Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates
Purim is the opportune time to work on piercing through the darkness and strengthen your connection to God.
Like Solomon Northup, Esther could not reveal her true identity.
Children went from being our employees to our bosses, replacing responsibility with entitlement.
The Arabs of Egypt are screaming for the rights that the Arabs in Israel already have.
Eighteen years after a series of deadly terror attacks leading up to Purim, a unique quilt helped stitch together broken hearts.
My groovy, let's-all-make-aliyah theme song that describes the various major redemption moments of the past century.
Matthew McConaughey and finding God in mysterious places.
Where is our shame?
Our eldest son is acting out in strange ways. Is this a passing phase or a cry for help?
Sometimes it is through the darkness that we can bring out our greatest light.
How to find God.
There’s an Esther, Haman and Mordechai in all of us.
How to bring more love and joy into your own marriage.
It’s Purim time, is everyone happy? If not, try these tools with your kids.
If it is, here’s an important Purim silver lining.
Three keys to peering into the soul of the person you’re dating.
Although they mean well, these three words are like a knife digging deeper into my heart.
7 tips on how to really thrive while being single.
Delve into some mind-boggling concepts in this exploration of the Jewish definition of God.
Read each word carefully... and all its secrets will be within your grasp.
Is God needed to create the universe?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
An in-depth video series exploring Esther’s true role in the Purim story.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
You voted for the three best jokes of the year and here they are!
With the Sochi Olympics now over, let’s go back 100 years and imagine what a Russian “Olympics” in these shtetls would have really looked like.
Are you surprised to hear an Academy Award winning actor thank God so publicly?
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
The only failure is not trying.
May 1, 2010
December 28, 2011 4:19 PM
A good joke.
I found the general's story very amusing. I do not think it is antisemitic or anti-Jewish. Some self-humour is a great personal (or national in this case) quality.
December 26, 2011 12:23 PM
Sorry everybody, but I found this quite funny.
Come on, let's not get insulted about this. It's not what you say but how you say it. I'm sorry everyone who felt insulted but I found it quite amusing. I might even tell it to non-Jews that I know.
October 21, 2010 10:10 AM
But what is the point of it in his address from the podium
From far away in Australia, I can't quite see what relevance it has to his official business on te podium. Is he talking about Afganistan and the war, or Afganistan and how the commercil infrastructure needs fixing? There are probably no Jewish merchants in Afganistan now. Why place it it there? What is he there for? I agree that from the podium, whatever he is there to talk about, this joke seems very badly placed (to say the least).
Still, one of the less odious things told about Jews in public by officials of many countries these days.
September 24, 2010 8:40 AM
The teller of this joke meant no harm, or else he would not have told it in public. Even if we Jews would prefer he hadn't told it, I believe it is a tremendous mistake to make an issue of this.
August 16, 2010 9:39 PM
Its a good story and I had a good laugh. Thanks.
August 3, 2010 4:54 PM
it;s an oldie but,a goodie. lighten up MOT's. there is absolutely no anti-semitism meant. if anything, it shows how ignorant tha arabs are. sorry, i'm not PC. i call it the way i see it.
July 9, 2010 3:25 PM
I know the joke...I've told the joke. It's funny. When a Jew tells it to anther Jew. But not when the National Security Advisor tells it behind an official podium.
Jokes that indicate that jews are cheap, unscrupulous in business and vengefullly taking advantage of our less bright cousins are racial stereotypes that don't need official sanction. Unless that's really how we want the federal government to see us. I'm not a cheap, greedy, unscrupulous businessman...but I guess that's the official line at the pentagon.
Jews tell a lot of jokes about ourselves. It's part of our culture. There are a lot of blacks that call each other the "n" word. It's part of their culture. It's reserved for them to do with each other and about each other.
Imagine the reaction if a government official dropped the "n" bomb in a funny little joke.
People wouldn't tolerate it. We'd demand resignations and hearings and whatnot.
But a government official telling an ethnic joke about a jew... well we are a funny people. I guess we enjoy being laughed at by our government.
June 28, 2010 11:38 PM
It is a joke Lighten up
It was intended to be funny nothing more. Ok How many of you have not told a joke about that involved a group of people because it was funny. I doubt no one. We have gotten so hyper sensitive in this country that we can not laugh at our selves or anyone else with out someone whining about being offended.
