This week, pro-Israel activists lashed out at the Claims Conference for choosing actor-comedian Seth Rogen as the featured performer at its star-studded virtual Hanukkah celebration honoring Holocaust survivors.
Some have claimed that the Jewish Canadian-public American’s comments delegitimize Israel’s existence.
Short statements by Holocaust survivors from 15 different nations, including those recently resettled from Ukraine, were part of the event last week, which is still accessible for viewing by the general public online.
Jewish community leaders, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and famous people, including Henry Winkler, Barbra Streisand, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Jason Alexander, Tovah Feldshuh, and Rogen, all paid respect to the survivors.
Not everybody was happy.
Setting Rogen? Really? ” remarked former Democratic New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “With friends like Seth Rogen, who needs enemies? ”
Rogen has faced backlash over comments he made on a podcast in July 2020, just before the debut of his then-recent film, “An American Pickle.”
Rogen replied “No” when asked if he would ever move to Israel by podcast host and fellow comic Marc Maron, citing security reasons as his following statement.
Rogen continued, “Don’t understand, to me, it just seemed like an antiquated thought process, like if [Israel] is for religious reasons, I don’t agree with it because I think religion is silly.”
It makes no sense to retain what you’re trying to maintain in one area, especially when that place has shown to be…pretty volatile, he continued, “if it is for legitimately the preservation of the Jewish people.”
They never tell you, “Oh, by the way, there were people there,” making it sound like it was sitting there with the f***ing door open, continued Rogen.
“And I also think that as a Jewish person, I was given a massive amount of bullshit about Israel my entire life.”
Rogen has claimed that his comments were taken out of context and were part of a funny dialogue.
Rogen’s parents first met at Kibbutz Beit Alfa in Galilee.
According to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who was then the chairman of the Jewish Agency, who wrote about a meeting he had with Rogen on the subject, he also said he was unaware anti-Israel forces were utilizing his words and that he is worried about antisemitism.
According to Herzog, Rogen said he was joking and that the jokes were misinterpreted before apologizing for the comments.
Afterward, Rogen seemed to reject Herzog’s account of events and denied remorse for his comments on the show.
Hikind thinks that the issue with Rogen’s participation in the Claims Conference event is that he has reinforced misleading narratives about Israel at a time of rising antisemitism and escalating efforts by Israel’s foes to propagate false reports about the Jewish state and to isolate Israel.
Hikind stated, “He said it was taken out of context, but I listened to the whole [podcast].” “It is awful. It is… supporting falsehoods spread by Israel’s foes. Do we, therefore, need to respect him? to identify him? Take him to Jewish gatherings? Why? It is a sad reflection of ourselves.