Israel demands apology over Russian FM’s reference to Hitler’s “Jewish” heritage

The Jewish majority state, Israel, has demanded an apology from Russia following a reference to German dictator Adolf Hitler’s ‘Jewish’ heritage by Russian Foreign Minister (FM) Sergey Lavrov. 

According to international media, Israel has demanded an apology from Russia, accusing FM Lavrov of antisemitism following an “outrageous” statement and a “terrible historic mistake”. It is pertinent to note that on Tuesday, the Russian FM appeared for an interview on an Italian television show where he made controversial remarks. 

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According to media reports, Lavrov suggested that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestry adding that Jewish people are the “worst anti-semites”. According to reports, Lavrov made the comments in connection to his claim that Russia is “de-nazifying” Ukraine. The claims were in direct reference to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy who is, indeed, of Jewish descent. Back in March 2022, Zelenskyy revealed that his great-grandparents were among those killed during the Holocaust.

According to Reuters, Lavrov said, “When they say ‘What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews,’ well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing”. It is pertinent to note that so far, Hitler’s Jewish heritage is mere speculation as it has yet to be backed by historic fact, according to Reuters.  

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In addition, the Russian FM added that Jews themselves have been saying they are the “biggest anti-Semites”. In the wake of the controversial comments by Russia’s Foreign Minister, Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Naftali Bennet denounced the comments. According to Bennet, the use of the holocaust as a “political tool” must come to an end. The Israeli PM added that lies of this sort are a means of accusing Jews of the “most horrific crimes in history” committed against themselves. 

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid ensured that Anatoly Viktorov, the Russian Ambassador to Israel, will be summoned to discuss the matter. Speaking with an Israeli news site Ynet, Lapid said that this is an “unforgivable and outrageous statement”. Lapid added that an apology is expected. 

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