Princeton Students Vote on Proposed Hummus Boycott
Students at Princeton University voted on Monday in a referendum organized by a pro-Arab student group. The subject: none other than what brand of hummus should be offered on campus.
The group, Princeton Committee for Palestine, has called for university-run stores to offer alternative brands of hummus, because they claim that the only brand currently available is linked to human rights violations.
The brand is Sabra, which the group claims serves “the occupation” since the company that owns it, Strauss (who co-owns Sabra along with PepsiCo), supports and cares for soldiers from the Golani Brigade. The student group decided to hold the referendum since they think it is ironic that hummus, traditionally an Arab dish, is being marketed by a company which they say is “affiliated with a state allegedly violating Palestinians’ rights.”
Ilya Welfeld, a spokeswoman for Sabra, which has headquarters in New York and Virginia, told AP that Sabra only makes donations in North America and pointed out that none of them are political.
The Princeton Committee for Palestine made the referendum happen by collecting 200 signatures. If their effort is successful and a majority of students vote in favor of expanding the varieties of hummus offered in the school, the student government would have to make a formal request to the school's administration to provide additional brands.
Meanwhile, the Center for the Jewish Life at Princeton sent an e-mail on Monday to Princeton students titled “Warning: Israel impacted by USG referendum.” The e-mail, some of which was quoted by The Daily Princetonian, expressed concern that students may not fully understand the political motivations behind the referendum and encouraged students to “make an informed choice, understanding that the passage of the referendum would allow the referendum’s sponsors to make a strong political statement about Israel.”
The results of the vote are expected on Friday. The referendum was originally scheduled for last week but was rescheduled after the wording inadvertently called for Sabra hummus not to be offered at university stores rather than for additional products to be sold as well.
Funny thing is - Sabra doesn't mention on it's package any relation to Israel or being a Jewish product. Perhaps they should change that - there's a 70% support rate for Israel in America. There's more to be gained in being proud Israeli food ambassador in the US, and very little to lose. Wear your flag with pride.
Check out Sabra's site.