One of the things am rather interested while in Palestine is to check for links and possible seeming similarities that cross the sectarian divides.
An element that pops up during this visit is people saying stuff, me not laughing, and them saying “its supposed to be a joke”.
I can not tell a joke to save my life, hence am trying to learn and yet to feel confident enough inflicting my learning(?) on other people.
In my mind, the fact am not entirel;y able to tell a joke is linked to cenrtain brutilised past. Hence when people around me seem needing to underline a jokey intent, am taking that as a link to some sort of communal brutalisation.
This is not a lack of sense of humour, but an in ability to share that sense without being slightly forcefull about it. That forcefulness which comes in “its supposed to be a joke”, and the fact that the supposed jokes go along lines of “hey, look at that person failings”, or stuff such as “you know how these people [insert some prejudice thinking here] are such and such..?” These might intend to be humorous, but all too often just aren’t.
Therefore, my experience is of people in palestine telling me “its supposed to be a joke”. Perhaps that line should be a unifying name for the place?