The ADL Gets Gen. Jones to Apologize for Telling a Funny Joke

Jake Tapper relays this apology from a chastened Jim Jones:

"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."

This story represents yet another proof that Washington is a city completely devoid of humor; also, that the Anti-Defamation League should pick its fights more carefully. The news in the speech is that the Obama Administration is trying to repair the perception that it is distancing itself from Israel. That is the important thing. Gen. Jones was obviously so comfortable among Jews, and so comfortable with his pro-Israel message, that he decided to tell a classic Jewish joke, one, by the way, that isn't actually about Jewish greed, but about a sub-type of Jewish seykhel that had as its victim a member of the Taliban, to boot!

UPDATE: This is a statement from Robert Satloff, who hosted Gen. Jones at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy event at which Jokegate took place:

"We were extremely honored to host General Jones at our 25th Anniversary Gala. He delivered a thoughtful, substantive and  important statement of Administration policy, appropriate for the occasion. Indeed, I believe serious journalists have not yet adequately assessed the implications of his comments on issues ranging from the National Security Strategy to the Iran nuclear challenge to the Middle East peace process.  From his opening words to his closing words, we were proud and privileged to host this newsworthy event."
Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

From This Author

Just In