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Anti-Israel boycott called over several Bay Area ethnic food purveyors

Mysterious boycott called over several Bay Area ethnic food purveyors
Mysterious boycott called over several Bay Area ethnic food purveyors 02:23

SAN FRANCISCO -- A group is targeting what they call "Zionist" food providers in the Bay Area for boycott. It's unclear who is behind the coordinated effort.

Pro-Palestinian supporters say there's good reason for the call.

Randale Conner arrived at work at Oren's Hummus in San Francisco to find graffiti spray-painted on the sidewalk in front of the store.

"I was absolutely shocked. Definitely shocked," Conner said.

The graffiti reads "Do you condemn your hummus?"

Posters plastered on nearly every street pole on the block called for a boycott of six "Zionist" businesses including Oren's Hummus and Hummus Bodega, claiming they're part of an "ongoing colonial campaign of stealing, appropriating and profiting off traditional Palestinian food and culture." 

"We have not experienced any type of confrontations or interactions with anybody on either side," Conner said.

"It is Palestinian food that is being rebranded as Israeli food and this is part of Zionist tactics," said Micah Bazant of Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area.

Bazant is a descendant of Holocaust victims and survivors. He did not coordinate the campaign but he and Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area support the boycott of these businesses.

"They're supporting the erasure and destruction of Palestinian culture," Bazant said.

The fliers also state it's "absolutely possible to support authentic Jewish culture and businesses without supporting ethnic cleansing of Palestinians."

"We are very neutral and want to focus on the business that we're in," Conner said.

Conner says another Oren's Hummus location in Palo Alto was also targeted with fliers plastered on its tables and windows.

The owner says it has not expressed support for either side of the conflict.

"They haven't expressed opinions besides just the fear of being targeted or something that really, you know, is not our focus," Conner said.

"If any of these businesses want to come out against genocide as anti-Zionist and also rebrand their tradition -- their food -- as Palestinian food, which would be honest, we would love to support and welcome that," Bazant said.

Oren's Hummus says the boycott has not impacted sales besides during the cleanup of graffiti and removal of fliers on its windows.

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