On second thought, why did the audience laugh? - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Christopher Rushlau
    • 26.04.10 | 19:14 (IDT)

    And applaud? The comments so far, thirty one of them, seem to resemble that response--half the room seems to have clapped and laughed, or more. Let me suggest a reason. The canard of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"--implicating a secret, power-manipulating cabal (!) sacrificing babies--never had any historical manifestation until Israel, and this manifestation never took root in the US until, say, after the '67 war (by Finkelstein's calculation time-wise). So historical-minded US Jews would be sensitive on the joke's central accusation: that a Jew will not show mercy to (justice toward) a suffering passerby, who indeed was perhaps thrown off the land--or his father or grandmother was--by the entrepreneurs or their forebears. The joke accomplished what was needed, perhaps: an examination of "Jewish values"--to the extent this is a public issue--and US explicit support for the "Jewish state" marks the extent. But why laugh? Embarrassment? Self-deprecating admiration? Fear?

    from the article: James Jones' Jewish joke - funny or inappropriate?
    First published 17:34 25.04.10 | Last updated 17:52 25.04.10
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