Michael Riordon

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Looking for a good hummus?

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Good news from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana (via Mondoweiss):

In Response to Student and Faculty Concerns, Earlham College’s Dining Services Stops Selling Sabra Products.

[MR:  Founded by Quakers in the mid-1800s, Earlham College is now a full-range arts and science university.  About 11% of its faculty and 12% of its students currently identify as Quakers.  From the university website: “Earlham emphasizes the pursuit of truth, lack of coercion, respect for others, openness to new truth, integrity and application of what is known to improving our world.”]

The full press release from BDS Earlham:

On September 5, Earlham College’s dining service agreed to have Sabra Hummus removed from the coffee shop after being informed of the involvement in Israeli human rights violations in Palestine by Strauss Group Ltd., of which Sabra Dipping Company, LLC is a subsidiary. The decision comes after a group of concerned students and faculty approached Earlham’s dining services requesting the removal of the product from the college’s facilities.

Strauss Group Ltd. provides financial support and supplies to the Golani and Givati brigades of the Israeli army, which is responsible for enforcing Israel’s illegal, 45-year-old military occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, and other grave and systematic human rights abuses.

Basil Farraj of BDS Earlham commented, “We applaud Earlham College’s dining service for taking this principled stand and refusing to do business with Sabra Dipping Company.  Earlham students will no longer be unwittingly supporting Israeli abuses of Palestinian human rights when they purchase hummus and other products on campus.”

Earlham College’s dining services has promised to provide an alternative for the removed product, and noted that they take student concerns seriously and follow through with immediate action.

Two years ago Earlham students launched a campaign calling on the College to divest from Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, and Hewlett Packard, three companies that profit from and enable Israeli violations of international law.  Last semester students with BDS Earlham also launched a “Dorm Storm” that has continued into the current school year, visiting all dorms and houses on campus, and engaging in discussions with students to educate them about the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005.

[MR:  Sabra Dipping Company is owned by two global food corporations – PepsiCo, based in the US, and Strauss Group, which is headquartered in Israel.  Sabra products are widely marketed throughout North America and Europe.  Fortunately, good alternatives are available in many places.  Or make your own, it’s much less expensive.  A simple, delicious recipe:

Prep Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans [or cook from dried, if you prefer]
  • 1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil [preferably fair trade Palestinian]


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor.  Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas.  Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.  Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well.  Garnish with parsley (optional).

Serve with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate.


For a spicier hummus, add a sliced red chile or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Storing Hummus:

Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Author: Michael Riordon

Canadian writer and documentary-maker Michael Riordon writes/ directs/produces books and articles, audio, video and film documentaries, plays for radio and stage. A primary goal of his work is to recover voices and stories of people who have been silenced or marginalized, written out of the official version: First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, queer folk across Canada, Guatemalan labour activists. Michael also leads courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.

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