The present article focuses on David Levi jokes—an Israeli joke cycle—as a catalyzing agent in the evolution of Israeli identity. Although the manifest referent in the jokes is a concrete political and ethnic figure, the article argues that the actual referent is the whole of Israeli society. The cumulative effect of composing, hearing, recalling and especially repeating these elements, all in a spirit of self-mockery, enables mediation of national ambivalences and vulnerabilities. Through these jokes, an Israeli Levantine identity is internalized as teller and listener “try on” aspects of the Levantine national self through imagery, language, and gesticulation. Characteristic of these jokes are riddles conveyed through a meta-linguistic device. The joke-telling event is thus in effect a mimetic model of the interaction between the linguistic and the social, which enacts certain relationships pertaining to belonging and identity; as such, it is a unique prism for exploring the cultural matrix within which the construction of identity is carried out.