May 27, 2010 8:10 PM
The joke is not flagrant
The joke is not offensive at all nor anti-semitic. It's actually humorous. Get real.
May 26, 2010 1:21 AM
how is this anti-semitism? we have to stop reacting so sensitively from every comment someone makes about the jews!
May 18, 2010 2:33 PM
cute joke, old but funny
I can't believe that some people thought this was offensive! I mean, he wasn't trying to hurt the Jews! He was just lightening up the mood! I think that if you would be offended then you, too, need to lighten up a bit! Plus, I've heard this joke many times and this is the first time that I've heard it with a Jew and an Arab so I don't believe it at all! But who knows? Maybe it wasn't really a Jew and an Arab! It could have been anyone! Also, when I told this joke to my friends they loved it so I don't get whats so bad!
May 17, 2010 2:26 PM
very funny. Too bad the sANCTIMONIOUS and know it alls won't like it.
May 16, 2010 3:13 AM
The U.S. is at war with the taliban in Afghanistan. It's clear that the joke, aside from giving everyone a good belly laugh and breaking the ice, was intended as an underhanded compliment to Jews about their subtle cleverness v. the taliban's brutality and primitiveness. Remember people, the taliban is a savage, violent group and no one knows this better than the U.S. military and its affiliates who've been fighting it since 2001. Let's learn to recognize a compliment when we hear one instead of assuming anti-semitism at first blush. Good joke and well-told.
May 15, 2010 2:24 AM
May 14, 2010 4:47 AM
It's not just what he said, but it's a man in his position saying it, and to a crowd of people who truly hate Jews.
May 13, 2010 4:51 AM
Keeva, it's not as if the guy is insinuating anything negative about us, so I don't understand your discomfort. Would any non-Jew expect us to help out a Taliban member? Then again, the world is so inverted that it demands we give up land to our enemies who immediately use its proximity to target us with bombs/rockets/whatever -- and then it demands we give more... Oh just forget it. Sorry I spoke.
May 11, 2010 4:37 PM
May 11, 2010 3:03 AM
Thought it was funny, but, did this guy want to offend the Jews or not?
It's an old joke, but, why would a Jew want to help out a Talibaner anyway. I enjoyed the joke, but, you can make the same joke, Black, Polish, Chinese etc.
Lloyd A Oestreicher,
May 10, 2010 10:09 PM
funny even ftom a shagetz.
May 9, 2010 11:57 PM
When told to Jews, by a Jew, yes, it's funny. I am uncomfortable otherwise.
May 9, 2010 7:42 PM
The General's Joke
The General's Joke is not offensive and it is not very
funny! In fact it is a joke that a General might think is
funny but did I ever tell you the joke about a General,
A Rabbi and Jesus? When I have time I will tell it to you
even though I am not a general
May 8, 2010 10:10 PM
funny and most likely well meant
In comment 85 someone asks what Blacks would say about this joke if the brothers would have been Black. I can't tell what others think, but I am both Black and Jewish, and I think it is a funny joke and most likely well meant.
May 8, 2010 9:10 PM
From the person who said it it is not funny
This man is a foe of Israel. He plans and carries out policies that hurt Israel. From him it is not so funny. From Alan King it is funny, from Jerry Stiller it is funny
From this man it is not funny and is offensive
May 7, 2010 8:51 PM
Thats a very old joke.
Thats a very old joke. Its only not offensive when told by a Jew!
May 7, 2010 6:35 PM
Funny innocent joke! HA! Your brother said I needed a tie!
Adam G. Singer,
May 6, 2010 4:01 PM
The very CLEAR reason that this joke is NOT offensive
HAD the joke been told in front of non-Jews, or especially in front of an anti-Semitic crowd, it would have been INTENDED as anti-Semitic.
However, this joke was told to a mostly Jewish crowd. And therefore, it was INTENDED as GOODNATURED AND ENDEARING HUMOR.
As one of my rabbis once said, when in doubt, think.
This is funny. And among friends.
May 6, 2010 1:32 AM
Of course it's funny!
