Stephen Colbert’s Late Show mention of Sabra hummus angers BDS activists

Sabra hummus. Credit: Tanya Patrice via

( Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists are angry over a mention of the partially Israeli-owned hummus brand Sabra on the first episode of Stephen Colbert’s version of the "Late Show" on CBS.

Colbert replaced David Letterman as the show's host on Tuesday night. During the show, a series of skits included one in which Colbert claimed that an "ancient cursed amulet" is “forcing him to make "certain regrettable compromises" by plugging certain products on his show.

"The amulet commands me to inform you of the delicious taste of tonight’s sponsor, Sabra roasted red pepper hummus. It’s made from simple, fresh ingredients that bring people together one bite at a time,” Colbert said, scooping the hummus on camera. 

Although Sabra is a U.S.-based company, it is co-owned by Israeli food manufacturer Strauss and the multinational PepsiCo corporation. The mention of the brand on the show elicited angry tweets by BDS activists, who accused Colbert of collaborating with a product from the "Israeli occupation."

A Sabra representative, on the other hand, called it a “great honor” that the Hummus was mentioned on Colbert’s debut show.  

"Although they didn’t do it for free, he and his people could have turned to any other American company and they still chose us,” said Sabra CEO Shali Shalit-Shoval, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
"This is the third time that Colbert, a famous hummus fan, cooperates with us. When he had a cable show on Comedy Central, he spoke twice about the hummus conquering America and showed our product. This isn't the first show in which products are presented in exchange for a sponsorship paid by the manufacturer. Sabra is today the leading hummus product in America with a 60 percent market share. We have been active in the United States since 2007, and hummus has become a fashionable product which matches the American dipping culture. We should remember, however, that Sabra is considered an American company in the U.S. because PepsiCo owns 50 percent of it. Strauss owns the other half,” she said.

Posted on September 10, 2015 .