The joke scored a two-fer for Jones. First, he told a joke that relies on the kinds of long-time Jewish stereotypes associated with anti-Semitism from the expulsion of Jews from England to the Inquisition to the Holocaust. At the same time, he was telling the joke to a largely Jewish audience where a lot of people were guaranteed to be offended.
One person who attended the gathering noted the intense stupidity of Jones' story, "can you imagine him telling a black joke at an event of African Americans?" So what was the joke. Here's an account from Jake Tapper of ABC News.
Yeah, "Ba-dum-bum." That was hilarious. Personally, I've hated these kinds of jokes since I started college. Here, I'm an equal opportunity hater. I hate black jokes, Jewish jokes, Polish jokes, Italian jokes, and hillbilly jokes.
Jones tells the joke “in order to set the stage for my remarks,” and then proceeds to tell the story of a “member of the Taliban separated from his fighting party.” The Taliban member stumbles upon a shack, which it turns out is a "little store owned by a Jewish merchant.'
“I need water,” the Taliban fighter says to the merchant. “Get me some water.”
“I'm sorry I don’t have any water but would you like to buy a tie?” the merchant says. “We have a nice sale of ties today.”
The Taliban warrior goes on a tirade against the merchant, against Jews, about Israel. “I need water you try to sell me ties, you people don’t get it.”
"Well I'm sorry I don’t have water for you,” the merchant says, “I forgive you for all of the insults you’ve levied against me, my family, my country...But I will help you out."
The merchant steers the Taliban towards a restaurant two miles away.
“They have all the water you'll need,” the merchant says.
The Taliban fighter walks towards the restaurant, then returns about an hour later.
"Your brother tells me I need a tie to get in the restaurant,” he says.
I hate it when I hear jokes about "hicks" as well.
It's all ugly. It's all crap. I'm rather proud that I've never remembered one of these jokes long enough to repeat it.
So what's Gen. James Jones have to say about it.
“I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it. It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct.”My wish is that Gen. Jones hadn't known the joke in the first place.