Seth Rogen denies apologising over Israel remarks, saying Jewish Agency 'misrepresented' his words

Seth Rogen denies apologising over Israel remarks, saying Jewish Agency 'misrepresented' his words
The Canadian comic actor said his mother made him call the head of the Jewish Agency to discuss his Israel remarks.
2 min read
04 August, 2020
Seth Rogen said had been 'fed lies' about Israel all his life [Getty]
Canadian actor Seth Rogen has distanced himself from an apparent apology he made after his recent controversial remarks on Israel, according to Israeli media reports.

The Jewish comedian recently sparked a backlash among supporters of Israel after saying that he was "fed lies" about the Jewish state growing up, saying that he does not agree with its creation as a religious need.

Over the weekend it was reported that Rogen had apologised in a conversation with Jewish Agency chairman, Isaac Herzog.

Herzog said that "many Israelis and Jews around the world were personally hurt by his statement, which implies the denial of Israel's right to exist".

"Rogen told me that this is not at all what he meant and explained his words were meant as a joke, taken from a critical, humorous exchange with a fellow Jewish comedian," the Jewish Agency chair added.

"He was misunderstood and apologised for that and I accepted his explanation."

Rogen has since denied Herzog's claims.

"I did not apologise for what I said. I offered clarity. And I think [Isaac Herzog] is misrepresenting our conversation," Rogen told Israeli daily Haaretz in an interview published on Monday.

Speaking to Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein over Twitter, Rogen also claimed that he was compelled by his mother to reach out to Herzog.

In a screencaptured conversation between the two shared on social media, Rogen told Zonszein to "read what I actually said about all this and not these secondhand telling".

Rogen's original remarks were made in an interview with Marc Maron on an episode of his WTF podcast. The comic said he had been "fed a huge amount of lies about Israel" all his life, and that he was never told about Palestinians being present on the land before the country's formation in 1948.

"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*cking door’s open," Rogen said.

In the interview, he also touched upon the issue of anti-Semitism and how it had impacted on his upbringing.

"I remember my dad frankly telling me, 'people hate Jews. Just be aware of that. They just do.' And it's honestly something that I am so glad was instilled in me from a young age, because if it wasn't, I would constantly be shocked at how much motherf***ers hate Jews, because they do!" he said.

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