Jerusalem24 – More than 11,000 American citizens have signed a petition sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace calling on General Mills to close the Pillsbury factory located in the Atarot settlement, built on occupied Palestinian lands.
The petition said, “the U.N. has named General Mills as one of the 112 businesses violating international humanitarian and human rights law by operating in occupied Palestinian territories.”
It also added that “its Pillsbury factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, has displaced, exploited, stifled, and otherwise harmed local Palestinian lives, livelihoods, and land.
The petition accused General Mills of “profiting off of apartheid and being complicit in Israel’s occupation and annexation of the West Bank.”
The factory started manufacturing Pillsbury products for General Mills in 2002 and was expanded that year using $2 million of Israeli government money.
The Atarot Industrial Zone is located north of Jerusalem and is part of the area of the West Bank known as “East Jerusalem,” which Israel illegally annexed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. The Pillsbury factory was built on land that belongs to Beit Hanina, a Palestinian town that Israel made into a neighborhood of Jerusalem and later split into two by the separation wall. Israel confiscated this land in 1970, as part of the largest confiscation of Palestinian land in the Jerusalem periphery.
The signatories on the petition are demanding that General Mills close its factory in East Jerusalem, stressing their commitment to boycotting Pillsbury products until that happens.
The petition also stated that “it is time for the company to put these principles into practice.”