In comments about ‘denazifying’ Ukraine, Sergey Lavrov indicated Hitler had Jewish origins, prompting Israel to demand an apology. Israel has condemned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for making “unforgivable” remarks on Nazism and anti-Semitism, including that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestors, and demanded an apology from Moscow.
Israel summoned the Russian ambassador for “clarifications” on Monday, claiming that the statements condemned Jews for their deaths during the Holocaust.
Israel Stands with Ukraine
While Israel has supplied humanitarian help to Ukraine and expressed sympathy for its people, it has been cautious in its condemnation of Russia and has refused to join international sanctions against the country. As a result, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was allowed to attempt to arbitrate between the parties, an endeavor that looks to have stagnated as Israel struggles with domestic instability.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Lavrov was asked about Russian charges that Moscow plans to “denazify” Ukraine, and he said that even if certain leaders, including the country’s president, were Jewish, Kyiv might still have Nazi elements. “I might be wrong, but Hitler had Jewish blood as well,” Lavrov added, speaking to the station in Russian via an Italian translator. The Russian embassy did not immediately comment. Lavrov’s words were “unforgivable, repugnant, and a horrible historical calamity,” according to Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid.
Bennett, who has been more circumspect in his criticism of Russia’s intervention, also condemned Lavrov’s statements. He remarked, “His statements are inaccurate, and their intentions are erroneous.” “The Holocaust must never longer be used as a political weapon.” The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel slammed Lavrov’s remarks, calling them “unfounded, delusional, and dangerous beliefs that should be repudiated.” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko encouraged Israel to “make a decision” by supporting Ukraine against Russia in a speech to the Israeli Knesset at the end of March, and asked Israel to arm Ukraine.