Hummus joint gives Jewish-Arab tables 50% off
Amid worsening racial tensions in Israel, restaurant seeks to promote coexistence through good eats
Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel.
Want some hummus with a side of coexistence? A restaurant near the coastal city of Netanya recently started offering 50 percent off each plate of the chickpea paste at tables seating Jews and Arabs together.
A manager of the restaurant, Hummus Bar at the M Mall in Kfar Vitkin, told The Times of Israel Monday that since it began last week the promotion’s been a success.
Hummus Bar took an innovative approach to getting Israelis and Arabs together in the midst of over two weeks of near daily terrorist attacks.
“Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews?” the joint advertised in a Hebrew-language Facebook post. “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.” the restaurant said.
Manager Kobi Tzafrir said that by the post-lunch rush on Monday, Hummus Bar had already served several tables with both Arabs and Jews, a trend that’s been consistent since the ad went up on Facebook on October 13. He said the idea’s been well received by Arabs and Jews alike, as well as people online from as far afield as Japan who’d heard of the initiative.
Tzafrir said the move was a response to growing intolerance by both Arab and Israeli extremists and was a small step to bring people together.
The kitchen is kosher, and therefore halal as well, meaning the only thing stopping observant Jews and Muslims is the will to dine together on the hummus with stewed chickpeas and msabaha — warm chickpeas swimming in tahini.
“If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus,” Tzafrir said.