.@GeneralMills’ Pillsbury factory in the Atarot Industrial Zone, an illegal Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem, is displacing, exploiting & stifling Palestinians—making it complicit in Israel's occupation & annexation of the West Bank. INFO THREAD! #PillsburyOutOfPalestine
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I’m tweeting this today to lift up the work of @BDSmovement, @jvplive, @afsc_org, @fosnalive & more who started the #BoycottPillsbury / #PillsburyOutOfPalestine campaign. They’re doing an action at Pillsbury HQ in Minneapolis in a few hours, so follow them for updates!
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Atarot was founded in 1970 on land illegally occupied in the 1967 war & confiscated from Palestinians in the years after (& to this day). Under Israel's auspices, over 160 Israeli & int'l companies now abuse this formerly-agricultural terrain—and its inhabitants—for profit.
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Pillsbury opened in Atarot in 2002, just after Israel built its apartheid wall around the whole zone. The wall & its checkpoints, visible from the 160 businesses they encircle, are a constant reminder of how Atarot helps Israel dominate Palestinian lives, livelihoods & land.
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Shortly after its opening & again in 2010 & 2019, Pillsbury got multimillion dollar grants from the Israeli gov’t as an incentive to hire workers. In exchange, Israel got a place to employ Jewish settlers in Atarot & therefore a justification for relocating them to the area.
By employing settlers, industrial settlements sustain & grow residential settlements—and, by extension, enable Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. Israeli gov't rhetoric & policies explicitly emphasize the economic role of industrial zones in its annexation strategy.
In fact, earlier this year, Israel announced plans to build 9,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in Atarot—on land that even *Trump's* "peace plan" designates for Palestinians. This project would require the demolition of at least 15 Palestinian homes.
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Meanwhile, as in all of East Jerusalem, Palestinians can’t build anything of their own; Israel makes it tortuous & expensive for them to get construction permits. An Atarot resident said “We are not allowed to build on the land surrounding our house, even though we own it.”
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The Pillsbury factory also employs Palestinians, a fact General Mills leaned on in its PR statement after the UN determined that the factory’s operations violate international law. But Palestinian settlement workers endure exceptional exploitation, precarity & restrictions.
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Because the Atarot Industrial Zone ravaged & suppressed pre-existing Palestinian agriculture & small businesses, local Palestinian workers—often the immediate descendants of the rightful owners of the land—have no choice but to labor in factories like Pillsbury’s.
Palestinians' jobs can be grueling & unsafe—and, under Israel’s apartheid legal system, they often have fewer labor protections, lower wages & negligible benefits compared to Israelis in the same workplace. In an occupation-strangled economy, they accept this to survive.
The chasm between Palestinian & Israeli workers in Atarot has only widened during COVID-19. Ex: due to fear of checkpoint closures—and to union bust—a manager forced Palestinians to sleep in a trash-sorting plant in squalid & infectious conditions while Israelis went home.
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Trash is a chronic hazard in Atarot. While Palestinian homes are surrounded by trash from Israeli & int'l factories and the city of Jerusalem, they're denied their own municipal waste service. A resident said her “70yo husband throws up from the smell” of trash everywhere.
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Pillsbury increases Atarot’s heavy pollution, which exceeds “permissible levels” 2/3 of the year. Many Palestinian locals have respiratory issues from flour inhalation. One said “when they pour the flour [in outdoor mixers], the flour… overflow[s] into the house.”
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Palestinians’ lives in Atarot are slated to worsen with the Jerusalem 5800 Plan, which by 2050 aims to overhaul Atarot into a “gigantic center of employment” for 400,000 people all over Israel. @GeneralMills can help stop this disaster by closing its Pillsbury factory now.
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How can *you* help? #BoycottPillsbury and sign @jvplive’s petition to @GeneralMills at PillsburyOutOfPalestine.org. GM has endorsed—and violated, according to the UN itself—the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, so we have some leverage. Let’s use it!
Thanks to @alhaq_org & @afsc_org for providing the information & some of the photos I used in this thread. Check out Al-Haq’s report (alhaq.org/publications/1…) & AFSC’s primer (afsc.org/blogs/news-and…) for more.

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