While Arab-Israeli political relations remain frosty, one store is managing to serve as an example of successful cooperation between the two sides while also making tasty ice cream.
Bourza (meaning “ice cream” in Arabic), owned by Jewish kibbutznik Adam Ziv and Arab Muslim Alaa Sawitat, opened in July 2012 in the historic Tarshiha shuk of Ma’alot-Tarshiha in the upper Galilee.
Known as a summertime hotspot for Lake Monfort, an artificial lake, Ma’alot-Tarshiha has a history of Arab-Jewish cooperation. The mixed city was formed in 1963 through the merger of the Arab village Tarshiha and the Jewish town of Ma’alot.
“I thought it would be amazing to build a business that is co-run by Jews and Arabs, a place where Jews and Arabs would come,” Ziv told Israel21c.
Despite their pioneering cooperation, the owners are more concerned about making delicious ice cream.
“We’re not just a novelty of being a Muslim-Jewish coexistence ice cream store,” Ziv said. “We make ice cream that people like.”
International tourists have flocked to the store to sample ice cream flavors with a Middle Eastern flair. Last summer’s big hit was hummus ice cream.