Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Israel has slammed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, and demanded an apology from Moscow, according to Reuters reports.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that the Russian ambassador would be summoned for a tough talk about the comments, which Lavrov made Sunday in an interview with Italian television.
It is an unforgivable statement, a terrible mistake, and we expect an apology, Lapid told the YNet news website.
The Russian Embassy had no immediate comment.
During his interview with Italian channel Rete 4, Lavrov was asked how Russia could claim it needed to denazify Ukraine when the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was Jewish.
When they say what kind of Nazification is this if we are Jews, I think Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn't mean anything, Lavrov said, speaking through an Italian interpreter.
He said that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves, and that is something we have heard from many Jewish sages for a long time.
Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, called Lavrov's remarks an insult and a harsh blow to the victims of real Nazism. Dayan said on Israel's Kan radio that Lavrov was spreading an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory with no basis whatsoever.