The Wesleyan University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine thought that they'd won. When Sabra hummus disappeared off of the shelves in one of the dining halls on campus the anti-Semitic hate group and the media figured that it was because of SJP's promotion of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
WTNH.Com, a local news station, was quick to declare victory for the anti-Israel forces on campus, asserting that the hummus was "banned from Wesleyan" and speculating that move would cost Sabra roughly $25,000 per year.
School media also joined in. Wrote Wesleying:
If you haven’t noticed (though you probably have), Weshop has started carrying a new brand of hummus. Over the course of a few weeks, Sabra hummus has been phased out and replaced by Cedar’s. Additionally, all other Sabra products have been taken off the shelves in Pi and Usdan Café. This change was implemented under the direction of the Dining Committee, which is led by WSA members and Bon Appetit staff.
The decision to switch hummus brands comes after a long campaign by members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and other students to remove Sabra products from the dining locations on campus, because of Sabra’s involvement in the Israel/Palestine conflict.This campaign was initiated over the course of multiple semesters. “Two years ago, we were researching and educating ourselves on the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions movement, which began in Palestine in 2005,” says JJ Mitchell ’15. The movement seeks to take a stand against financial support for Israel and its actions against Palestine. “Sabra’s parent company, Strauss Group, provides direct monetary aid to certain military brigades, specifically the Golani Brigade, that are known for their particularly violent approaches,” says Mitchell. These Israeli Defense Forces that have received material support from Strauss Group have been pinpointed as violating the human rights of Palestinians.
Not so fast. The university dining service quickly clarified that the move had absolutely nothing to do with boycotting Israel, was made in the interest of sustainability, and that Sabra would be returning to the shelves:
As many people on and off campus are aware, Wesleyan recently switched from stocking Sabra hummus to a local brand, Cedar’s. Though we made this change in the interest of sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint, it unfortunately has been misinterpreted in the media and elsewhere as a political statement in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In order to clarify our continued political neutrality, and to give students a choice, we will be stocking both Sabra and Cedar’s hummus, starting in January.
Yet another BDS fail.