Seth Rogen Says He Was Fed ‘A Huge Amount of Lies’ About Israel His Entire Life

Seth Rogen is known for speaking his mind, and he’s always been very open about the inspiration he gets from his Jewish faith and culture. And in a recent interview with comedian Marc Maron, the actor and producer talked about growing up in the faith, and he suggested he was fed a “huge amount” of lies about Israel his entire life. 

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Seth Rogen embraces his faith and culture

Whether it’s through his projects or characters, Rogen is often inspired to use his Jewish experiences as inspiration. In a 2019 interview with The New York Jewish Week, the comedian talked about his social justice work for Jewish organizations, but admitted that he isn’t particularly religious. 

“It’s not something I ever really shied away from, it’s something that’s always been just a very big part of my life, although I’m not an observant person or a particularly religious person,” he said. “One of the great things about being Jewish is you can not believe in any Judaism and you are still a Jewish person. The first jokes I ever wrote were about it, it was a very inherent part of who I was.”

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In his upcoming film, Rogen plays a 1920’s immigrant

Rogen’s new movie, An American Pickle — which is based on author Simon Rich’s 2013 New Yorker novella —  tells the story of Herschel and Ben Greenbaum (Seth Rogen plays both roles). Herschel is a labor worker who immigrated to the United States in 1920, and Ben is his grandson who now works as a computer programmer.  When talking to The New York Jewish Week, Rogen said that he was drawn to the film because its story was similar to that of his grandparents. 

“The opening essentially follows the journey that my grandparents’ families took and that most Jewish families took,” Rogen explained. “It starts in Eastern Europe and the ‘Old Country’ and the Cossacks trying to kill all the Jews and the Jews having to flee and immigrate to America. It was an interesting reminder to me that the reason that I’m here, and that pretty much every Jewish person I know is in North America, is because people were trying to wipe us off the planet in our home country of Ukraine or Poland or Eastern Europe and I do think that’s something that most Jews don’t think about that often; ‘Oh we’re here because everyone was trying to kill us.'”

Seth Rogen says he was fed lies about Israel his entire life

In a chat with Marc Maron for his WTF podcast, Rogen opened up about his experiences growing up in a Jewish family and attending Jewish schools. Then, when talking about Israel, Rogen suggested that he was fed misinformation about the creation of the country his whole life. 

“I also think that as a Jewish person, like I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life,” Rogen told Maron. “You know, they never tell you, that oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was — just sitting there, ‘oh the f**king door’s open.'”

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“Literally they forget to include the fact to every young Jewish person, basically, oh yeah, there were people living there,” he added. “I don’t understand it at all. I think for Jewish people especially who view themselves as progressive and who view themselves as analytical and who view themselves as people who ask a lot of questions and who really challenge the status quo — Like, What are we doing?”

Rogen and Marons’s entire conversation can be heard on the WTF with Marc Maron Podcast website. An American Pickle premieres on HBO Max on Aug. 6.