Chickpea pick: DePaul administration backs Sabra hummus


(JTA) — The Sabra brand of hummus will continue to be served in cafeterias on the campus of DePaul University in Chicago.

The university administration made the decision, announced Monday, following a recommendation of the university’s Fair Business Practices committee and following a nonbinding student referendum last week.

The Sabra brand of the chickpea dip had been served until last November, when the pro-Palestinian student group Students for Justice in Palestine objected because Sabra is half-owned by The Strauss Group. Strauss has publicly supported the Israel Defense Forces troops, and provides care packages and sports equipment to Israel’s Golani and Givati brigades.

The DePaul food service had suspended selling Sabra hummus, even though the request did not go through the Fair Business Practices Committee, as is customary. The brand was reinstated pending the committee’s decision.

"While we recognize the original complaint made by DePaul students arose from genuine concerns surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the judgment of the Fair Business Practices Committee there do not appear to be sufficient grounds for a boycott of Sabra Hummus, primarily because the committee did not find evidence that the Strauss Group provides direct military support for units within the Israeli Defense Forces," the committee concluded.

The student referendum on banning Sabra hummus completed last week ran 1,127 in favor and 332 against, but was deemed invalid since fewer than 1,500 students on a campus of more than 20,000 students voted on the issue.

Students for Justice in Palestine said they will continue the fight against Sabra hummus.

In a statement issued to the university community, DePaul President Dennis Holtschneider said that "I am well aware that these concerns were raised with good faith and honorable intentions. I’m proud of all our students at DePaul and very glad that they would fight on behalf of justice as they see and understand the issues at hand."

The statement also said, "I ask that we continue to seek ways to support a lasting peace in this troubled and important part of the world."


Recommended from JTA