On Tuesday, the Canadian Jewish comic actor Seth Rogen, appearing on the comedian Marc Maron’s popular podcast, opined that the existence of a Jewish state “makes no sense,” and launched into a series of complaints about Israel and his own Jewish education. David Harsanyi observes:
Israel is the only country about which politicians, intellectuals, journalists, and even actors feel the need to give an opinion on whether it should exist or not. You will never hear a guest on a comedian’s podcast inform the audience that he objects to the existence of, say, Pakistan, a nation formed one year before Israel. You won’t even hear an actor grouse about how Pakistanis engaged in the systematic genocidal murder and rape of hundreds of thousands of Bengalis who were “already there,” [as Rogen said of Palestinian Arabs], or how the Islamic dictatorship that runs the country now maltreats its minorities and women.
Among contemporary progressives, this kind of opprobrium is almost exclusively reserved for the tiny liberal Jewish state.
For Rogen, some unkind words are the worst kind of Jew-hatred he’ll ever encounter. Not everyone has been so lucky. Israel was the haven not only for those who escaped [pogroms in Eastern Europe] or the Holocaust, but for African Jews who were rescued from the Communist-generated famines of Ethiopia; for hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern Jews who, after centuries, were forced to flee the Islamic world after 1948; and for largely secular Soviet Jews in the 1970s and 1980s, who had often been imprisoned for speaking their minds. At one time or another, Jews had been abandoned and denied basic rights of citizenship by virtually every nation that ruled over them.
[But] Rogen and Maron spend the entire podcast discussing Jewish culture in North America as if everyone can enjoy this luxury.
To the fate of the 7 million Jews living in Israel, Rogen is indifferent.