New York Magazine told The Algemeiner on Thursday that it “does not support a boycott of Israel,” despite its designation of Sabra, a popular brand of hummus and other spreads, as problematic.
The attack on Sabra appeared in the cover story of the magazine’s July 11 issue in an article entitled “The Neurotic Eater’s Grocery List,” which featured a list of products the magazine considers “morally squishy.” Among these was Sabra hummus, which it called “politicized” because its parent company, Strauss, provides financial support to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The magazine also directed readers to an alternative, locally sourced hummus brand should Sabra’s support for the IDF “bug you.”
Responding the article, one reader wrote: “I’m… not sure why hummus is singled out for being ‘politicized.’ Don’t a lot of food companies get involved in political issues? I stopped buying Eden Foods products because of their stance on contraceptive coverage under Obamacare.”
Sabra, which exclusively manufactures and distributes within the US and Canada, told The Algemeiner in a statement that it has “no political positions or affiliations.” The brand is owned by PepsiCo, which is based in the US, and Strauss Group, which is headquartered in Israel. Sabra said each group is “a separate entity and independent company.”
Strauss Group’s chairwoman, Ofra Strauss, defended the company’s support of the IDF in 2011, after students at Princeton University and Chicago’s DePaul University pushed for a boycott of Sabra hummus, according to Al Arabiya News. Strauss told Forbes magazine at the time, “For us, Israeli soldiers are not army; Israeli soldiers are our kids. When children of this country are in need, we will be there.”
Strauss added that the boycott of its hummus product is “against all the good things that we do. Among them: promoting workforce diversity (Muslims and Druze, along with Jews and Christians) and economic redevelopment in the northern city of Acre.”
(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal