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Hummus wars at Princeton University
Associated Press/New York Observer/Imemc
November 29-30
http://www.imemc.org/article/60047
http://online.wsj.com/article/APe94fb31419a94fc7a6584541a4c6ae75.html
http://www.observer.com/2010/daily-transom/princeton-students-attempt-hummus-boycott-facebook-war-ensues

PRINCETON, N.J. � Princeton University students voted Monday in a referendum by a pro-Palestine student group on whether to expand the school`s hummus offerings.

The student group Princeton Committee for Palestine wants university-run stores to offer alternative brands of the Middle Eastern chickpea dip because they say the only brand available is linked to human rights violations.

The brand, Sabra, is owned by PepsiCo and Strauss Group, and Strauss` website says it supports members of the Israeli military.

The group has been pushing for the university to boycott and get rid of its investments in companies that make donations to parts of the Israeli military that it says violate human rights.

Ilya Welfeld, a spokeswoman for Sabra, which has headquarters in Queens, N.Y., and Richmond, Va., said Sabra only makes donations in North America � and none of them are political.

But the Strauss Group, an Israeli food conglomerate, says on its website that it makes contributions for the `welfare, cultural and educational activities` of members of the Israeli military.

Students seeking the referendum made it happen by collecting 200 signatures. If the effort is successful, it would mean the student government would make a formal request to the Ivy League school`s administration to provide additional brands of hummus.

The pro-Israel student group Tigers of Israel opposes the referendum. The group says the allegations raised by the other side are sketchy.

The results of the vote are scheduled to be released Friday.

The referendum was originally scheduled for last week but was canceled then because of a goof: The wording called for Sabra hummus not to be offered at university stores rather than for additional products to be sold, too.
�Copyright 2010 Associated Press

U.S. Students Group Calls to Boycott an Israeli Hummus Brand
author Tuesday November 30, 2010 12:43author by Ane Irazabal - IMEMC & Agencies Report post

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A group of Princeton University students proposed a boycott of the Sabra hummus brand for its donations to the Israeli army.


On Monday, a referendum was organized by the Princeton Committee for Palestine to decide whether to offer alternative brands of hummus in the campus.

The group argued that the only hummus brand, Sabra, which is available, is linked to human rights violations, due to the fact that it supports members of the Israeli military, Haaretz reported.

In view of the referendum, the spokeswoman of Sabra in the U.S., Ilya Welfeld, claimed that the company only makes donations in North America and that non of them are to support political or military organisms.

However, Sabra is owned by PepsiCo and Strauss Group, an Israeli food conglomerate, which according to its website, makes contributions `to the men and women who serve in the Golani brigade, for welfare, cultural and educational activities, such as pocket money for underprivileged soldiers, sports and recreational equipment, care packages, books and games for the soldiers` club.`

The results of the referendum have not been released yet, but if it succeed, the student government would make a formal request to the Ivy League school`s administration to provide additional brands of hummus, Haaretz reported.

The pro-Israel student group Tigers of Israel opposed the referendum, arguing that the reasons put forth by the Princeton Committee for Palestine were not accurate.


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Princeton Students Attempt Hummus Boycott Over Israel


Call it the chickpea revolt.

An activist group at Princeton is calling for the elimination of Sabra Hummus from University Stores, claiming that Sabra`s partial owner, the Strauss Group, sends care packages to the Golani Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces. The Strauss Group official website currently has no mention of sending care packages, but they used to trumpet the association, as seen in Google Cache. The Observer was unable to reach a spokesperson from Seymour PR, which represents Sabra Hummus, for comment. The Princeton Committee on Palestine claims the Golani Brigade is guilty of human rights violations, and is calling on the University to supply an `alternative hummus.`

A rival Facebook group has popped up in support of the dip, deriding the anti-hummus sect`s focus on Israel and claiming that PCP`s efforts are `far too overbroad a means of challenging human rights violations.`

Those wishing to avoid the complexity of mideast politics altogether have taken to debating the quality of the hummus itself.

`Sabra Hummus is an insult to Israeli hummus by anyone`s standards. If we boycott it, then the company will improve its ingredients, like with Dominos [sic],` wrote one commenter on the `Save the Hummus!` group wall.

`sabra hummus is just not a good hummus. there MUST be alternatives available,` wrote another.

`Just bought some and placed in my refrigerator... Plans are to share it with my 13 month old grandson who is already a fan!` piped in one supporter.

First Four Loko, now this. Is there any there anything left that college kids can consume without stumbling into a political firestorm?

A.K.
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