Chickpeas for Peace! Restaurant Gives Discounts to Arabs and Jews Eating TogetherOct 30, 2015
Mending the wounds of centuries of Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t an easy task, but one Israeli restaurant is doing its part – one plate of hummus at a time.
In a village near Netanya, a family-owned restaurant called Hummus Bar is offering up its own version of a peace treaty. Arabs and Jews are invited to dine together and if they agree to share a table, they get 50 percent off their order of hummus.
Everybody likes to eat, and word of the appetizing offering of peace quickly spread when Hummus Bar posted the promotion on its Facebook page on Oct 12th. The post was written in Hebrew, but roughly translates to: “Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews? Here we don’t have Arabs! But we also don’t have Jews… Here we have human beings!”
Since then, the post has been shared more than 2,000 times and quickly generated headlines and had people talking.
Hummus Bar’s owner Kobi Tzafrir said that he wanted to find a simple way to wipe away some of the animosity that seems to be a constant between Israelis and Palestinians.
“We hear a lot of extremists on the news, on Facebook, on TV, and it seems like everything here is very bad,” Tzafrir told NPR. “But I wanted to show that everything here is not so bad. Things get out of proportion.”
Tzafrir grew up in the Tel Aviv suburbs and was limited to prepackaged supermarket hummus in his youth. It was only as a young man in his 20s that he tried a fresh plate of the chickpea dish and really fell in love with fresh hummus. From that point on he became somewhat of a preacher to the powers of fresh-made hummus. “If you eat a good hummus, you will feel love from the person who made it. You don’t want to stab him,” said Tzafrir.
Since opening Hummus Bar just four months ago and announcing the discount earlier this month, Tzafrir said he’s had about 10 tables of Jews and Arabs take him up on his offer. Tzafrir is confident in his plan to bring a little more understanding between the two cultures, and told Times of Israel “If there’s anything that can bring together these people, it’s hummus.”