Israel Blasts Russian Official Who Said Hitler Had ‘Jewish Origins,’ Demands Apology
Israel is demanding an apology after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday, May 2, claimed that Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, calling the remarks "unforgivable and outrageous."
The comments, made during an interview with Italian television, prompted Israel to summon the Russian ambassador. Lavrov made the remarks when he was asked why Russia feels it needs to "denazify" Ukraine if the country's own president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish. Moscow has repeatedly used the claim to justify its invasion of the country.
"So when they say ‘How can Nazification exist if we’re Jewish?’ In my opinion, Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn’t mean absolutely anything. For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the biggest antisemites were Jewish," he said, speaking to the station in Russian, dubbed over by an Italian translation.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, whose grandfather died in the Holocaust, blasted Lavrov in a statement Monday.
"Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement, as well as a terrible historical error," he said. "The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of anti-Semitism."
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that "such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them."
World War II, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated 27 million people and helped defeat Nazi Germany, is a linchpin of Russia’s national identity. Repeatedly reaching for the historical narrative that places Russia as a savior against evil forces has helped the Kremlin rally Russians around the war in Ukraine.
Zelenskyy has compared Russia’s invasion to the actions of Nazi Germany, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to carry out a "final solution" against Ukraine. (FOX/ VFI News)
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel. - Exodus 19:5-6