General James Jones, Obama’s National Security Adviser, has apologized for a reportedly ad libbed joke he made in the beginning of his key note speech at a Washington Institute For Near East Policy.

The joke (video embedded below the fold) seemed to paint Jews as greedy merchants and, though it got some laughs, some of the Jewish community didn’t find it funny, according to an ABC Jack Tapper report.

Tapper spoke with Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, who called the joke “inappropriate.”

“It’s stereotypic,” Foxman said. “Some people believe they need to start a speech with a joke; this was about the worst kind of joke the head of the National Security Council could have told.”

As Yid with Lid reported, many of the attendees of The Washington Institute dinner are Jewish and “the Jewish community is very nervous about the recent anti-Israel leanings of the Obama administration.”

Yid also reported that Jones has a long way in convincing the Jewish community he is a friend to Israel due to his actions thus far.

“As the National Security Adviser, General James Jones is not known as a friend of the Jewish State. It was Jones who put together the team of Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski to meet with the President and advise him to impose a solution on Israel.”

Some of those Jewish attendees reported to the Jewish Daily Forward that they, also, found the joke inappropriate, insensitive and asked: “Can you imagine him telling a black joke at an event of African Americans?”

Here is the transcript of the joke:

A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”

The White House posted a transcript of the speech that omitted the joke, a move White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said was not meant to be deceptive but to issue the transcript of the speech as it had been prepared, not as it had been delivered.

The reaction to the joke has been enough for General James Jones, Obama’s National Security Adviser, to issue an apology:

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.

Yid with Lid has more on the reaction.

Below is the video of General James Jones opening Jewish joke.