And even if it weren't the greatest knee-slapper, we should realize he told it as a friendly gesture. In the business world, we called this kind of flap "Paralysis by Analysis". Or as Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
May 5, 2010 10:37 PM
Yes, its offensive. I have heard it using different "cultural -charactures" who have a history of disputes in europe. The implication is that the "certain" culture business owners and/or families are deceitful and use others misfortune for their advantage, i.e. profit. The "joke" has a disperraging/negative message, everytime I have heard it, no matter who's telling it.
May 5, 2010 10:19 PM
It is an old joke but I believe it is the kind of joke that one can and should use to laugh at oneself. We all take ourselves too seriously.
May 5, 2010 9:15 PM
I think Mr. Foxman just needs to get over himself.
May 5, 2010 8:04 PM
Not offensive at all
As stated it is old and as for me, no matter who tells it,I find it totally inoffensive. Throughout our history we have needed and utilized humor to sustain us in our too many dark periods. In many ways our brand of humor is unique and elevating even when self deprecating. You might say Jewish humor is an art form. American stages have been entertained by legendary Jewish comedians for generations. It is no accident, it is in our genes.
May 5, 2010 6:01 PM
More important issues
The joke was about as inoffensive as they get. Certainly we've heard much worse over the years. What gets me is that the worry and reporting was over the offensiveness of the joke and not about the substantive issues of containing and defeating islamic terrorrism and Iranian nuclear ambitions. A little thicker skin, regardless of what color it is, and maybe people could tackle the difficult issues in the world and stop wasting all of our time.
May 5, 2010 4:01 PM
I have to agree with those who don't find it offensive in itself (and it is an old joke) but think it is poorly timed, as it can be negatively construed. And in today's climate, many will do so.
May 5, 2010 3:28 PM
great joke well told
As a proud Jew and Israeli I think that was perfectly OK. I think many are just looking for a reason to complain. I could see Bibi telling that joke at an AIPAC gathering to much laughter
May 5, 2010 1:57 PM
No I don't think its offensive, its really a take on a very old joke. However the way things are with Israel and Palestine it certainly was not a good choice to tell this joke. What can one expect from people like this.
May 5, 2010 1:54 PM
I have heard this before. Many years ago.
I do not find it offensive at all. What I have always loved about our Jewish sense of humor is that we can laugh at ourselves. The world would be so much better if others could do the same thing.
May 5, 2010 1:37 PM
old joke,and it was correctly commented upon that if a Jew had told it, it would be funny.
An old joke indeed. And it was correctly commented upon, that if a Jew had told it, it would be funny. I doubt that this teller meant anything offensive when he told it.
Brenda - Johannesburg,
May 5, 2010 11:50 AM
I found it totally inoffensive - as did the audience, from the sound of them laughing. It's a sad day when people cannot laugh at themselves. Jewish humour is renowned for its ability to do just that.
May 5, 2010 10:40 AM
general Jones joke is an old one. If it was a Jew telling it, I'm sure Abe Foxman wouldn't have been offended. I don't like it even from another Jew.
May 5, 2010 9:50 AM
Can you imagine the general telling a joke like this about an Arab or a Black person? How do you think the Blacks and the Arabs would react? Jews seem to put their heads in the sand until it is too late. It sometimes is unbelievable that Jews who live in a time when we have Holocaust survivors who are still alive today can remain so passive when we are maligned. I am happy that Abe Foxman said something- let's not be silent or the anti-semitism will escalate.
May 5, 2010 7:31 AM
Joke would have been just as funny if he would have left out the fact that the merchant was Jewish. i'm not sure why the General felt it was so important to mention a "Jewish" merchant. but either way, it's a good joke and i dont think he meant any harm in it nor do i think it's a reflection of his opinion of Jews.
May 5, 2010 5:53 AM
What's this world coming to?
To me this wasn't even a joke, if you could even call it that. First of all...the story is so senseless, it's annoying and for a "General" to say this?? Who would turn anybody away that was thirsty? Jews more than anyone are hospitable. Then, to suggest that the fellow couldn't eat without getting a tie...is such an outrageous and silly comment to make - it's horrifying. But the worst part is all these comments above me...of people that see nothing wrong with these slanderous and in truth ridiculous comments that have no basis in reality. One finds it hard to believe sometimes that in a world that is so technologically advanced we have become so socially ignorant, and people love it and even laugh about it. I"m sure others will try and shoot down what i have said here.
