Actor and filmmaker Seth Rogen has walked back his recent comments on the State of Israel, Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog said Sunday.
Speaking with Channel 12, Herzog said he spoke with Rogen over the weekend via Zoom, days after Rogen sparked a firestorm of controversy with comments on a recent podcast.
Last week, Rogen came under fire after he appeared on an episode of Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, during which Rogen said he had been “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” his entire life, and seemed to question the very reasoning for the state’s existence.
“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***ing door’s open!…They forget to include the fact to every young Jewish person.”
Days later, Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog reached out to Rogen, and the two had a conversation over Zoom, Herzog told Israel’s Channel 12 on Sunday.
While the conversation was not recorded, at Rogen’s behest, Herzog said, the Jewish Agency chief claimed that the actor had apologized for his comments, adding that he did not mean to deny Israel’s right to exist.
Herzog told Rogen that his comments were being touted by anti-Israel elements, to which Rogen said that the podcast and his discussion with Maron had been satirical.
“Seth Rogen apologized and said: ‘Listen, I never meant to deny Israel’s right to exist, you know, I had a conversation that was entirely satirical’,” Herzog told Channel 12.
“I was happy that he clarified not only his love for Israel, but also that he is determined to fight anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel. You can go back to watching his movies, he’s not an enemy of the Jewish people anymore.”