The Hummus Initiative's "#Hummuselfie" Campaign Demands Peace In Gaza Using, You Guessed It, Hummus & Selfies
Seems like the new global peace effort is going to be led by food selfies. Not long after Polish people began snapping pictures of themselves eating apples as a way to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin's fruit sanctions against Poland, another food selfie-as-protest is unfolding. Israelis, Palestinians and sympathizers are taking hummus selfies to promote peace in the Gaza Strip, using the hashtags #hummuselfie and #chickpeace. Can hummus be the way to lasting peace in the embattled region?
According to Quartz, the hummus-peace selfie campaign was created by a group of French students, who founded The Hummus Initiative in late July. The French students launched the hashtag #hummuselfie as a way to bridge the gap between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
How? Well, The Hummus Initiative stated its mission as:
With "The Hummus Initiative," these students call to focus on what unites rather than what divides. Because it is appreciated on both sides of the border, they chose the hummus as an emblem, and invite users to post their # hummuselfie rather than partisan messages.
A group of British Jews soon followed up with their own peace campaign, ChickPeace. According to the group's Facebook page, ChickPeace advocates for social media unity:
Social media shouldn't be used to promote hate. Show your support for peace by posting a hummus selfie and nominate someone else.
So, why hummus as a peace tool in the first place? Supporters of the movement say hummus is the one food item that unites everyone in the Gaza Strip. The chickpea food spread — which, let's be real, is beloved by foodies everywhere — is prominent in both Palestinian and Israeli dishes, so it can serve as common ground between the two peoples.
Of course, a selfie campaign composed of hummus eaters won't stop a raging conflict that has already killed nearly 2,000 civilians. The #hummuselfie won't necessarily resolve anything, but perhaps it will bring more awareness to the ongoing Gaza Strip crisis and also compel the general public to stop taking sides and focus on the humanitarian crisis.
As The Hummus Initiative writes:
At a time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensifies, we deplore the escalation of violence currently going on beyond the war itself, especially in social media. ... Our movement aims to underline the commonalities between the two peoples in war instead of focusing on that which separates them.
Here's a taste of the #hummuselfie campaign...