National Security Advisor retired Marine Gen. Jim Jones told a joke about a Jewish merchant and Afghanistan Taliban fighter in opening remarks to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy this past weekend.
It drew laughter from the group and an immediate slapdown by Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League Jones immediately apologized.
Here's the joke as reported by Mark Silva of the website The Swamp.
"In order to set the stage for my remarks, I'd just like to tell you a story that I think is true. It happened recently in southern Afghanistan.
"A member of the Taliban was separated from his fighting party and wandered around for a few days in the desert, lost, out of food, no water. And he looked on the horizon and he saw what looked like a little shack and he walked towards that shack. And as he got to it, it turned out it was a little store own by a Jewish merchant.
"And the Taliban warrior went up to him and said, "I need water, give me some water." And the merchant said, "I'm sorry, I don't have any water but would you like a tie. We have a nice sale of ties today."
"Where upon the Taliban erupted into a stream of language that I can't repeat, about Israel, about Jewish people, about the man himself, about his family, and just said, "I need water, you try to sell me ties, you people don't get it."
"The merchant stood there until the Taliban was through with his diatribe and said, "Well I'm sorry I don't have water for you and I forgive you for all of the insults you've levied against me, my family, my country. But I will help you out. If you go over that hill and walk about two miles there is a restaurant there and they will have all the water you need."
"And the Taliban, instead of saying thanks, still muttering under his breath, disappears over the hill, only to come back an hour later, and walking up to the merchant says, "You're brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant."
Really, now, is that going to sink U.S.-Israeli relations further into the ground as some thin-skinned pundits assert?
Lighten up, guys and gals.
Readers comments are welcome as long as they remain civil. We reserve the right to delete any comments that are vulgar, libelous and totally irrelevant to this posting. -- Jer