May 5, 2010 3:17 AM
THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OFFENSIVE ABOUT THAT. LET'S CONCENTRATE ON REAL ISSUES NOT PICK ON SIMPLE FUN.
May 5, 2010 2:28 AM
.....I can see that Mr.Foxman would be distressed at such a joke making a taliban look stupid................
Samuel B Ginsburg,
May 5, 2010 2:13 AM
Like the joke
This is an old and funny joke. I do not take offense at it
May 5, 2010 1:54 AM
I dom`t believe it was done to be offensive. I have heard many definitions of this joke, and it was generally considered cute.
May 5, 2010 12:32 AM
Jews are smart hard working people and the formula leads to success. This should be celebrated but too many self-hating leftist Jews scorn this for some reason.
There was nothing offensive at all my my wife thought it was very funny.
May 5, 2010 12:06 AM
I found the joke offensive because why did he have a jew be a tie salesman and make the guy say that the talban needed a tie to get in the restaurant . it makes us look greedy, and uptight and selfish and only cares about money .
May 4, 2010 11:43 PM
Must we lose out sense of humor?
Time was, a joke like this would be told among ourselves. Then we entered an era when Jews could tell these kinds of jokes in "mixed company." Now we seem to have entered an age wherein we dare not joke about ourselves, or anyone else for that matter. Frankly, I doubt Jews would still be Jews if we couldn't tell and hear jokes like this one. Oy!
May 4, 2010 11:40 PM
Ignorance comes in many forms, I myself think I have a sense of humour but somedays being the butt of someone else's joke wears very thin. Here in Australia we still see that ignorance turn nasty. The man should have known better in that forum.
May 4, 2010 11:13 PM
It was an old, recycled joke. Could have been about any nationality. Abe Foxman has his head up his ass. We should have someone with at least an ounce of intelligence in charge of the ADL, not this imbecile.
May 4, 2010 10:54 PM
The joke (an old one) may not necessarily be offensive, but his telling of it definitely is.
May 4, 2010 10:40 PM
I thought the joke was funny - nothing to be upset about! Why do we have to over analyze everything? Just laugh!
May 4, 2010 10:14 PM
THIS IS A GREAT JOKE!
I am Jewish and I heard this joke years ago when it was told to me by my Mexican barber. We had a great laugh! Though my barber told it better than did Gen. Jones, it was a great joke years ago and it's a great joke now. The core of Jewish humor throughout the ages has been our poking fun at ourselves. Abe Foxman needs to lighten up and find a new profession other than Official Whiner Of The Jewish People.
May 4, 2010 9:33 PM
I did not know what to expect, and the punch line made me laugh. . .
May 4, 2010 9:11 PM
I listened to the General's joke about a Jewish Merchant & the Taliban and I did not find it offensive. It just was Not in Good Taste.I would have to know the the General personally to determine if he rewally is Anti-Semitic.
May 4, 2010 9:07 PM
General James Jones Joke
I' not sure what people would be offended by. Foxman obviously has no sense of humor nor the others that were offended. Jews are known for their terrific senses of humor and I love this joke and would repeat it. Some people just need to get over themselves.
May 4, 2010 8:55 PM
I though it was very funny and not at all mean spirited.
May 4, 2010 8:35 PM
I found the joke funny, cute, and not at all offensive. I agree with all the above commentators.
May 4, 2010 8:24 PM
About the joke
Dumb Joke Just dumb
May 4, 2010 8:12 PM
I laughed. Even my dad laughed. If you knew him, you would know that he is very straight and narrow. If he can find the humor in it, then trust me, it is just good clean fun.
Gershon Grushovski the real one,
May 4, 2010 7:41 PM
The only problem with this joke is that it is not so new. Otherwise, it is just fine.
May 4, 2010 7:04 PM
The joke is fine
Any joke where the Jew gets the upper hand over the Taliban guy is fine with me. I see no reason to feel insulted.
