The Best Late-Night TV Jokes About the Middle East

Middle Eastern Crisis and Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Humor

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Stephen Colbert

"A ceasefire went into effect between Israel and Hezbollah. Total disaster. We are no longer on the road to World War III. Jesus was half way here. Now he has turn his cloud of glory and go back to heaven -- and it does not get good mileage. Here's the worst part. Guess who brokered this peace in the Middle East? The U.S. and the French working through the UN. The only non-offensive word in that sentence is 'through.'"

"We're still on the road to World War III. Things were looking a little grim last week -- all those countries pressuring us to call for an immediate cease-fire, but we stayed strong. Sure, we sent over Condi Rice to negotiate, but she's not there for cease-fire. No, she's there for 'sustainable cease-fire,' which considering the Middle East, is like sending her to bring back Jimmy Hoffa on a unicorn."

John Stewart

"Lebanon. Our president, President Bush, has rejected calls for an immediate cease-fire on the grounds that he'd prefer a 'sustainable cease-fire.' It makes sense. He doesn't want the killing to stop until he's sure it will stop. So, there will be more killing until the president's convinced that there will be no more killing. Or everyone else runs out of people."

"Inspiring developments -- Democracy is on the march in the Middle East. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians hit the polls for the first time of parliamentary elections in ten years. Which democratically elected party walked away victorious? Oh, it's Hamas! Yes, Hamas the militant Islamic group that is very anti-American and calls for the destruction of Israel, and wants a theocracy in Palestine. Though, on the plus side, they have returned all the money given to them by Jack Abramoff."

"Another day in the Middle East. Obviously the cease-fire fell through, talks fell apart, they lasted about two hours. Even the O.J. jury managed to meet longer than that."

"After nearly two weeks of violence and mounting casualties on both sides, help is on the way. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finally cashed in her miles today and sprung for a surprise visit to Beirut's 'Oh my God, don't let them shoot down my plane with a Stinger missile' International Airport. ... But as some see mayhem and chaos in the violence, Rice sees chaos and makes 'mayhemade' [on screen: Rice saying, 'What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing birth pangs of a new Middle East']. Birth pangs? Yes, I believe today's contraction took out a city block."

"The biggest surprise of the election(Israeli): it was the lowest voter turnout ever. A dismal 63.2%. That's the lowest turn-out they've ever had. You know we shouldn't be bringing democracy to the Middle East, they should be bringing it to us"

Jay Leno

"Doctors in Israel are now slowly drawing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon out of his coma to see what his remaining brain function is. Political experts say it is unlikely someone could run a country with a severe loss of brain activity. I beg to differ."

"Yasser Arafat is sleeping on the floor in his office with his closest aides. He is the first leader to do that since Clinton."

"Egypt now says they will no longer recognize Israel. Well of course they don't recognize Israel, people keep blowing it up."

"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has cancelled his visit to the United States to meet with President Bush. You see that's when you know that the situation in the Middle East is bad, when the Israelis are worried that being seen with us will hurt their situation with the Arabs."

"Yasser Arafat died last night. And this time it looks pretty permanent. How many times did he die this week? Like five? Six? He was turning into Kenny on 'South Park.'"

"Yasser Arafat died earlier this week in Paris. And in lieu of flowers the Arafat family asked that everyone just throw rocks."

"In an interview, Yasser Arafat's wife, this hypocrite, she lives in Paris by the way. She said she would gladly sacrifice her son for the Palestinian cause if she had one. She also said she would gladly become a suicide bomber herself, except she's allergic to dynamite. 'If it wasn't for that, I would gladly do it instead of shopping here in Paris.'"

"The Democrats said today that if they were in power they could get Israel to pull out of Palestine. Oh shut up. They couldn't even get Bill to pull out of Monica."

"After weeks of pleading from the United States, on Saturday Yasser Arafat finally condemned violence and terrorism in the Middle East. Nothing like a tank coming through your front door to make you change your mind."

"Colin Powell's (Middle East) mission was somewhat a success. He came back alive."

"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has regained some brain function. The bad news: Pat Robertson, still no brain function at all. You know about this -- last week Pat Robertson said Ariel Sharon had a stroke because God was punishing him for dividing Israel. You remember a couple of years ago Pat Robertson announced he had prostate cancer? You think God was punishing him for being a pain in the ass?"

"Doctors say that Ariel Sharon is emerging from his coma and can move his hand. The first thing he did was give Pat Robertson the finger."

