All we are saying is give chickpeas a chance.
image via (cc) flickr user james
As the latest spate of violence between Israelis and Palestinians continues to spiral out of control, leaving casualties on both sides of the conflict, one restaurant is counting on the healing power of chickpeas to bring a measure of peace and stability to the region.
Yes, chickpeas. Specifically hummus, the savory dip made by mashing the legumes into a thick paste that’s adored throughout the Middle East (and has made serious inroads across the United States, as well). It’s hummus’ far-reaching appeal that restaurateur Kobi Tzafrir is counting on to demonstrate that Israelis of all faiths can find common ground while sharing a meal with one another. To prove that point, Hummus Bar, the appropriately named eatery Tzafrir manages in the small Israeli community of Kfar Vitkin, has announced that it will offer 50 percent off their hummus platters to tables where both Israeli and Arab diners are seated.
Per the Times of Israel, a translation of the restaurant’s post begins:
Afraid of Arabs?
Afraid of Jews?
By us we don’t have Arabs
By us 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
As Tzafrir tells TOI, the half-off hummus offer is his small way of counteracting the increasingly fraught relationship between these two peoples, particularly at a time when extremists on both sides have turned to violence.
People seem to be responding. In the week since the Hummus Bar posted their offer on October 13, Tzafrir claims multiple tables have taken the restaurant up on the deal, with additional support pouring in online from as far away as Japan. “If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus” he explains.
Realistically, can the humble chickpea single-handedly bring about some long-overdue peace in the Middle East? Probably not. But, if it can inspire enough people—Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs alike—to simply share a table, and bond over their mutual love for a regional delicacy. That’s a pretty good place to start.
[via the forward]