Arab and Jews eating together

Israeli cafe comes up with unique method to solve Palestinian conflict – offers 50% discount to Arabs and Jews who dine together

Kobi Tzafrir, a Jew who runs the Hummus Bar, a restaurant near Netanya (which literally means 'Gift of God' in Hebrew) has come up with a novel method to bring Arabs and Jews together, appealing to their common love of food.

Arabs and Jews who break bread (pita) together at the same table are entitled to a 50% discount on hummus, a chickpea-based spread or dip that is enjoyed by several people in the Middle East. This offer has been making headlines ever since the restaurant posted its promotion on Facebook, saying there were no Arabs or Jews at the eatery, but only human beings. There was no need to be afraid, the post asserted.

Kobi Tzafrir said that several Jews and Arabs had come together after this, but they chose to pay full price. He maintains that not all Jews and Arabs support the violence, which has claimed 44 Palestinian and 10 Israeli lives in the past month alone. The total number of casualties since the beginning of the conflict number in the tens of thousands.

The differences date back to 1948, when the state of Israel was formally formed with support from the United Nations to play home to millions of Jews who had been persecuted in Europe and no longer felt safe in the continent. This did not find favor with the Arabs in Palestine whose statehood had not been formally recognized at the time.

Over the decades, they have found themselves aliens in their own homeland and Israel's refusal to grant them autonomy on account of several holy places like Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David, being in areas dominated by the Arabs, have only triggered tensions and unrest between the two communities. It is complicated by the fact that the Palestinians are concentrated in two separate regions, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which have Israeli territory in between. Even today, the state of Israel is not recognized by several Arab countries in the Middle East, while the state of Palestine is.

Back in the coastal city of Netanya, otherwise known as the Israeli Riviera, Kobi Tzafrir believes that some delicious and healthy hummus can people together in the spirit of friendship and unity. The restaurant offers free refills to all who take up the offer, which runs from Sunday to Thursday (Friday marks the religious weekend for Muslim Arabs while for Jews, the Sabbath falls on Saturday).

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