Hat tip to Sol Salbe for finding this wonderful joke in Yossi Verter’s current Haaretz column. To understand, you have to know that Shimon Peres is running yet again to be president of Israel. Peres, beloved of many of the world’s power-brokers and elites, is seen more ambivalently within Israel. In fact, he’s lost all the elections he’s ever run in for prime minister or president:
So Shimon Peres comes out of a visit with the King of Thailand, according to the joke, and he goes to the local market and buys some elegant fabric. He takes it to a Thai tailor and asks him to make him a suit from it. The tailor looks at the fabric and says to him: I’m sorry – It’s only enough for a pair of pants, if that.
The next day he flies to London. He takes the fabric from Thailand to a top tailor. It’s enough for a sleeve at most, the tailor tells him.
That evening he’s in Paris and goes to see another tailor. Maybe I’ll be able to sew you a sock, the tailor says. Disappointed, Peres returns to Israel. On his way to party headquarters, he stops by his usual tailor on Lilienblum Street. Can you do something with this fabric, Peres asks. I’ll make you two suits, says the tailor. And an extra pair of pants.
Stupefied, Peres asks: How is it that abroad the fabric is hardly enough for anything while here you can sew me half a wardrobe out of it? That’s easy, replies the tailor, laughing. Abroad, you’re a giant.
I was thinking of titling this post: Shimon Peres, Legend in His Own Mind. That’s how little I think of him in his current political incarnation as a sad-sack Labor castoff (self-castoff I should say). Here’s hoping against hope that Colette Avital is Israel’s next president.