Another Tack: Diabolical Jewish Bikes

But the Jew on the train objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”

But the Jew on the train objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”

With so much going on, it was no wonder that the reaction by Hebronites to a Gazan rocket that crashed in their midst went right under our radar. We had way bigger concerns and still do but the incident is nevertheless instructive – very much so. It can actually account for why no peace is possible. It  firmly confirms that our logic and that of our neighbors operate on different wavelengths – an underlying and enduring fact of life that makes a meeting of the minds highly unlikely.

But to put the overlooked Hebron episode into context it might be best to start off with Alter Druyanov.

His name, alas, means absolutely nothing to the vast majority of Israelis today. Sic transit Gloria mundi. The output of this literary mover and shaker in newborn Tel Aviv is familiar only to nostalgia buffs and compulsive hoarders of esoterica. But in Druyanov’s anthology of Jewish jokes hides an unassuming little tale that is still sadly all-too-relevant to our scene.

Adhering to yesteryear’s time-tried format, a Jew rides the train and sharing the same compartment is a non-Jew – a Russian in some versions and a German in others.  The non-Jewish traveler cogitates out loud that “all the wars, bloodshed, wretchedness and ill-will on earth are caused by Jews.” But the Jew across from him objects: “It’s all the fault of bicycles.”

“Bicycles?” thunders the bewildered Russian/German, “Why? How come bicycles?”

In calm, measured tones his interlocutor inquires: “How come Jews?” Continue reading