A popular brand of Israeli hummus has been removed from the shelf of a British university shop following protests by students.
The University of Manchester (UoM) campus shop was asked to stop stocking Sabra Hummus; a brand of hummus manufactured in the occupied West Bank which the students alleged is complicit in human rights violations in occupied Palestine.
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They claimed that the University’s decision to stock Sabra in its shops actively endorses Israel’s illegal occupation and human rights violations in Palestine.
Sabra Hummus is a well-known brand that’s said to have captured 66 per cent of the hummus market in the US. What’s rarely mentioned is that the brand’s owner, PepsiCo and Strauss Group, “adopted” an elite Israeli military unit.
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) February 8, 2018
The company’s website has boasted of providing the Golani Brigade “with an ongoing variety of food products for their training or missions, and provide personal care packages for each soldier that completes the path.”
The Strauss Group has also said it gives funds to the Israeli army unit for “welfare, cultural and educational activities, such as pocket money for underprivileged soldiers, sports and recreational equipment, care packages, and books and games for the soldiers’ club.”
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) February 7, 2018
In their petition to have Sabra Hummus removed from the campus, the students cited PepsiCo and Strauss Group’s backing of Israeli soldiers and revealed that the company had proudly declared its support for the Israeli army on its website in English. However, one week after the announcement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Sabra Hummus, Strauss Group removed their statement of support in English, but has left the statement in Hebrew.
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The petition by the students listed several examples of human rights violations by the Golani Brigade, including, according to the petition “arbitrary murders, assaults, incarcerations, evictions, and arrests of children”.
The students said that the sale of Sabra Hummus was “an endorsement of the company’s politics” and called on UoM to financially end its support for human rights violators like the Golani Brigade.
Students were informed yesterday of the shop’s decision not to stock the Israeli brand on campus. In an email to the student group, seen by MEMO, the shop manager said: “We will not be ordering this product/brand again as this will be set as ‘not available’ on our on-line system which will prevent anyone from bringing this into the stock within the shop.”
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)