Two months ago, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at DePaul University called on the campus administration to remove Sabra hummus and affiliated products from school cafeterias. The organization’s reasoning was that Sabra was owned by Strauss Group, a company directly benefiting and supporting two notorious brigades in the Israeli army.
The school’s administration immediately recognized the problematic nature of the product and decided to withdraw it from all campus dining halls and eateries. Almost immediately, however, pro-Zionist groups, both on and off campus, pressured the administration into reinstating Sabra products. The administration calmly promised a thorough investigation and review of the product in the beginning of DePaul’s second quarter. (Read SJP’s statement here.)
The time has come for that review. Since DePaul administrators revoked their decision to remove Sabra hummus in late November, students working with SJP have been preparing an in-depth research report detailing Sabra’s and Strauss’ involvement with the Israeli military as well as indexing the multiple human rights violations perpetrated by the two brigades supported by Sabra’s parent company. The report has just been submitted to the Fair Business Practices Committee which will henceforth be in charge of reviewing the product and its connections to Israel’s military. There has yet to be word on any decision.
Much more noticeable to the general student body, however, is a bulletin board reserved by DePaul’s SJP. According to a few sources, this particular bulletin board stands in a relatively popular location and is therefore able to attract more attention than other campus advertisement spaces. Headlining the board in bold letters is the following question: Does Your Hummus Taste Like Apartheid? Below it are a number of pictures revealing the two brigades’ complicit nature in promoting abuse against Palestinians and their human rights along with the campaign’s primary slogan: Undip Sabra.
The bulletin board has already garnered much attention, both supportive and reactionary. The campaign against Sabra hummus has clearly grown in popularity among the student body. This is SJP’s first major attempt at publicizing the campaign beyond the organization’s regular audience and it appears to be an effective tactic thus far. This, however, is also based on the fact that less than twenty four hours after the signs were put up, at least three were torn down – a classic case of college-level vandalism that hurts the perpetrators more than it hurts SJP’s mission.
SJP has also implemented a more active approach to targeting the staff involved in handling and selling Sabra hummus through the use of anti-human-rights-abuse coupons specific to the Sabra campaign. Students raise awareness of Sabra’s problematic nature by presenting the coupons to the individuals working behind the cash registers in campus cafeterias.
SJP is currently preparing even stronger publicity for the campaign and urges you to support the cause. The organization has already set up an online petition which I urge you to sign. The petition can be found here.
Keep visiting Sixteen Minutes to Palestine for updates on DePaul’s Undip Sabra campaign.