Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned on Monday the “serious statements” of his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who stated that like the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, Adolf Hilter “also had Jewish origins.”
Following this controversial statement, the top Israeli diplomat summoned the Russian ambassador to Israel “for a clarification meeting,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Foreign Minister Lavrov’s comments are an inexcusable and outrageous statement, as well as a terrible historical mistakeLapid lamented.
As he added, “ Jews did not commit suicide in the Holocaust. The lowest level of anti-Jewish racism is accusing Jews themselves of anti-Semitism .”
“Saying that Hitler was a Jew is like saying that the Jews murdered each other. The Nazis persecuted the Jews. Only the Nazis were Nazis and only the Nazis pursued a policy of systematic annihilation of the Jewish people,” he stressed.
In an interview on Sunday with the Italian channel Rete4 , the first in a European media since the Russian invasion began on February 24, Lavrov insisted on the infiltration of supposedly neo-Nazi sectors in Ukrainian institutions. When warned about Zelensky’s Jewish roots, Lavrov replied that Hitler “also had Jewish origins” .
The president of Yad Vachem, the Israeli memorial to the Shoah, Dani Dayan, also condemned Lavrov’s remarks, saying they were ” baseless, delusional and dangerous comments that deserve to be condemned .”
Along these lines, Dayan has criticized the fact that Ukrainians are called “Nazis” and has argued that this ” distorts the term and causes harm to the victims of Nazism “, as reported by the Israeli newspaper ‘Haaretz’.
Israel’s Minister of Communications, Yoaz Hendel, has added to the criticism, who has said in statements to Army Radio that Lavrov’s words are “delusions intended to justify the horrible acts of Russia in Ukraine”, the scene of an invasion military since February 24.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Israel has tried to maintain a delicate balance between kyiv and Moscow, with a moderate position towards Russia due to its strategic alliance in the Middle East, where the Jewish state coordinates with Moscow to attack pro-Iranian positions in Syria.
In turn, it has not applied sanctions to Russia nor has it delivered weapons to Ukraine, despite the fact that it did send humanitarian aid, welcomed Ukrainian refugees and also the Ukrainian population of Jewish origin with the right to Israeli citizenship. But Lavrov’s words sparked outrage.
On the other hand, in the interview on Sunday, Lavrov declared that Moscow does not seek a regime change in Ukraine , and assured that the war unleashed with its invasion wants to “guarantee the security of the population of the east”, which he considered “threatened by the militarization and nazification.