By Jiesi Zhao
When I hear of schools following the lead of Princeton University, I usually expect great things. The opposite is now true. This week, DePaul University has decided to implement a referendum vote on whether or not to remove Sabra brand hummus from campus. The vote, which will take place on Friday, sounds eerily familiar – because it is.
You may recall that back in December 2010, Princeton University held a referendum vote on the exact same issue. In case you missed it, for several weeks, student groups at Princeton University called for a boycott and a referendum vote to rid campus of Sabra brand hummus, the number one selling hummus brand in the United States, and the only brand sold on campus. 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, campus leftists have been successful at making this “important” matter into a national controversy.
Alleging 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 an available hummus option on campus. Those in favor of the ban, however, have yet to provide any proof of the Brigade’s wrongdoing. And the existence of these allegations certainly does not mean that Sabra brand hummus or The Strauss Group supports any wrongful abuse.
In the end, the majority of students at Princeton came to their senses, and definitively voted in favor of allowing the brand to remain on campus, 1,014 to 699. Let’s hope that students at DePaul will follow that lead as well.
More importantly, the most incongruous part about it all is that real human rights violations are being perpetrated by dictators and radical Islamist 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 leftist professors and 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.
Jiesi Zhao is a Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar for Young America’s Foundation.