An Israeli cafe is giving discounts to Jews and Arabs who eat together

Meeting in the middle (for lunch).
Meeting in the middle (for lunch).
Image: AP/Tara Todras-Whitehill
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A restaurant owner in Israel is trying to bring a bit of a peace—one dollop of hummus at a time—to a country where violence between Israelis and Palestinians has surged in recent weeks. ”50 percent discount on hummus to a table where Arabs and Jews sit together,” wrote Kobi Tzafrir, the owner of Humus Bar, on his business’s Facebook page, which has since received thousands of shares and likes.

“If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus,” Tzafrir told the Times of Israel.

“Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews?” says the Facebook post, which is in written in Hebrew.”By us we don’t have Arabs! But we also don’t have Jews… By us we’ve got human beings! And real excellent Arab hummus! And great Jewish falafel! And a free refill for every serving of hummus, whether you’re Arab, Jewish, Christian, Indian, etc.”

Most of the comments on the Facebook page are positive, but a few naysayers have also chimed in:

“And if he stabs you how much of a discount do you get?”

“You’ve totally lost your minds, we’re not going to have peace with them for another million years”

“if i’m yemenite [i.e. arab jew] do i get 50% off for eating with myself?”

Tzafrir, whose restaurant is located in Kfar Vitkin, near Netanya in central Israel, is far from the first person to employ the chickpea spread as a bridge between Israelis and Palestinians. An online campaign in 2014 had people posting selfies with hummus and hashtagging “ChickPeace” to advocate for an end to the war in Gaza, and there was a 2013 documentary titled “Make Hummus Not War,” about a multi-faith organization called Chefs for Peace.

Al Jazeera reports that Tzafrir is considering making his discount deal permanent.