May 4, 2010 6:08 PM
I find it funny, very funny as a matter of fact. Not offensive at all. Let's keep it light Foxman, have a laugh and let's worry about the serious antisemitism. We are known for our good sense of humour, which has been true through our history.
May 4, 2010 5:53 PM
I didn't find it that inappropriate.
But then I am an American blond who is ambushed almost daily by jokes telling how stupid blonds are. They don't bother me--sometimes I even laugh. The Jones joke shows the Jews getting the better of the situation. That's more than the dumb blond jokes do.
May 4, 2010 5:51 PM
Considering the time and place YES IT WAS OFFENSIVE.
May 4, 2010 5:49 PM
James Jones joke
For one thing he changed a joke to make it more offensive. Another thing he should not have told this in public. If a Jew wanted to tell this joke that is another thing. Considering his position it was in bad taste to tell this joke publically. Almost as bad as the announcment of the building when Biden was visiting.
May 4, 2010 5:47 PM
is joke offensive?
I laughed and did not find the joke offensive. I had heard it before and had found it funny then too.
Humour is a great tool and weapon for peace!
May 4, 2010 5:45 PM
i found the joke offensive. if someone were to make the joke about blacks or any other race or religion, the world would be in uproar. jews are not in any way like that. it starts with little jokes, but after thousands of years of persecution i think we should stop being so naive to the fact that this is more than a joke- it is the way the world thinks of us.
May 4, 2010 5:20 PM
I like a good joke as much as anyone else and this joke would be very funny if not, for the fact, that the Obama Administration has changed its policies toward Israel. James Jones was known not to be a particularly good friend of Israel even before he became the National Security Advisor. A person in his sensitive position should not make such a joke. So, let's not be naive, humor can be used a passive aggressive tool to mask anti-Israel sentiment and fuel anti-semitism. Don't let him fool you because that is his intention! After all, he can always claim, "it's just a joke!" ...but at who's expense!?
May 4, 2010 5:03 PM
It's symptomatic of how Gentiles view us.
Gentiles view Jews as crafty and ready to skin them of all they have to make a profit. No matter Jews' numerous charitable acts, their contributions to humanity, the Gentiles will not depart from the Shylock stereotype they created. Gen. Jones’ joke is not innocent. He perpetuates a stereotype that’s offensive to us.
May 4, 2010 4:55 PM
what on earth is offensive about that story?
I found it amusing and not in the least offensive. However, I NEVER tell jokes to members of other religions about their co-religionists - it is too dangerous.
May 4, 2010 4:54 PM
So it goes!
Can be taken either way--- how we react is a reflection of how we have been "programmed".
May 4, 2010 4:44 PM
the joke's ok but
The joke is fine. But let's face it, any "Jewish Joke" is going to set off red flags both internationally and within the community as well. While the joke itself is a good one, two things were bound to happen, and should have been anticipated: 1) The Jews will complain that someone who isn't Jewish told a Jewish Joke. He must be an antisemite! and 2) The real antisemites will say, "It's true! The Jews are underhanded and sneaky, and only want to exploit anyone they can! The Taliban warrior is thirsting for water, but he thirsts for truth as well, which the Jewish monopoly over the media denies him!" and the crap will go everywhere. I like the joke, and we should have seen all the different reactions coming. By the way, Abe Foxman should heed his own advice. He thought that if the president had something negative to say to Israel, he should do it privately; Foxman should have registered his complaint quietly as well. I can only hope other great Jewish jokes don't suffer because of this.
May 4, 2010 4:07 PM
i am an israeli jew and i think it is a great joke.what's wrong about being able to outsmart somebody else? after all the all joke is absurd - two free jews in taliban country etc. etc. just relax and have a good time!
May 4, 2010 3:57 PM
Gen. Jones joke
An oldie but still a goodie--and not offensive! I think it's impressive that "Jewish humor" gets updated and becomes topical (now it's the Taliban!) and makes people laugh--not at Jews, but at the humor in the situation.
May 4, 2010 3:57 PM
The joke was hilarious. I can't see anything that could be offensive. Some people are so overly sensitive & fearfull of making offense that they can't enjoy life.
May 4, 2010 3:56 PM
the characters can be replaced
You can tell this same joke and use other people in place of the Jewish merchant. (might not be as funny though) which says something about the Jewish mystique.
