About Seth Rogen’s Latest “Non-Apology”


Following his offensive comments about Israel last week, actor-comedian Seth Rogen is in hot water again, this time for making out like he did not really mean an apology he made to the Jewish Agency.

In a statement earlier Sunday, the Jewish Agency said a Zoom conversation was held over the weekend between Rogen and its chairman, Isaac Herzog, in which Rogen had “apologized,” saying his comments were in jest.

However, when approached about the conversation, Rogen told Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein that she should “read what I actually said about all this and not these second hand telling.”  He also said his “mom made me call” Herzog.

Zonszein tweeted a screenshot of his remarks.

That tweet was liked by Rogen, although he has not publicly commented on the issue or detailed his side of the conversation.

According to the Jewish Agency, it sent a letter that reached Rogen’s parents, who live in Vancouver, having met in Israel while volunteering at a kibbutz in the 1970s. Rogen then called the Jewish Agency and asked to speak with Herzog, but insisted that the conversation not be recorded, according to a Hebrew-language statement sent to The Times of Israel.

The agency has not provided an English transcript of the conversation and declined to comment on Rogen’s remarks to Zonszein.

I initially wanted to focus more on Mairav Zonszein’s lack of journalistic ethics in publishing  a private conversation between her and Rogen. But when I read that Rogen actually ‘liked’ the tweet, that changed things for me. 

Don’t get me wrong – if she published it without his permission, that is still a gross violation of journalistic ethics. But his liking it presents the possibility that he did permit her to publish it. More than that, it shows he is pleased that his proverbial middle finger to Israel supporters reached its intended target.

I should point out that Rogen does not ‘like’ all tweets about him. For instance, he has not ‘liked’ any of these tweets by comedian Elon Gold defending him.

I really wanted to give Rogen the benefit of the doubt. It is hard to know when he is being sincere and when he is just stirring things up. He could be toying with Mairav Zonszein. It could be he sees this all as a way to drum up publicity for his latest movie. But given he knows full well how many Israelis and Jews around the world were personally hurt by his words, and how so many antisemites and Israel haters are still using them, there are no excuses.

He may or may not be an actual Israel hater, but he sure seems like a schmuck to me.

Update: Mairav Zonszein (begrudgingly) confirms she had permission from Rogen to publish their exchange.

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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media