Thursday, August 20, 2020

Seth Rogan Tried To Man Up, Now He's Next In Line For A Turn At Sheldon Adelson's Nutsack...,


counterpunch |  Just how much erosion has support for Israel suffered among Western Jews under the age of 40? The polls are not much help, because they tell contradictory stories. However, in anecdotal terms, there is a strong sense that the gap is growing between an increasingly rightwing and racist Israeli society and younger, liberal/progressive Western Jews. The well-publicized recent interview with Seth Rogen, a comedian and filmmaker with an “ability to capture the Jewish cultural conversation,” and a fan base among Jewish millennials (i.e., those born between 1981 and 1996), may be a case in point.

On 27 July 2020 Rogen was interviewed on fellow Jewish comedian Marc Maron’s “insanely popular podcast” WTF. While on Maron’s program, Rogen questioned why those with “a secular Jewish identity” should feel “any cultural identification with the state of Israel.” Indeed, he admitted that the notion of a Jewish state made little sense to him. He said “Jewish statehood was the result of an “antiquated thought process” and was in truth, counterproductive. “Encouraging all Jews to live in one Jewish state is a nonsensical strategy for the preservation of Jewish peoplehood.”

How did Rogen come to these conclusions? He credited his outlook to overcoming an incomplete and deceitful Jewish educational process. He explained that he had been “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life. You know, they never tell you, that oh by the way, there were people there.” In other words, the history of Israel he was taught never mentioned the Nakba, Occupied Territories, and collective imprisonment of the residents of the Gaza Strip and the like. It was just the story of “only democracy in the Middle East” and the “most moral army in the world.” As Marc Maron would say, 

“WTF”!

Asked why a famous guy like himself had not previously spoken publicly about Israel, he noted that “I’m afraid of Jews. I’m 100 percent afraid of Jews.” Presumably not all Jews, just those allied to the State of Israel. Who can blame him? Most of the U.S. Congress feels the same way.

Reaction from the Right: Standard Tropes
A few days after Rogen’s interview appeared, a quick retort appeared in the Jewish publication the Forward. Weirdly entitled “Dear American Jewish boys, Please, please, take your Oedipal rage and find another outlet for it.” It was written by Dr. Shany Mor, a researcher at, among other places, the Israel Democracy Institute. Mor’s objections to Rogen’s positions are reflections of standard Zionist tropes.

Standard Trope One: As Mor’s title implies, his initial reaction to Rogen’s statements is that they must reflect some form of self-hatred. The “self-hating Jew” is an established, if rather despicable, Zionist trope. Mor now uses it against Rogen, accusing him of being motivated by “Oedipal rage” that is hatred of his parents because they did not tell him about Israel’s bellicose origins. This is a ridiculous ad hominem attack. It should be noted that it is probably the case that a majority of Jewish children in the West, post 1948, were either lied to or left in ignorance about the Palestinians and their fate. That some of them should now express resentment is not evidence of some personality flaw on their part. It is rather an expression their dismay of Zionists’ inability to admit to their own criminal behavior.