Recent antisemitic statements made by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, have prompted Israel to summon the Russian ambassador, sparking a Russia-Israel diplomatic row.
In an interview with Italian TV station Mediaset (which belongs to former Italian PM and long-time ally of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Silvio Berlusconi) on May 1, Lavrov touched on the subject of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Jewish ethnicity.
“He (Zelensky) says that they (Ukrainian government) cannot be Nazis, since he is Jewish; maybe I’m mistaken, but Hitler had Jewish ancestry, too; it means nothing,” said Lavrov.
“Wise Jewish people say that most rabid antisemites tend to be Jews themselves.”
“No family is without a degenerate, as we (Russians) say,” added the minister.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that Lavrov’s remarks are “both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error.”
Lapid said that Israel expects an apology from Lavrov and has summoned the Russian ambassador for a meeting at the foreign ministry.
“To say that Hitler was a Jew is the same as saying that Jews were killing themselves,” Lapid said on Twitter.
“Nazis were persecuting Jews, only the Nazis were Nazis, only Nazis engaged in a systematic extermination of the Jewish people.”