Hummus Company’s Dealings Prompt Princeton Referendum

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP/CBS 2) — 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.

It was not immediately clear when the results of the vote will be released.

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 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Charles Gross

    Charles Gross give his “Common Sense” solution to the Isralie/arab crisis

  • Ivan

    What if Sabra was made by a company that advertized on its website that it supports the people of Gaza? What would the reaction of the pro Israel groups be? Be fair and open minded .. human rights are the same everywhere and does not change based on who the victim or the aggressor is.

  • Steve M.

    Here’s an idea student free thinkers…get your hummus somewhere else. That way you won’t infringe on MY right to buy what I want..

  • Roy

    I guess they want HAMMASHUMMUS, it goes down so smoothly,but then explodes in your stomach………….

    • yas

      why support an apartheid system in any way, end the occupation one dish at a time.

    • charlie

      lol bro let them have some might be what they realy need. or let them study aboard at gaza university

  • Josh

    You would think that these smart Princeton kids would have exams to study for, but no, we have to hear about a hummus boycott. What a crock! Go off campus and buy some other brand if it means that much to you.

  • survivedcollege

    Oh for pete’s sake – what happened to starving college students living on generic mac-n-cheese (and not having the luxury of milk and butter to properly prepare!). I understand the political undertones and all, but geez, is there nothing more important globally out there to report on?!

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