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  • Left Leading the Fight … Against Hummus: Updated

    12/2/2010 4:32:20 PM Posted by Jiesi Zhao


    * Update: On Friday December 3, 2010, Princeton announced the results of the referendum - it was defeated by a vote of 1,014 to 699 .

    This blog post was written by Jiesi Zhao, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar

    In the midst of economic uncertainty in our country’s future, increasing tuition costs, and the alarmingly socialist programs of Obamacare and the new Stimulus Plan, some of our best and brightest young people at Ivy League institutions have decided to focus their attention and energy on fighting a brand of hummus. For several weeks now, student groups at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania have called for a boycott of Sabra brand hummus, the number one selling hummus brand in the United States, and the only brand sold on the two campuses. Alleging that The Strauss Group, part-owner of Sabra Dipping Company along with PepsiCo, has sponsored “human rights abuses” as a financial supporter of the Israeli Defense Forces, and particularly the Golani Brigade, these students have been successful at making this “important” matter into a national controversy. Arguing that individual members of the Golani Brigade have been prosecuted for human rights abuses in the past, protesters claim that The Strauss Group and Sabra brand hummus should not be the only available hummus option on campus, but have yet to provide any proof of the Brigade’s wrongdoing. Moreover, the Brigade as a whole has never condoned any sort of human rights violations. And the existence of these allegations certainly does not mean that Sabra brand hummus or The Strauss Group supports any wrongful abuse.


    Yesterday marked the close of a three-day referendum vote on the Princeton campus to have Dining Services offer an alternative brand of hummus, while urging the student body to boycott Sabra. There is no indication yet of what the results will be, but hopefully the student body will see the obvious logical stretch in blaming Sabra hummus for the alleged wrongdoings of a few members of the Golani Brigade. At Penn, students have been protesting outside of dining halls and local supermarkets chanting “No Justice, No Chickpeas!” Thankfully, other campus groups at both schools, such as Princeton’s Tigers of Israel, have organized counter-protests and have gained the support of many right-minded colleagues (no pun intended).

    The most incongruous part about it all is that real human rights violations are being perpetrated by dictators and extremist militia groups across the Middle East and around the world every single day – yet, we rarely see campus groups stand up and fight against their wrongdoings. Instead, we hear the predictable response by students preaching “understanding” and “acceptance” of different cultures. Factual evidence proving that women are being stoned to death for adultery in Iran or undergoing genital mutilation in Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southeastern Asia somehow end up either un-noticed on campus or rationalized by the Left as products of cultural differences that should be left alone. It seems to me like these students need to re-evaluate their misguided sense of justice around the world.

    As a former student activist who participated in support-the-troops and fascism-awareness events, I am calling upon the left to expose such hypocrisy on campuses nationwide and help bring real injustices to light by creating awareness at your school. You can do this by organizing events and drives to support our troops that are still in the Middle East or by bringing in speakers like Nonie Darwish or Robert Spencer. Let’s fight against real extremism, not hummus!


    This blog post was written by Jiesi Zhao, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar 





    • Readers' Comments

    • Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a Penn grad (a very long time ago) and someone who now lives next door to Princeton, it upsets me to hear this....and I love Sabra hummus. I will look on the Penn alumni site to see what I can post about it! Not all Ivy League grads are crazed liberals!
      Posted by Mary Ann Jones on 12/02/2010
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