"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."