May 4, 2010 3:49 PM
Foxman: Focus on real problems.
Hilarious joke. Loved it.
May 4, 2010 3:47 PM
I've heard variations of this "joke" and while most of the posted comments don't have issue with it.
I feel unconfortable with the fact that it's still in circulation and
alot of people,and sadly jew's included, laugh with it.
May 4, 2010 3:40 PM
Coming from a "survival" mentality everything that touches Jewish themes , even in jest, becomes serious and potentially offensive. Its a manifestation of our insecurity.
Never surrender your vigilance, but balance it with lightness.
Allow yourself laughter, even at your own expense. See the irony in life, the humorous aspects. Use the full palate of colors, not just the dark ones.
May 4, 2010 3:37 PM
If it had been told by another Jew it would be considered funny
I have heard this joke many times before and have told it myself numerous times even to non-Jewish audiences and no one ever accused me of being anisemitic or the joke itself offensive. It is precisely this Foxman reaction, representing such a latge and respected Jewish organization, that creates unnecessary ill will MRL
May 4, 2010 3:30 PM
it's been around on e-mail for quite a while and is cute
It's an old e-mail joke. The question is can only Jews tell it to Jews. I don't think so.
May 4, 2010 3:27 PM
A 50 year old good joke 'purposefully' made political!!!!
My late father told me this joke over fifty years ago!!!
Back in the 'good old days' the tie seller was a
merchant (no religion mentioned) and the thirsty
man was just that ... a thirsty man.
They clearly weren't called 'the good old days' for nothing!!!
May 4, 2010 3:23 PM
Absolutely nothing wrong with the joke.
What we need are more jokes. The strength of any society is to be able to laugh at it's self.
May 4, 2010 3:20 PM
I understand Abe Foxman
I remember hearing a Jewish man say that although he tells outrageous Jewish jokes and laughs when another Jew tells him a self-deprecating funny story, whenever a Gentile tells him a Jewish joke, although he may laugh, he finds himself asking himself, 'Why did he tell me that story?' Oversensitive? Maybe Abe Foxman is. But though I laugh when Jewish friends tell me jokes about their people, I never tell Jewish jokes to them.
May 4, 2010 3:03 PM
Not at all offensive
How could anyone interpret this joke as offensive? Foxman really is becoming the new Sharpton, and should be careful not to be seen as a complete laughing stock. Really, Foxman, and the other whingers, get a life!
May 4, 2010 6:38 AM
What is so offensive?
for a people to be so known for their business sense is not an insult. After all they have used governments and laws as well as crime to force the Jews to be what they are. If you ask me they insult themselves for forcing the Jews to be so smart. too bad they can't keep up.
May 4, 2010 4:52 AM
I did not find this offensive in any way, shape, or form. Actually this is one of my favorite email "jokes" that I love to pass around and I always get positive feedback!
May 4, 2010 3:26 AM
Please stop looking for trouble
Could Mr Foxman stop looking for excuses to make noise. We don't need a jewish Al Sharpton; looking for reasons to scream antisemitism. The joke may or may not have been proper, but he did not intend to offend anyone. Even if you say it was inappropriate, which frankly, I disagree, but can't we simply sweep thisunder the rug?!
He wasn't looking to make trouble, so neither should we.
May 4, 2010 1:00 AM
I love this joke too, and he obviously enjoyed telling it. It is a very funny joke- I think I read it first on Jewlarious, actually, an even more humorous version!
May 4, 2010 12:29 AM
I feel sure that the average person with an average sense of humour would find the joke acceptable and quite funny; however, the few unfortunate people who are narrow minded and lack a sense of humour would most likely look down their nose and would deny, if they could, the majoriory of us from enjoying a good joke.
May 3, 2010 11:16 PM
If offensive, for who?
Only for those who either did not have originally or just lost the sense if humor.
May 3, 2010 9:40 PM
Think out of the box
The joke is funny. It is not at all anti-semetic. In fact, if anything it stereotypes Arabs for stupidity. It shows Israel as a nation, strong, with a sense of humor!
May 3, 2010 9:24 PM
Why should Foxman find this joke offensive when it is a joke on this web site under heading of Location Location Location. Seems he does not read this web site. Foxman should be the the one to be berated.
