- BBC News World
“Some of the worst anti-Semites are Jews,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The Russian Foreign Minister made the comments to trying to justify Russia’s portrayal of Ukraine as “Nazi” even though its president is Jewish.
He did so in an interview on the Italian TV show Zona Bianca when asked how Russia can claim to be fighting to “denazify” Ukraine while President Volodymyr Zelensky himself is a Jew. “So what if Zelensky is Jewish”he replied.
“The fact does not deny the Nazi elements in the Ukraine. I think that Hitler also had Jewish blood”he added.
These statements by Lavrov caused outrage in Israel and come shortly after Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of the most solemn dates on the Israeli calendar.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has reacted furiously to Lavrov’s statement, accusing him of antisemitism and has denounced as “inexcusable” the statements of his Russian counterpart that the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”.
“Foreign Minister Lavrov’s comments are a unforgivable and outrageous statement, as well as a terrible historical error. Jews did not commit suicide in the Holocaust. The lowest level of anti-Jewish racism is accusing Jews themselves of anti-Semitism,” Lapid wrote on Twitter.
stone summoned the Russian ambassador for “clarification” and demanded an apology.
The Nazi regime murdered six million Jews in the Holocaust of World War II.
The head of Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial, has also condemned Lavrov’s remarks.
“Most of his comments are absurd, delusional, dangerous and deserve any condemnation,” he tweeted.
“Lavrov deals with the reversal of the Holocaust: turning victims into criminalsbased on the promotion of a completely unfounded claim that Hitler was of Jewish descent”.
relationships on trial
Jon Donnison, the BBC’s Jerusalem correspondent, says the strength of the reaction reflects how deeply offensive and inconceivable are Lavrov’s comments to Jews, both in Israel and around the world.
In recent months, Israel, which has a large Russian population, has tried to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine. But, Donninson says, the Israeli government has faced some criticism for not taking a hard enough line with President Putin.
Lavrov’s comments will test Israel’s relations with Russia and, while offensive to many, reflect a common narrative among Kremlin supporters, the correspondent adds.
For decades there has been unproven claims that Hitler’s unidentified paternal grandfather was Jewish, further fueled by a statement by Hitler’s lawyer, Hans Frank.
In his memoirs, published in 1953, Frank said that he had been ordered by Hitler to investigate rumors that he had Jewish ancestry.
The lawyer said he uncovered evidence that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish, although the claim, which has gained traction among conspiracy theorists, has been rejected by leading historians.
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