UC Riverside has reversed an earlier decision to ban the sale of a popular hummus brand that is partially owned by an Israeli company after an anti-Israel student group, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), made the request.
A school official called the removal of Sabra brand hummus a “mistake” on Wednesday. and the school has started reselling Sabra, in addition to another hummus brand, Tapaz2Go, for which they had swapped Sabra out for initially.
“The product was changed due to consideration for student preferences without consideration of the political issues raised. However, we made a mistake in agreeing to replace one brand with another,” the university’s statement said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Sabra was founded by Yehuda Pearl of New York in 1986. Israeli-based food and beverage company, the Strauss Group, had purchased a majority stake in the company in 2005.
The brand had been targeted by anti-Israel activists, especially between 2010 and 2011.
UC Riverside had reportedly started selling Sabra hummus this past fall and replaced it in the spring of this academic year. Administrators only noticed the brand was missing from the dining areas on Wednesday.
SJP President Tina Matar said she was “pleasantly surprised” at how easily the school was willing to replace Sabra. SJP was the driving force behind a student senate divestment resolution at the school, as well as throughout UC campuses in the Golden State, which called for the school system’s tuition dollars to be steered away from supporting companies that do business in Israel.
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