"Positive news from President Bush: Both sides of the Middle East are signing off on his road map to peace. The bad news is the Israelis think the road goes through the West Bank, Palestinians think it goes right through downtown Jerusalem."

"More rockets were fired into Israel today. Israel responded by bombing more targets inside Lebanon. Now there's talk the U.S. might send some troops over there to help with border security. That's when you know the people over there are in trouble, when they start asking our advice on border security."

"Madonna is looking to buy a home in Israel, and today the PLO told Israel 'Okay, you can have the land back.'"

"Tough times in Israel. The settlers didn't want to leave because they feel that the land was given to them by God. It's the same way that Republicans feel about the White House."

"There's now a 48-hour cease-fire going on in the Middle East. Israel will stop attacking Hezbollah, but Hezbollah will not necessarily agree to stop attacking Israel. Hey, we can't even get Mel Gibson to stop attacking Israel."

"Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrived in Washington to meet with President Bush. He's talking with President Bush about the Israeli-Palestinian border and believe me, if there's anyone you want border advice from, it's President Bush."

"Bush is now urging all nations to cut off aid to Hamas and Palestine, including the $234 million we were going to send them. In fact, to make sure, Bush is putting FEMA in charge to make sure the money never gets there."

"In Palestine, Hamas won by a landslide, huge, huge margin. How does this make Democrats feel? They can't win anything and terrorists are winning in a landslide."

"President Bush is in the Middle East this week to promote his Middle East peace plan. I don't think Bush quite gets it. Like today he said, 'Everything would work out in the Middle East if the Palestinians and the Israelis would just start acting like good Christians.'"

"An Israeli man's life was saved when he was given a Palestinian man's heart in a heart transplant operation. The guy is doing fine, but the bad news is, he can't stop throwing rocks at himself."

Conan O'Brien

"The Middle East crisis continues right now. Everyone's trying to leave the area. Americans stuck in Lebanon say they're frustrated because other countries seem to be evacuating their citizens faster. On the bright side, we're almost finished evacuating New Orleans."

"President Bush is working very hard on the Mideast problem. According to a White House aide, President Bush's speech this week on the Middle East conflict went through seventeen different drafts. Which is actually good because the first draft started out 'Dear Bad Guys.'"

"Secretary of State Colin Powell turned down an offer from former president Jimmy Carter to get involved in the Mideast peace process. However, he did ask Carter to build a shed in his back yard."

"A lot of trouble in the Middle East right now between Lebanon and Israel... Last night Israel bombed the runways at Beirut's airport, putting a stop on all flights in and out. So I'm sorry everybody, you're just gonna have to cancel that relaxing weekend getaway to Beirut."

"This morning the Vatican weighed in on the crisis. The Vatican came out and condemned Israel's attacks on Lebanon ... which is great, because all day yesterday, the Jews and Muslims were asking, 'What do the Catholics think?'"

"Of course, world leaders are getting involved in the crisis right now. Earlier today Germany's chancellor called for the attacks on Israel to stop. After hearing about it, a spokesperson for Israel said, 'You know things are bad when Germany's got your back'."

"At a joint press conference with President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a 'de-escalation of Mid-East violence.' Later, Bush called for both sides to 'de-angrify' and 'de-hurt' each other."

"Big news in the Middle East. Yesterday the Israeli government began moving thousands of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip. This is huge. And officials say once the area is cleared of all Jews the area will be renamed Utah."

"Israel began evacuating thousands of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and as a result, the Jewish settlers will be forced to return to their traditional home: Miami Beach."

Bill Maher

"It's very sad(Israeli pullout from Gaza). They tried everything to get these people to leave. They tried water cannons. They tried special forces. They tried wire cutters, and finally, as a last resort, they had a black family move in next door, and they just (got) right out of there."

David Letterman

"Yasser Arafat is now dead. Damn, just when the peace process was going so well."

"According to Palestinian sources Yasser Arafat is dead but improving."

"I thought this was kind of a breakthrough. Yasser Arafat says he likes George Bush's idea of a brand new Palestinian election, as long as they count the ballots in Florida."

"Yesterday, Yasser Arafat was finally able to leave his compound. And what an emotional scene — on the way out high-fiving all those suicide bombers."

Tina Fey

"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived in Washington Sunday night to give President Bush a 91-page book proving that Yasser Arafat funded terrorists. White House sources say that President Bush has the book and is almost done coloring it."

"Earlier today, for the first time, Yasser Arafat issued a statement in Arabic condemning terrorism. U.S. officials say the statement is a step in the right direction except for the last line which translates into 'wink, wink.'"