Sophia's Peace Work

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Khalili Joke

Al Khalil is the Palestinian name for Hebron, which is Arabic for “Friend.” The Palestinians refer to people who live in Hebron as Khalilis.

The following is a Khalili joke told to me by a local resident …

There was once a young Khalili named Ahmed and it was time for him to go to Kindergarten but there was no room in the local Arab school, so his parents sent him to the Jewish Kindergarten. But when he went to the Jewish Kindergarten, the teachers all said, “Ahmed! That is not a proper Jewish name! We’ll call you Avi instead.” And so everyday they called him Avi. Avi this and Avi that. And eventually it got to the point where he no longer answered to his real name, Ahmed, but only to his Jewish name, Avi.

His parents were very upset. “Ahmed!” they would call but he wouldn’t answer. Only when they called for Avi did he respond. One day, his parents were so upset that he wouldn’t respond to his name when they called that they got very angry with him. They started to beat him until he was black and blue.

The next day, when he went to his school, his teachers exclaimed, “Avi, Avi! What happened to you?”

“I don’t know!” he said, “Two strange Arabs attacked me!”

… Is there anyone out there that finds this funny?


  • in a sad black comic sort of way it is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 24, 2004 5:31 PM  

  • Note how it feeds into the Israeli prejudices about Arabs being violent and stupid, and how it endows the newly Jewified child with the "cleverness" and "chutzpah" generally ascribed to Jews.

    The practice of changing people's names in order to make them fit into the Israeli environment is an important one, in Israel. For a while, every officer in the army had to Hebraicize his family name. This gave the Hebrew names status-value. Social pressure and ridicule of non-Hebrew names does the job for first names.

    Keeping in mind that Israel is a culture of immigrants, where more than one third of the non-Palestinian population was born outside of Israel and immigrated there (with foreign-sounding names), you can kind of imagine some huge identity crisis going on.

    (My "more than one third" figure is a guesstimate, based on the fact that 4.2 million of the residents of Israeli are Jewish and that the emigration from the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 1999 included about one million people.)

    By Blogger Shunra, at August 24, 2004 8:27 PM  

  • Drop on by and browse through a huge archive of golf joke

    This is one of the many jokes i found amongst the many joke categorys:
    A man walks into his favorite bar and saw a bum panhandeling. The bum asked if the man could spare a dollar. The man replied "If I give you money are you going to use it to buy liquor?" The bum said he would not, so the man asked "If I give you money are you going to use it for gambling?" Again the bum said he would not, so the man asked "Would you come home with me so I can show my wife what happenes to someone who doesnt gamble or drink?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 03, 2005 10:35 PM  

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