Jay Leno is set to return to Israel to emcee the Genesis Prize ceremony.
The comedian filled the role last year when the inaugural award was given to Michael Bloomberg. This year’s prize, known as the Jewish Nobel, will go to Michael Douglas.
Leno spoke about his reprisal, saying that though he is not Jewish he is a supporter of Israel.
“It seems like they (Israel) have the worst PR in the world,” he told the Associated Press. “I don’t understand how Israel is the bad guy here. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Of his experience in the country last year, he said: “People seem to be genuinely happy to see you. There you kind of get swarmed. People run over, and the grandmas pinch your cheeks. So that was kind of fun.”
“After 22 years of hearing Jay poke fun of my movies on ‘The Tonight Show,’ it’ll be a nice change to be there when he does it in person,” Douglas said in a statement released by the foundation.
“Michael Douglas has chosen to invest the prize award into initiatives which will resonate with Jews like himself — those who come from parents of mixed heritage who wish to be part of the Jewish community,” said Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the foundation.