Welcome to the Jewish Comedy Club: Rushing To Appease
Zionist AIPAC and ADL
27 April 2010
By Gilad Atzmon
Last weekend the American National Security Adviser,
General James Jones, spoke at the 25-year anniversary
gala of the Washington Institute for Near East
Policy*. Mindful that the crowd consisted of many
Jews, General Jones believed would be an appropriate,
friendly gesture to launch his speech with a Jewish
Joke. He was obviously wrong.
Jones failed to realise that as much as Jews love to
tell jokes about themselves, they are pretty
circumspect when others have a good time at their
expense. It didn’t take long for the head of the
notorious Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, to
deliver a clear message to General Jones: if you want
to join our comedy club you better be a Jew.
The following is the transcript of General Jones in
his attempt to deliver a kosher joke:
"A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering
around the desert looking for water. He finally
arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water.
The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn't have any
water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban
begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The
Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond
the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you
The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward
the hill. An hour later he's back at the tie store. He
walks in and tells the merchant: "Your brother tells
me I need a tie to get into the restaurant."
As it happens, General Jones is a devoted supporter
of Israel. By telling the above joke Jones aimed to
please his Zionist audience with what he regarded as
an amusing juxtaposition of Jewish ‘shrewdness’
together with savage Taliban ‘naivety’. Moreover he
tried to convey a message of an American-Jewish bond
premised on the notion that the Taliban warrior is not
just America’s enemy; but is also an enemy of the Jew.
Israeli Ynetnews reported today that, though the
joke was well received by the participants, some
Jewish community leaders pounced on the remark: “ADL
says joke in which Jewish merchant swindles thirsty
Taliban fighter inappropriate and stereotypical”.
Clearly Abe Foxman and some other Jewish ethnic
leaders were not impressed. Seemingly they didn’t
approve of the ‘Jewish swindler’ stereotype.
Interestingly enough, in the joke the Jewish vendor
doesn’t cheat, there is no fraud. In the joke the
Jewish merchant doesn’t try to obtain anything by
means of deception. In the joke a merchant may trick
a Taliban fighter to buy a tie but there is no
However, as much as there is no ‘Jewish swindling’
in the joke as the ADL suggested, there is plenty of
it in American mainstream news. Tragically enough we
recently met far too many Jewish fraudsters, swindlers
and organ traffickers whether it was Madoff, Goldman
Sachs, Lehman Brothers or many. Those who follow the
news from Israel learn daily about the institutional
corruption and swindling scandals in the Jewish state.
Seemingly, Foxman and other Jewish leaders
demanded General Jones apologize for something that
they see in themselves, rather than something the
General himself suggested or said.
However, a deeper reading of Jones’ joke reveals
the embarrassing fact that it is not the ‘swindling’
attempt that reflects so badly on the Jewish tie
vendor. It is actually the lack of human compassion.
In the joke the tie vendor would not give water to a
thirsty man who lost his way in the desert. In the
joke, greed eclipses humanity. As much as this idea
depicts a pretty harsh stereotypical reading of Jewish
identity, such an interpretation is reasonable and
even legitimate considering the crimes against
humanity performed by the Jewish state in the name of
the Jewish people. The starvation of 1.5 million
Palestinians in Gaza is one example of such a lack of
humanist consciousness. Again. I wouldn’t think that
this is what General Jones had in his mind when
telling the joke. However, it is more than likely that
once the Zionist crowd stopped chuckling, they grasped
the similarity between themselves and the Jewish
A further critical reading of Jones’ joke would
also bring to light a sharp criticism of Jewish tribal
brotherhood in the context of Western politics. In the
joke two Jewish brothers look after each other
regardless of any human or universal concern. In the
joke, two Jewish merchants collaborate in the torture
and exploitation of a thirsty man in the middle of the
desert. It is a blatant tale of tribal nepotism.
Again, considering the extensive and relentless work
done by Jewish lobbies to support their brothers in
Israel and bearing in mind the endless Neocon attempt
to drag us all into wars, Jones’ joke should be taken
as more than a whiff of witty criticism.
Abe Foxman has managed to terrorise General Jones
into submission. He may have succeeded in diverting
the attention from the moral of Jones’s joke into just
another meaningless debate about anti Semitism.
However this joke, like almost any other Jewish joke,
is a glimpse into Jewish identity and Jewish politics.
Moreover, Abe Foxman’s reaction provides us with a
spectacular insight into Jewish political morbidity.
Needless to say that Jones was quick to apologize.
He also said that the Joke distracted from the larger
message he carried that day, “that the United States'
commitment to Israel's security is sacrosanct."
The General’s submissive response leaves me
wondering about America’s commitment to itself.
Clearly by rushing to appease AIPAC and ADL, General
Jones ended up in a similar position to his fictional
Taliban fighter who was begging two Jewish brothers
for a sip of water.
* The Washington Institute- an independent think tank
widely seen as being pro-Israel, was founded by Jewish
donors who are now on the institute's board.