion. There is a clear and gross imbalance of power at the heart of this war. This surge of violence will undoubtedly lead to more hate, with impacts on Israelis, Palestinians, and rippling effects on Jews and Arabs around the world. Genocide is taking place as we type, we recognise that it is the culmination of decades – if not centuries – of imperialism and white supremacy. Make no mistake, the Middle East suffers because of the actions, legitimisation and militarisation by western powers. We are appalled at the use of the Holocaust to justify this surge of violence, without ever recontextualising it and centering the responsibility of western powers in it and the centuries of antisemitism before it. 


What can we do?

We are  publicly calling our friends in the US, UK & EU to apply pressure on our governments, to demand at the very least:

  • Aid for Palestine

  • An end to military support for Israelli 

  • An immediate ceasefire

  • The immediate negotiation of captives’ release


After which, there should be negotiations for a political solution which must include ending occupation and apartheid.


It is clear to us that making these demands is part of our work. It is not a deviation from our work for climate justice. We do not have to justify, triangulate, or wordsmith our demands to find the climate angle. Without social justice there is no climate justice. If we as a global community lose our grip on our shared humanity – what are we fighting to save?


Please consider this communication as an invitation to make demands and calls to action, and to do so boldly, and unapologetically. Feel free to use parts of this letter or our social media posts for your own messaging or discussion. We invite you to engage in discussion with us, and we welcome any initiatives to collaborate on this. We are still struggling to know what is the best action we should take, as a collective, or collaboratively with our friends and allies. But we hope this communication is a good enough start.


We would also like to offer some recommendations of people/groups to follow 






@humanrights watch 



With thanks, solidarity, rage, and love 

The Gastivists Collective