A hummus cafe in Israel is giving a 50 percent discount to tables mixing Jewish and Arab diners, in a campaign the owner hopes will bring people together as dozens of people have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian violence this month.
Kobi Tzafrir, the owner of Humus Bar in the town of Kfar Vitkin, initially posted the offer on Facebook.
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“With us we don’t have Arabs! But we also don’t have Jews… With us we’ve got human beings! Real excellent Arab hummus! Excellent Jewish falafel!”, the post, which by Monday evening had been shared more than 1,000 times, read.
Tzafrir told Al Jazeera he wanted to show that there are a lot of Arabs and Jews who are not taking part in the violent events reported in the media.
“We want to show that we’re all human beings, just like each other, not so different,” he said over the phone.
Tzafrir said at least three tables took up the offer of discounted chickpea paste on Monday. But there were more mixed tables, he said, with some customers turning down the offer to pay less – instead paying the full price to support the initiative.
Even before the offer, Arab guests would come to the cafe from Palestinian towns near Kfar Vitkin.
“A lot of customers now say they have seen the post and they tell me they’ve come to support the idea. Some Arabs come with Jewish friends, some Jewish families come alone. They’re all saying good things.”
In the Facebook post, Tzafrir said the offer, with “a free refill for every serving of hummus, whether you’re Arab, Jewish, Christian, Indian, etc” would be valid for a few days. But after the positive response he received from guests and online, he is now considering to keep the discount, “maybe forever”.
At least 44 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed since violence broke out in the beginning of this month over Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound – Islam’s third holiest place.
Israel’s continued Jewish-only settlements in defiance of international laws have further angered Palestinians.
Palestinian citizens of Israel comprise nearly 20 percent of the population.