Israeli Restaurant Gives Jews and Arabs a Discount If They’ll Eat Together
The debate over whether Jews or Arabs deserve credit for creating hummus has raged on for generations—much like the horrific conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Now, in the face of escalating violence between the two groups, an Israeli restaurant is using the love of the chickpea-based dish as a means of promoting peace and unity.
Indeed, Hummus Bar, an eatery in Kfar Vitkin, a small town about a half hour north of Tel Aviv, is offering a 50 percent discount to Jews and Arabs who dine together.
“Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews? With us there are no Arabs, but also no Jews. With us there are people!,” the restaurant posted in Hebrew on Facebook, according to a translation from The Independent. Along with an atmosphere that welcomes people from both backgrounds, the café has “genuine excellent Arabic hummus! And Jewish, excellent praiseworthy falafel with free refill on every hummus, whether you’re Arabs, Jews, Christians or Indians.”
The post has been liked more than 6,000 times, shared more than 1,500 times, and garnered more than 600 comments. Although a few commenters have decried the effort, most have applauded the restaurant’s desire to find a common ground between the two groups.
More than 40 Palestinians and at least eight Israelis have been killed in violent clashes this month. On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon headed to the region in hopes of diffusing the latest round of tensions. “Violence only begets violence,” he said, according to NBC News. “We must not allow extremists on either side, or those who think violence is the answer, to further fuel the conflict…. This conflict has gone on for far too long. We must, for the future of our children, turn back from this dangerous abyss.”
On Monday, the restaurant shared the photo above of some of the Jewish and Arab people who have come to dine in response to the post. And on Monday, the restaurant’s manager, Kobi Tzafrir, told the Times of Israel that the response to the idea has generally been positive and that he has served several diners who came from both backgrounds.
The manager of the Hummus Bar seems hopeful about the region’s future. “If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus,” Tzafrir said.