Israel has condemned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for saying that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was of Jewish descent, saying his comments were anti-Semitic and dangerous.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the Russian ambassador would be summoned for a “tough talk” over Lavrov’s allegations in an interview with Italian television on Sunday.
“This is an unforgivable, scandalous statement, a terrible historical mistake, and we are waiting for an apology,” Lapid said on YNet on Monday.
There were no comments from the Russian embassy.
During an interview with the Italian channel Rete 4, Lavrov was asked how Russia could say that Ukraine should be “denazified” when President Vladimir Zelensky was a Jew.
“When they say it’s a nationalization when we’re Jews,” I think Hitler was also of Jewish descent, so it doesn’t mean anything, “Lavrov said through an Italian translator.
“We have long heard wise Jews say that the greatest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves,” he added.
Israel has repeatedly expressed support for Ukraine. But fearing aggravation of relations with Russia, the owner of neighboring Syria, she initially avoided direct criticism of Moscow and did not impose official sanctions against Russian oligarchs.
Last month, Lapid accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine, and Israel agreed to supply Ukrainian rescue services with helmets and vests, indicating a change in position in the supply of such equipment.
Dani Dayan, chairman of the Israeli Memorial to the Six Million Jews Killed in the Holocaust, said the Russian minister’s remarks were “an insult and a severe blow to the victims of true Nazism.”
Speaking on Kahn radio, Diane said Lavrov was spreading “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that has no basis.”
The identity of one of Hitler’s grandfathers is not known, but there were some assumptions, never supported by any evidence that he may have been a Jew.
Lapid said claiming that Hitler was of Jewish descent was like saying that Jews killed themselves, adding that accusing Jews of anti-Semites was “the lowest level of racism.”
He also rejected Lavrov’s assertion that pro-Nazi elements possessed the Ukrainian government and military.
“Ukrainians are not Nazis. Only the Nazis were Nazis, and only they were engaged in the systematic extermination of the Jewish people, “said Lapid, whose grandfather died during the Holocaust.
The Ukrainian president also came across fire in Israel, trying to draw analogies between the conflict in his country and World War II.
In March, addressing the Israeli parliament, Zelensky likened Russia’s offensive in Ukraine to the destruction of Nazi Germany by European Jewry during World War II.
Yad Vashem called his comments “irresponsible”, saying they trivialized the historical facts of the Holocaust.