Chick-peace? Israeli ‘Humus Bar’ cooks up Middle East plan

It's a 50 percent discount to Arabs and Jews who dine together and indulge in the popular Middle Eastern chickpea-based dish

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A hummus restaurant in Israel is taking on a peace initiative to bring together people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, in spite of escalating tensions in the region.

32-year-old Kobi Tzafrir, owner of a restaurant called "Humus Bar," located near the coastal city of Netanya in Tel Aviv, aims to encourage coexistence by offering a 50 percent discount to Arabs and Jews who dine together and indulge in the popular Middle Eastern chickpea-based dish.

“Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews?” the restaurant posted in the Hebrew-language on Facebook. “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.”

Tzafrir told Al Arabiya News that the idea came from the heart because he genuinely believes in peace.

He said: “I hear many bad things in the media, and wanted to do something good. I want to represent the good side of my beautiful country.

“Israel is a wonderful country and much better than is shown in the media. We are people who support peace and justice.”

According to him, many have responded positively to the ad, which was posted on October 13.

He explained that many were being supportive because of the meanings behind the promotion, and that the actual discount was insignificant.

The owner said he felt very proud when a Muslim and Jewish officer came in to the restaurant to eat together.

But Tzafrir said that he had also received negative comments on the Humus Bar’s official Facebook page left by some “extremists.”

He hopes this peace building gesture could spark a trend among restaurants in Israel and other countries as well.

Tzafrir believes that with the recent surge of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, more efforts to build peace need to happen.

“I think we need to do more for peace, but this is a start.”

He declined to answer whether he believed in a one or two state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, referring to the question as “heavy” politics.

The peace-promoting owner says the solution can be more simple and appetizing: “Eat hummus! It's delicious and make you feel happy and peaceful “

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