If the referendum had been approved, the USG would have asked Dining Services to provide an alternative brand to Sabra hummus in retail locations on campus.
Despite the referendum’s defeat, Dining Services has not yet ruled out the possibility of providing an alternative to Sabra hummus. “We will continue the conversation with the students and hope to include faculty and staff opinions as well,” Stu Orefice, director of Dining Services, said in an e-mail.
Yoel Bitran ’11, president of the Princeton Committee on Palestine, which sponsored the referendum, said in an e-mail that he was excited by the high amount of student support despite the referendum’s defeat. “The main goal of this initiative was to raise awareness about Sabra and its association to Israel’s human rights violations,” he said. “In that sense we have been extremely successful.” Bitran added that PCP still hopes to convince the University to provide an alternative hummus.
PCP had sponsored the referendum as part of a larger boycott campaign against The Strauss Group, which owns 50 percent of Sabra Dipping Company and has financially and publicly supported the Golani Brigade of the Israeli Defense Forces. Members of the brigade have been accused of human rights abuses against Palestinians.
The officers of Tigers for Israel — president Jeffrey Mensch ’11, co-vice presidents Addie Lerner ’11 and Samson Schatz ’13, treasurer Jacob Reses ’13, and secretary Morris Breitbart ’12 — expressed satisfaction with the result in a joint e-mail statement. The group had been at the forefront of the campaign to defeat the referendum. “The fringe, anti-Israel elements of the campus community and their allies in the national BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement have utterly failed in their attempt to trick Princeton students into starting down the path of delegitimizing the Jewish state,” they said. According to TFI, BDS campaigns neglect “the complexity and nuances of the situation in the Middle East.”
Reses is also a columnist for The Daily Princetonian.
The Center for Jewish Life co-presidents, Kerry Brodie ’12 and Mendy Fisch ’11, said in an e-mail on Friday, “We are proud that the Princeton student body defeated the referendum.”
“This is a victory for those who wish to foster open dialogue and honest discussion on campus. It is a victory for those who wish to continue to think, work and act to achieve peace,” they added.
The CJL had previously contacted students on its mailing list to warn them of the possible impacts the referendum could have on Israel. The CJL’s decision to comment on a political issue drew some negative attention, which Brodie and Fisch addressed on Friday.
“Our goal was that when students approached the ballot they would understand that the referendum was not simply about offering more hummus brands at the campus center, but that it was part of a larger plan to boycott an Israeli company because it made donations to its own country’s army,” they said.
“We want to reiterate that every student is welcome at the CJL, regardless of that person’s position on Israel or on the referendum. Any student interested in Jewish life, whether consuming or boycotting Sabra hummus, is encouraged to find a home in the CJL.”
Fisch is also the executive opinion editor for the ‘Prince,’ though he has not participated in the editing of any content related to the hummus referendum since entering the debate.