Ellen DeGeneres gets pushback for promoting Sabra Hummus

US Politics
on 8 Comments

We regard it as newsworthy when human-rights-supporters call out American cultural figures over the Palestine question, because we see this as a hopeful trend; and the latest example is Ellen DeGeneres doing a promotion for Sabra Hummus as “America’s favorite hummus” and her ad getting panned by a bunch of folks on her twitter feed.

OK, it’s just twitter; but the chorus of boos is a reminder that when liberal celebrities stand up for Israel, they’re going to face a groundswell of opposition inside their own base. DeGeneres did the bit on May 10.

Here’s some of the pushback, on that tweet:

Parrish Person: “Sabra funds war crimes. Don’t do commercials for them.”

Our own James North: “Consumers should be aware that Sabra sustains #Israel’s illegal, 50-year occupation of #Palestine: the #WestBank and #Gaza.”

Andy Kite: “Sabra is a company that actively supports the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Get this promoted crap off my feed.”

Karen: “sabra profits from illegal occupation of Palestinian land in violation of international law. You should not be promoting then”

Sahar Shafqat: “Thanks for supporting apartheid”

As for Sabra Hummus, here’s Charlotte Silver at EI:

Sabra is a frequent target for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns because it is partially owned by the Israeli company Strauss Foods, which actively supports the Golani brigade, an “elite” unit in the Israeli army which is responsible for grave human rights abuses.

While Strauss has removed its more strident language praising the Israeli army since the BDS movement has grown, it remains a supporter of a brigade which has participated in some of the bloodiest attacks.

In this connection, I’d point out again that the PEN America World Voices fest just came off without its traditional sponsorship from Israel. Dropping Israel as a sponsor was, I believe, intentional; though PEN’s director Suzanne Nossel was careful not to cop to that. What is undeniable is that PEN came under considerable pressure from Adalah-NY’s steady campaign over the sponsorship; and Nossel was responsive to Adalah.

Here is Nossel at the PEN gala giving a courage award to the Women’s March in Washington as the largest demonstration in U.S. history. You can see that Nossel condemns “border walls and visa bans” and issues a rallying cry of resistance to the Trump administration and to oppressive regimes around the world, from Moscow to Egypt to Tehran. She says the women’s march reminded us that we have the “luxury to stand up for others,” and that “our rights and values would not go down without a fight.”

In that context, it would be the height of hypocrisy for PEN to be taking money from the Israeli government. Trump and the 50th anniversary of the occupation have made it much harder for liberal groups to stand by Israel. Ellen DeGeneres is hearing that.

Alan Dershowitz said it the other day in Scarsdale. Israel used to be “very easy to defend,” he said. “Boy have things changed dramatically over the last 50 years….Today no major university will have me speak at a graduation because I’m too pro Israel.” Don’t tell me the struggle hasn’t produced results.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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8 Responses

  1. Keith
    May 13, 2017, 2:30 pm

    Suzanne Nossel is a perfect example of the more-or-less total co-optation of Western NGOs by the elites. Nossel bounced between the government and various NGOs, finally landing at PEN. Her policies appear to be that of a Zionist and liberal interventionist. I assume she gets these jobs because she is part of the Zionist network of influence which permeates organized imperial life. When she was appointed to PEN, Chris Hedges resigned from the organization. I link to a brief interview with him on the Real News Network discussing Nossel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnVuDz1pBGA

    • pabelmont
      May 13, 2017, 4:00 pm

      Keith — your comment reminds me of what some (classical) musicians I used to know (1980s) called the “Israeli Mafia” by which they meant a system of enforcers whereby musicians who wanted to get gigs in the USA and elsewhere (as who did not?) had to agree (if requested) to do gigs in Israel. Presumably — this was at least the implication — the agents and impresarios kept black lists and talked to each other; and were under a collective Zionist thumb. I have no idea if this was ever (or is still) true.

      • Mooser
        May 14, 2017, 3:20 pm

        .” I have no idea if this was ever (or is still) true.”

        We can always offer immunity for full information and a signed statement.

  2. Maghlawatan
    May 13, 2017, 5:42 pm

    Israel used to be easy to defend. But you cannot polish a turd.

  3. CigarGod
    May 13, 2017, 9:40 pm

    Sabra Hummus doesn’t even make my top 10.
    Wouldn’t have known that till I started my boycott about 5 years ago and had to find a replacement.

  4. Ossinev
    May 14, 2017, 7:53 am

    This is the very same “Israeli dish” which had been an Arab dish for around 800 years before the State of Israel existed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummus

    However it doesn`t contain cherry tomatoes which Israelis also invented so that seriously undermines their claim to have invented it.

    Now let me think what could they be eyeing up next for retrospective invention. Cherry tomatoes box already ticked but the opportunities are endless = bread , pasta , rice , curry , potatoes , Guinness , whisky. Such an inventive people.

  5. Kathleen
    May 15, 2017, 12:55 am

    Anyone believe that Ellen really did not know? Ellen actively supporting an apartheid government,. Ellen clearly a PEP Shameful

  6. Kay24
    May 21, 2017, 8:00 am

    How many people promote these products with ignorance? I recently visited Singapore, and a top department store was promoting and selling Soda Stream. Israel is looking at markets where people are unaware of it’s bad reputation, and taking advantage of it.

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