May 3, 2010 9:00 PM
This is an old joke and rather than being offensive I think it shows that you can't outsmart a Jew no matter what the situation.
May 3, 2010 8:57 PM
Nothing offensive about it and it is a pretty good joke too.
May 3, 2010 8:50 PM
He could have said the same joke and not mentioned that the merchant was a Jew. I thing because he said it was a Jew makes it offensive it doesnt add to the joke that he was a Jew. My grandfather a Holocaust surviver was EXTREMELY disturbed from this joke!! What was he doing telling this joke anyway!!
May 3, 2010 8:12 PM
listener discretion is advised
I agree with some others on here, that context is everything. Because the joke is coming from a nation that is increasingly not on Israel's side--using a joke like this in the "middle east "peace" process"---totally inappropriate. funny from one Jew to another, but in this arena, forget it!
May 3, 2010 7:48 PM
Offensive/and worse the audience loved it
I found it offensive and anti semitic. It just continues to perpetuate the jew as a coniver.
May 3, 2010 7:44 PM
Old joke - still good, still funny. Foxman should spend his time on important things instead of nit-picking what some goy thinks is funny. I have told it many times to my many non-Jewish friends and they loved it and not once has anyone ever intimated that it was anti-semitic. Get a life, Foxman.
May 3, 2010 7:32 PM
i also fail to see what is so offensive about this joke - i think it's hilarious, annd so does my entire family! i think it shows what a smart and calm nation we are, especially as opposed to the taliban warrior who couldn't control his anger.
i hope the nations of the world don't think Jews can't handle a good joke!
May 3, 2010 6:53 PM
I've heard the joke before and when told by Jews to Jews, there's no hint of anti-semitism. I don't know who the audience was or its makeup but the negative comments made by the Arab when asked to purchase the tie makes you feel that he deserves the outcome which is to buy the tie.
May 3, 2010 6:33 PM
Its an old joke but still funny
It is impossible to tell a joke of any type to a group of people without offending someone. After more than half a century of telling jokes, relating humerous stories, drawing cartoons, distributing funny pictures and the like I have accepted the fact that there will always be at least one person who is offended, one person who thinks the joke is not funny, one person who just does not "get it", one person who will be rolling on the floor laughing and the rest smiling or laughing to some degree. Jokes elicit an emotional response from people. There really is very little rationality here. If a joke teller is afraid of offending someone he should keep his mouth shut and forget about telling funny stories. Period.
May 3, 2010 6:33 PM
I HAVE HEARD THE JOKE MORE THAN ONCE. IT IS NOT OFFENSIVE AND I THOUGHT THAT HE TOLD IT VERY WELL. WE JEWS ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE IF WE FIND OFFENSIVE THAT AND SIMILAR JOKES.
May 3, 2010 6:17 PM
Only a truly noble people can laugh at themselves and surely Jewish humor is the finest
May 3, 2010 5:18 PM
Not offensive in any way.
First of all, the assumpion the Jew in the story was trying to make a quick buck ("Jews are crafty" and "Jews love money") is NOT the message. I would say, in lieu of bashing the hell out of the Arab or calling him nasty names in return (stooping to his level), the Jew in the story evenly evens the scores/ 'gets revenge'/ 'gains the upper hand' in the situation in a smarter 'non-confrontational' way.
This is similar to Isaelis -- who instead of dropping a half-a ton bomb on the house of a Hamas leader (this may be an option, of coursell) during the Terror War (2000-2005) a saterical program on prime time made one of the leaders of Hamas with his signature red beard a laughing stock.
And speaking of using humor as a weapon - check out Chelm-on-the-Med Online newsite which presents the best nutty and nervy things Israelis are doing (www.chelom-on-the-med.com)
May 3, 2010 4:51 PM
He didn't tell it so well but it's quite funny :)
May 3, 2010 4:30 PM
What is the bid deal?
General Jones' point was that a clam, ratinal response to provocation is best, and so much more satisfying. I have heard this koje many times and fail to see why everyone got so upset. (Unless of course Abe Foxman wanted to make points with his base.)
