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Israeli Cafe Offers 50% Discount to Jews and Arabs Who Dine Together

The Hummus Bar in Netanya, an Israeli restaurant, is offering a 50 percent discount for Jews and Arabs who dine together at its tables.

“Scared of Arabs? Scared of Jews?” asks the restaurant’s Facebook page, translated from Hebrew by the Times of Israel. “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 Times of Israel was told by restaurant manager Kobi Tzafrir that several tables of Arabs and Jews had already been served by lunch hour on Monday. The promotion has been in progress since October 13 and was described as “well received by Arabs and Jews alike, as well as people online from as far afield as Japan who’d heard of the initiative.”

“If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus,” said Tzafrir, noting that the chickpea meals meet both Jewish and Muslim dietary requirements.

Haaretz reports on several other food-based fellowship initiatives, including “Peace of Cake,” in which six residents of the rapidly-growing Jewish community of Harish hand out cakes to both Jews and Arabs, who hold many of the local construction jobs.

“There’s something in this very simple act that immediately opens the heart,” said one of the volunteers.

“Everyone who saw us with our sign in three languages immediately came, took some cake and called all his friends and asked to take a picture with us,” Peace of Cake declared on its Facebook page. “When they thanked us, it was clear that they weren’t thanking us for the cake but rather for the opportunity to feel affection and human regard during this difficult time.”

Volunteers said they were still hearing thanks from Arab construction workers even after they ran out of cake and might have to begin buying cakes instead of baking their own, to keep up with demand. Similar groups have appeared in several other towns.

Haaretz also mentions a pizzeria in Tel Aviv, the Campanello Cafe Delicatessen, offering a 50 percent discount to Jewish and Arab soccer fans who dine together, and a joint feast prepared by Jewish and Arab restaurants in Acre.

“In these days, when the sane and moderate side is less accepted and heard, we decided to take the initiative and show everyone that Arabs and Jews can live in a different way,” the organizers of the latter event declared.

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