Jewish Journal

Have you taken the “Hummus, Not Hamas” challenge?

by Noga Gur-Arieh

August 26, 2014 | 9:32 am

The IDF soldiers who started the Hummus, Not Hamas Challenge.

By now, you’ve all probably heard of the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge,” aimed to raise awareness and to the ALS disease and encourage donations to research. You participate only if a friend has nominated you. Then, you have 24 hours to either pour a bucket filled with ice-water on your head, donate a 100$ to ALS research, or both. Then, you can nominate three friends and so on. This challenge became extremely viral and quite a pop-culture phenomenon when millions around the world participated, including politicians, athletes and celebrities. In three weeks, more than $50 million was raised to ALS research thanks to this campaign.

Now, a new campaign threatens to take over social media: the “Hummus, Not Hamas Challenge", aimed to show support for Israel and the IDF and to raise donations to pro-Israel organizations. It started with a group of soldiers who filmed themselves doing the challenge, with an explanation: “Hamas, as you know, is a terror organization who threaten the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. Hummus, on the other hand, is delicious.” After the short speech, all three soldiers in the video smear Hummus on their faces.

This video was picked up by StandWithUs, a nonprofit pro-Israel organization, which one of the soldiers in the video work for. They then spread the word, making the #HummusNotHamas  challenge viral all around the world, with more videos adding every day. The challenge is to smear Hummus on your face or make a donation to a pro-Israel organization. The slogan "Hummus, Not Hamas" has been widely used. There is a famous sketch in the Sacha Baron-Cohen movie “Borat” where he gets both an Israeli and a Palestinian representative to agree that Hummus is good and claims to have made progress in the peace process as a result.

Michael Dickson, Israel Director of StandWithUs: “The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has swept social media. I did my own ice challenge on the Gaza border while touring with a StandWithUs solidarity trip. One of our Israeli staff serving in reserves sent us a video of his fellow soldiers video-ing the Hummus/Hamas challenge and we decided to promote it widely. Our CEO Roz Rothstein was a good sport and made a video nominating Shahar Azani, Consul for Media and Public Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel in New York as well as Gary Ratner and myself of StandWithUs. We filmed our video in the south of Israel and in the week or so since, the campaign has just grown and grown. Yes, it’s silly, but if we can put some spotlight on Hamas as the aggressor in this situation and show that Israelis would just like to live with their neighbors (and eat Hummus!) in peace then it is worthwhile.”

Watch the original Hummus Not Hamas challenge here.

Watch Dickson taking the challenge:


More Hummus Not Hammas challenges worldwide:




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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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