NY Times creates fake Stephen Colbert hummus controversy to push Israeli boycott

Backers of a Palestian-led campaign to boycott Israel got a nod from The New York Times last week, showcasing an effort to demonize Israel that’s gotten little coverage in the American media.

A part-Israeli owned hummus brand, advertised on the CBS “Late Show,” allegedly created controversy among supporters of a campaign to undermine Israel, known as BDS.

The New York Times used the hummus advertisement as a way to explain the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement in an article appearing on Wednesday, and used the CBS show to boost the profile of the story. Palestinian activists such as Omar Baddar, a former director of the Palestine Cultural Center for Peace in Boston, were cited as part of the groundswell of opposition to the hummus brand.

In the skit, host Stephen Colbert went through an uninteresting, childlike mocking of a fictional demon-like character that made him talk about Sabra Hummus, a venture owned in part by the Strauss Group, a food company based in Israel.

“Ladies and gentleman, the amulet commands me to inform you of the delicious taste of tonight’s sponsor, Sabra Red Pepper hummus, made from simple fresh ingredients that bring people together one bite at a time,” Colbert said.

The product though, as pointed out by Mediaite’s Dan Abrams, is actually made in the U.S. and is part owned by PepsiCo.

The New York Times used statistics from Amobee Brand Intelligence, showing 351 negative Twitter responses about the hummus.

But the controversy that started with the article brought much more attention to the boycott, leaving the American-based hummus manufacturer, Sabra, with a negative profile launched by media executives at The New York Times and a few hundred Twitter users.

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