Following Jewish actor and comedian Seth Rogen’s incredibly ignorant and damaging comments about Israel, many have written their own responses – some good, some bad, and some something in between.
Why Seth Rogen’s Anti-Israel Rant Matters by David Harsanyi, senior writer for National Review, is among the best I have seen. I encourage you to read the entire thing, but this section – a direct response to Rogen’s statement that “They never tell you that — oh by the way, there were people there” – is sheer brilliance.
I was once a young Jewish person growing up in similar cultural circumstances to Rogen’s, and anyone with basic cognitive abilities understood that “other people” lived in Israel. It was “other people” who launched pogroms against Jews in 1920s and 1930s. It was the “other people” who allied with Hitler during World War II, continuing to stoke violence against Jews, making the formation of a peaceful multiethnic state impossible. It was the “other people” who rejected the United Nations partition plan and launched an all-out war against Jews only three years after the concentration camps were liberated. It was “other people” who initiated wave after wave of terrorism against Jewish civilians — years before there were any “occupied” territories in the West Bank. It was “other people” who rejected dozens of peace offerings from 1948 onward. And yet, some of those “other people” still reside in Israel and enjoy more liberal rights than Arabs do in any Arab nation.
In fact, as the historian Efraim Karsh lays out in his indispensable book Palestine Betrayed, large numbers of those “other people” initially came to sparsely populated areas of Israel because of the influx of Jews, who, starting in the late 19th century, brought economic growth and opportunities with them.
And I hate to break the news to Rogen, but the only people who lived in Jerusalem before Jews showed up were the Jebusites.
As I said, read the entire thing. Especially if your name is Seth Rogen.