Seth Rogen's Israel comments highlight fraught diaspora ties

Seth Rogen's Israel comments highlight fraught diaspora ties
Posted at 7:17 AM, Aug 07, 2020

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Two Jewish comedians riffing in a podcast about the idiosyncrasies of their shared heritage have sparked an uproar.

It started as a lighthearted conversation between Marc Maron and Seth Rogen but talk soon turned to Israel.

In his interview on the popular “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast on July 27, 2020, Rogen said amassing Jews in one country to keep them safe “doesn’t make sense.”

Their comments about Israel infuriated many Israel supporters and were interpreted as denying Israel’s right to exist. They highlight the country’s tenuous relationship with young, progressive Jewish critics in the diaspora.

Rogen says his comments were made in jest and have been misconstrued.

Israel has long enjoyed financial and political support from American Jews but it's faced a groundswell of opposition recently from young progressives disillusioned by Israel’s aggressive West Bank settlement building, its perceived exclusion of liberal streams of Judaism and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cozy relationship with President Donald Trump.