Jewish Actor Seth Rogen Asserts Existence of Israel ‘Makes No Sense’
Canadian Jewish actor and comedian Seth Rogen is receiving backlash for comments he made about Israel on Monday while appearing as a guest on the podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.”
Macron, an American Jewish stand-up comedian, began the hour-long episode warning listeners “If you don’t like Jews, you’re going to get triggered. If you’re antisemitic, it’s definitely going to trigger you.”
He then issued a second warning right before the conversation turned to Israel, saying, “We’re gonna piss off a bunch of Jews.”
Rogen, who was on the show to discuss his upcoming film “An American Pickle,” claimed during the episode that he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” and questioned why the country should exist at all.
The actor, whose parents met on a kibbutz in Israel, explained:
To me it just seems an antiquated thought process. If it is for religious reasons, I don’t agree with it, because I think religion is silly. If it is for truly the preservation of Jewish people, it makes no sense, because again, you don’t keep something you’re trying to preserve all in one place — especially when that place is proven to be pretty volatile, you know? “I’m trying to keep all these things safe, I’m gonna put them in my blender and hope that that’s the best place… that’ll do it.” It doesn’t make sense to me. And I also think that as a Jewish person I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life! They never tell you that — oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the f–king door’s open! They forget to include the fact to every young Jewish person, basically.
Maron agreed, saying, “I get frightened to talk about it.”
Rogen jokingly added, “I’m afraid of Jews! I’m 100 percent afraid of Jews.”
After the podcast aired Rogen responded to some of the criticism he received for his remarks about Israel, saying that his comments were not intended to be taken seriously. He tweeted to one critic, “For a Jewish person, you really can’t take a joke.”
However, Twitter users were not convinced. One responded to Rogen saying, “congrats you just became the poster child for every talking head who thinks we don’t actually have the right to exist. Heartbreaking.”
Another person posted, “when our very existence as a Jewish state is attacked regularly, it’s very hard to see the humor in a Jewish celebrity adding to the chorus. Perhaps you’re not aware of this? Of the propoganda [sic], accusations of genocide & ethnic cleansing? No, not a joke to us at all.”
Maron called his conversation with Rogen “the most Jewy talk” he had ever had on his podcast. During their talk, Rogen also opened up about his Jewish heritage, his experience at Jewish summer camp, dating and marrying Jews and the Jewish practice of shiva.
On antisemitism, Rogen commented:
I remember my dad frankly telling me “People hate Jews. Just be aware of that. They just do.” And it’s honestly something that I am so glad was instilled in me from a young age, because if it wasn’t, I would constantly be shocked at how much motherf—ers hate Jews, because they do! It is pervasive and it is prevalent and it is to many Jewish people so confounding that they don’t assume it’s true…I’ve tried to put a lot of thought into why it’s happened … People obviously hate people who do not look like them. … I think people also have a weird fear of people who look like them but do not believe the same thing they do fundamentally.