Israeli Restaurant Owner Uses Market Incentives to Advance Peace



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The owner of the Hummus Bar in Israel offers a 50 percent discount to Jewish and Arab customers who share a table together. A small step for peace perhaps, but an illustration of how markets encourage cooperation and peaceful interaction. Here is a two-minute story on the business owner and his idea, airing today on National Public Radio.

This story reminded me of America’s history with Jim Crow laws. One of the first businesses to be segregated by government was street cars. But it was street car owners who most vocally opposed the segregation because they didn’t want to harm, offend, and discourage their African American customers. Markets encourage cooperation and peaceful exchange, while governments often give force to the ugliest sentiments in society.

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