Strauss removes support for IDF from English website

After boycott threats from the BDS movement in the US, Israel's top food, beverage company removes support for Golani's reconnaissance platoon.

Strauss boycott 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Strauss boycott 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Strauss Group, one of the country’s foremost food and beverage companies, has apparently bowed to boycott threats by anti-Israel activists and removed endorsements of the IDF from its English website.
Activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Philadelphia recently initiated a boycott campaign against Sabra and Tribe humous products, purportedly in protest of the company’s public support for the Israeli military.
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Widely deemed to be one of the great economic successes in the history of the Jewish state, the Strauss Group owns 50 percent of the Sabra Dipping Company LLC, and is the second- largest Israeli food and beverage company in America. Sabra humous is one of the many products they produce and is said to be the best-selling humous brand in the United States.
Until recently, the Strauss Group affirmed its support for the IDF on its website under the banner of “Corporate Responsibility” with a statement that read: “Our connection with soldiers goes as far back as the country, and even further. We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and to sweeten their special moments. We have adopted the Golani reconnaissance platoon for over 30 years and provide them with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path.”
The company came under direct pressure in Philadelphia when Sabra humous made the BDS hit list. About two dozen activists from a local pro-Palestinian rights group filed into the Fresh Grocer store on 40th and Walnut streets last month to launch a public boycott of the products. In a choreographed dance routine to the beat of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone,” the protesters alleged that the corporate parents of Sabra and Tribe humous subsidize Israeli human-rights abuses by supporting the IDF.
Following the performance at the supermarket, the Strauss Group removed all references to its support of the IDF from the English section of its website. Kate Zaiden, a spokesperson for the Philly BDS group then called on the company to clarify whether the removal of the references means that Strauss no longer supports the Golani Brigade, or whether the move was simply an acknowledgment that support for the Israeli military is no longer seen as beneficial to Strauss’s international image.
Local students from the University of Pennsylvania have launched an effort to counter the boycott calls, including by visiting the Fresh Grocer store to show their support for the brands and for Israel.