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Tuesday, September 09, 2003

James Bennet (NYTimes) relays a joke from the terrortories

"Arafat's Choice Sets Conditions for Acceptance"

Note: Because Bennet's habit of referring to terrorists as "Mr. Arafat" and "Mr. Abbas" annoys me no end, I have taken the liberty of editing out all those Mr.'s -- so as not to raise anyone's blood pressure, my own included.
There is a pointed joke making the rounds of Palestinian politicians here. Arafat is riding in a car with Abbas, when he spots an obstacle. "Abu Mazen, there's a tree in the road!" Arafat cries. But the car continues on its way. Arafat's warnings grow more frantic.

Finally, the car hits the tree, and as the two Palestinian leaders stumble from the wreckage, battered and bruised, Arafat turns to Abbas and says, "Abu Mazen, I told you there was a tree."

Abbas replies, miserably, "But you were driving."
According to Bennet, there's another joke circulating among Israelis:
With Israel assigning blame for the collapse of peace talks to Arafat, some Israeli ministers have renewed calls to deport him.

Many Israelis have recently speculated that Israel will take that step, which the Bush administration has so far resisted, if there is another devastating suicide bombing. That speculation has given rise to a dark joke on the Israeli side: that after any subsequent suicide bombing, in order to punish Mr. Arafat, Israel will have to bring him back.
About as funny as that road map joke, eh?