Growing up in Vancouver, Seth Rogen learned a lot about Israel. His parents, after all, met on a Kibbutz.
Now he realizes much of what he was told about Israel, especially when it came to the Palestinians, was a pack of lies.
The Canadian-US actor, who attended Jewish camp and whose parents met on a kibbutz in Israel, said the fact that the Jewish state was created on land where Palestinians were living had always been omitted.
“[As] a Jewish person I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life,” Rogen told the comedian and actor Marc Maron in an episode of Maron’s WTF podcast.
“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 fucking door’s open.”
Asked if he would ever go to live in Israel, Rogen said no. Maron replied: “I’m the same way, and we’re gonna piss off a bunch of Jews.”
Lahav Harkov, a senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, criticised Rogen’s comments on Twitter, saying they were “made from a position of really, really great privilege – and ignorance - if he can’t understand why Israel makes sense to millions of Jews around the world”.
Among Zionists, there is anxiety that North American Jews, who could possibly outnumber Israeli Jews, are becoming less supportive of the Jewish state, even as surveys often show the opposite.
The debate has frequently reignited after high-profile figures, often Jewish, express views that are highly critical of Israel.
Most recently, Peter Beinart, a prominent Jewish American political commentator, was both derided and lauded for commentaries in which he questioned whether he could remain both a liberal and also support the Jewish state while millions of Palestinians continued to be denied basic rights.