Pillsbury, owned by food-manufacturing conglomerate General Mills, is a household name, known for its cookie dough, cinnamon buns, and other sweet treats. But the company manufactures frozen baked goods in an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory—violating international law and contributing to gross human rights abuses.
AFSC is calling on General Mills to respect human rights and the rights of indigenous Palestinians to their land and to their future—and to stop profiting from an illegal occupation. Join our No Dough for the Occupation campaign to hold General Mills accountable, tell General Mills’ CEO that this behavior is unacceptable, and boycott Pillsbury products until the company stops manufacturing on stolen land.
Pillsbury manufactures goods in a factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal settlement that Israel occupied during the 1967 war and then illegally annexed. The factory is exploiting land, water, and other resources that were captured by force from their legal Palestinian owners, in violation of international law—and General Mills is directly profiting from the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
Earlier this year, a U.N. report listed General Mills in its database of companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlement activities, one of only seven U.S. companies on that list. The report was mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which called on states to prevent their companies from contributing to such gross human rights abuses.
What is the problem with doing business in illegal settlements?
For more than 50 years, Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory their basic civil, political, and human rights. By building hundreds of Israeli residential developments throughout the occupied area and moving hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens to those settlements, Israel has created a system where the few settlers have full rights and freedoms—at the expense of the indigenous population living around them.
Illegal under international law, these colonies are built on confiscated Palestinian land and have been used to justify forcing Palestinians out of their homes; restricting their movement; severely limiting Palestinian access to basic resources, including land and water; and perpetuating a system of segregation and inequality between Palestinians and Israelis.
This is not just about Israel and Palestine. The hard-won lessons of World War II brought the international community to agree to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the move of populations into an area occupied by force, to prevent more wars of expansion. In the name of world peace, countries are simply not allowed to expand their territory by war.
Companies doing business in illegal settlement industrial zones exploit this injustice for profit. Some of them enjoy cheap land and cheap labor; some enjoy lax regulations and environmental protection standards. Without exception, all these companies directly contribute to the settlement economy and help perpetuate this system of control and expropriation in denial of Palestinians’ basic rights.
Today, more than ever, we need to demand an end to this illegal, immoral, and dangerous exploitation. Just recently, the Israeli government, with support from the U.S. government, announced plans to annex more portions of the occupied West Bank, in addition to the already-annexed East Jerusalem—where the Pillsbury factory is located. Annexation is formalized land theft. It would increase violence in the region—and could encourage more wars of expansion around the world.
How can we influence Pillsbury to stop manufacturing on stolen land?
General Mills’ policy on human rights reads “We believe that societies, economies and businesses thrive when human rights are protected and respected.” We couldn’t agree more. Join our No Dough for the Occupation campaign to help the company take its own words seriously.
- Contact the CEO of General Mills using our online form. Tell the company to uphold its expressed commitment to human rights and stop doing business in illegal settlements.
- Don’t buy Pillsbury products until the company stops its production in an illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory. Consumer boycotts are an effective tool that every one of us can use to influence corporate policies and behavior.
- Get others involved. Ask institutions you are a member of to contact the company and boycott its products. Engage family and friends in this campaign by sharing our posts on Facebook and Twitter.