May 3, 2010 4:24 PM
Jews can joke about Jews, and blacks can joke about blacks
but don't let another outsider do the same shtick about them, then they realize that they've been marginalized, trivialized, and held up to ridicule, that's the way of the world, one must respect oneself and ones religion and culture or allow for humor that is not in bad taste
May 3, 2010 4:11 PM
no offense meant
I think Gen. Jones' joke was meant to be an icebreaker. What should be of more concern is the hard line being taken by the Administration toward Israel. Hopefully they will come to their senses soon and build stronger ties to Israel.
May 3, 2010 3:56 PM
Why would that be offensive? It's ok for all other nationalities to slam Israel and her people, does she get upset? NO!
There is nothing wrong with good, harmless humor. Proverbs 17:22
May 3, 2010 3:49 PM
There was nothing offensive about this joke. I've heard it before and found it funny hearing it again.
May 3, 2010 3:46 PM
Loved the joke.
May 3, 2010 11:14 AM
Jewlarious had this joke
I know this joke, because it was on Jewlarious a while back. I've told it myself many times, and frankly, I find it very funny. I fail to see what is offensive about the joke. The only thing I could possibly find fault with would be the context in which it was told. I don't know what followed in the press conference, so I can't say that there was anything wrong there.
One thing that does need to be said, is that many people are crying wolf over anti-semitism, and it's causing trouble. If every joke or statement made is anti-semitism, and we can't distinguish between real hatred and some good old fashioned fun, then no one will take every take it seriously when we cry anti-semitism. I think everyone needs to relax and keep their anger for times when things are serious.
May 3, 2010 4:44 AM
I, for one, would consider myself foolish if I told certain stereotypical black jokes to an audience, even if I picked up those jokes from Sinbad.
May 3, 2010 3:38 AM
We are not dense
"I like it, I love it, I want some more of it" Thanks for more laughs. First time I heard this joke, what is there to be offended about? Nothing. See why people should listen to us? Would save them a lot of time and money if they did huh? When God When: will they take us seriously? When they stop being pinheads I suppose.
May 2, 2010 10:02 PM
Very funny. Good Jewish joke.
May 2, 2010 8:57 PM
He should be fired. Context is everything. African-Americans often use the "N-bomb" but, understandingly, it is a deep insult if used by whites.
May 2, 2010 5:52 PM
Jewish friends of mine have told me this joke G-d knows how many times. And each time I hear it, I laugh. Foxman should stick to do what he does best: stuff his pockets with money and play political games that get us nowhere. I wish I had the opportunity to tell the general directly that he offended no one, including me.
May 2, 2010 2:59 PM
What were to happen is if Gen. Jones were a Republican
Not only was his joke tasteless but it comes to show you that you can only be a Democrat to get away with that kind of humor. If he were working under the Bush administration, all hell would break loose in the mainstream media. He would be labeled as an Anti-Semite. I guess it takes a certain level of bigotry to acquire that status. I wonder what would happen if he were to crack jokes about minorities. He may not be tenacious enough to pull that one off but its all about the joooooooos.
May 2, 2010 11:11 AM
Joke was posted on Aish many years ago
The exact same joke has been posted many years ago on Jewlarious, far before Jones said it last week
here it is
May 2, 2010 10:48 AM
His joke of course is quite old, and while it's silly, and it was a poor introductory "joke" for the audience and the occasion, I for one am not in the least bit offended. One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Some people like Seinfeld's humor, others dislike Jackie Mason's humor - I like them both. However a groan maker that the "joke" was, for people to be so sensitive as to be "offended" (by the poorly timed and misplaced joke), is no laughing matter. With all due respect, perhaps Mr. Foxman need listen to Rabbi Salomon's video message this week. What should really be "offensive" to Mr. Foxman are the constant barrage of comments that Ahmadinejad (may his name be blotted out) makes. Now those are offensive comments.
May 2, 2010 9:59 AM
Not at all
Good bit of Jewish humor. Gen. Jones is awesome. I don't know what Foxman is thinking finding this insulting.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.
This Purim express your love for one another with delicious, life-enhancing cuisine.
Who will be awarded the Golden Hamentaschen? YOU decide!
Jewlarious is holding a competition to find the best Jewish joke and we want you to tell it.