From hummus to feta cheese to dates, your grocery list can be a means of supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.
AUSTIN, Texas — The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which supports an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, is growing fast, in part because of how easy it is for people to participate. One of the simplest ways to support BDS is by making the right choices at the grocery store.
More Americans than ever support Palestinian liberation, and the movement is spreading to a record number of college campuses. It’s becoming such a threat to Israeli imperialism that opponents are pouring millions into opposing BDS, even enlisting NBA players and Hollywood celebrities. The U.S. government is considering legal options to fight the movement and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton recently declared her opposition to BDS.
However, the campaigns waged by the movement’s wealthy opponents are no match for the Internet. Several websites help consumers avoid companies and products with ties to Israeli occupation. The following list is compiled from bdslist.org, bdsmovement.net and a 2013 report from Alternet’s Alex Kane:
- Eden Springs bottled water — According to Who Profits, Eden Springs markets bottled water as well as coffee machines and water coolers. The water is extracted from the occupied Golan Heights, where the company’s main factory is located.
- Israeli dates — Dates are grown on about half of the illegal settlements in the Jordan Valley, reports BDS List. Date exports earn Israel $265 million annually, with about 60 percent originating in orchards and packaging facilities in illegal settlements. Consumers should avoid Jordan River and King Solomon brands, and they should also check the labels of any dates they buy because grocery stores often repackage dates under their in-house label, BDS List advises.
- Israeli wines — Israel produces over 40 million bottles of wine a year, making it one of the world’s major exporters. Carmel Winery has been highlighted by BDS supporters for actively promoting illegal settlements and because of its ties to billionaire BDS opponent Haim Saban. Other wineries to avoid include Barkan, Binyamina, Golan Heights, Psagot, and Tishbi Estate.
- Pastures of Eden feta — Pastures of Eden is a popular brand of cheese found in Trader Joe’s stores, according to BDS List. Its parent company, Tnuva, earns about $1.8 billion annually and has even been targeted for boycotts by Israelis for its unfair business practices. In addition to boycotting the product, BDS List urges Trader Joe’s shoppers to tell store managers to stop stocking Pastures of Eden.
- Sabra hummus — Hummus has become a staple food in many American diets, and Sabra is the top-selling brand thanks to a major marketing push by its part-owner, the U.S.-based beverage giant PepsiCo Inc. Sabra and its other owner, Israel’s Strauss Group, became a special target of the BDS movement, Kane reported in 2013, because of the corporate “adoption” of an Israeli Defense Forces special forces brigade that played a key role in “Operation Cast Lead,” the 2008 attack on Gaza that left hundreds dead, wounded over 5,000 others, and destroyed thousands of homes.
- Tribe hummus — The second largest hummus brand in the United States, it is owned by Strauss Group and Osem, one of Israel’s largest food corporations. Kane reported that Osem works closely with the Jewish National Fund, historic supporters of Palestinian ethnic cleansing. The JNF continues to support the racist occupation of Israel, including working with Israeli police to repeatedly destroy Al Araqib, a Bedouin village where Israel intends to plant a forest.