Seth Rogen appeared on Marc Maron’s podcast and during an hour-long conversation questioned why Israel exists.
Seth has since said that he was joking, but comments like this show the need for more education about Israel as the ancestral home of the Jewish people, unrivaled center of diverse Jewish life and culture, and a safe haven for so many Jews facing oppression and violence. Jews from Africa, Arab countries and from Eastern Europe as well as many other places, have returned home to Israel to live a vibrant Jewish life safe from antisemitic persecution.
Rogen’s new movie is a comedy about a Jewish immigrant in 1919. If, at the time the movie is set, Israel had regained independence, rather than in 1948, millions of Jews who were murdered in the following decades, would likely have survived.
Nearly half of the world’s Jews live in Israel. That means Israel is a thriving, self-reliant, successful Jewish society. It is not an experiment. Unfortunately we have already seen Rogen's words used by hate groups to promote dehumanizing propaganda against Israel and its people.
While Rogen is and should be free to make jokes without censorship, that also means being accountable for the consequences of his words. Unfortunately, the harm caused by those exploiting his words for political gain is no joking matter.
We encourage Seth to learn more and to use his platform to teach others about the unquestionable necessity and justice of Israel's existence as a thriving Jewish and democratic state.