‘Unforgivable and scandalous’: Israel summons Russian ambassador after Lavrov says ‘Hitler had Jewish blood’

May 2, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is facing heavy criticism after again claiming that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, was acting like a Nazi, and that “Hitler had Jewish blood.

Lavrov said during an interview with the Italian news channel Zona Bianca on Sunday that the fact that Zelensky is Jewish “does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood…some of the worst anti-Semites are Jews.”

Following Lavrov’s harsh comments, the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov for a clarification meeting with Gary Koren, Head of the Ministry’s Eurasia and the Western Balkans Division.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated Monday that Lavrov’s remarks are “both an unforgivable and scandalous statement and a terrible historical error. The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against the Jews is to accuse the Jews themselves of anti-Semitism. ”

Raheli Baratz, Head of the Department for Combatting Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organization, stated that “the war between Russia and Ukraine has already caused an increase in anti-Semitic incidents, and now, just days after Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Russian Foreign Minister dares to equate Zelenskyy with Hitler, the greatest war criminal of all time.”

“The world should condemn this horrific statement, which could instantly lead to another wave of anti-Semitism and harassment of Jews,” she warned.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) stated that “in his transparently desperate efforts to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lavrov turns to highly offensive analogies and false comparisons. This misuse of Nazis, Hitler and the Holocaust must stop.”

ADL CEO Jason Greenblatt added that “every aspect of the Russian war against Ukraine has been barbaric, but it’s a new low and just perverse to see Lavrov attempt to contrive some comparison to Hitler.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has justified his invasion of Ukraine as a means for the “de-Nazification” of the country, and the Ukrainians have compared the Russian invasion of their country to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland and have made other comparisons to World War II.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, has called on all parties to refrain from the use of terminology related to the Holocaust and analogies to Nazi Germany when relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Yad Vashem stated in February that “the propagandist discourse accompanying the current hostilities is saturated with irresponsible statements and completely inaccurate comparisons with Nazi ideology and actions before and during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem condemns this trivialization and distortion of the historical facts of the Holocaust.”

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