June 7, 2022
General Mills announced in a statement on June 1 that their recent decision to sell their stake from a joint operation in East Jerusalem had nothing to do with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Jewish Insider and Jewish News Syndicate reported that BDS activists had been pressuring General Mills to cease operating in the Atarot Industrial Zone––where the plant in which General Mills sold their stake was located––for years. Consequently, BDS activists celebrated the move as a victory for the movement, with the BDS movement’s official Twitter account tweeting “VICTORY!” and then stating that General Mills is divesting “from apartheid Israel, following several years of BDS pressure.”
But General Mills said in their statement selling the Israel stake––as well as selling their European dough business in November 2021––are both the result of the company’s new efforts to increase “its focus on advantaged global platforms.”
“Any claims by others taking credit for this decision are false,” the company said. “We continue to sell our products in Israel and look forward to continuing to serve Israeli consumers with our other brands.”
Jewish groups thanked General Mills for the clarification.
“General Mills has made it clear that it will continue to support Israeli consumers,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted. “BDS activists seeking to spin this to their advantage are acting in bad faith.”
StandWithUs Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson similarly tweeted: “Anti-Israel activists BDS claimed that @GeneralMills was boycotting Israel as part of their discriminatory campaign. General Mills have now made clear that BDS was lying.”
Human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky, who heads the International Legal Forum, also tweeted, “Contrary to the lies of #BDS (as they always do), @GeneralMills decision to sell its stake in its joint venture in #Israel, has nothing whatsoever to do with their campaign of intimidation. Is purely business decision, full stop!”
Read the article here.