Israel summons Russian ambassador over anti-semitic comments

Israel summons Russian ambassador over anti-semitic comments

Tel Aviv says Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's words about Jews are a historical error Israel has summoned Russian ambassador, after Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested Adolf Hitler may have had some Jewish blood, and that the most ardent anti-Semites are Jews themselves.

Foreign Minister Lavrov s comments are an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error, according to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday.

The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews of antisemitism. Lapid said Israel expects an apology, and that the Russian ambassador was summoned for a tough talk. Other Israeli officials expressed outrage over Lavrov's comments, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who accused Russia's top diplomat of using the Holocaust as a political tool. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem denounced Lavrov's words as false and dangerous. Moscow hasn't made a statement on the matter.

According to Italy's Mediaset media company on Sunday, Lavrov confirmed that one of the objectives of Russia's military campaign in Ukraine is the denazification of the country. A reporter stated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.

Lavrov replied: I could be wrong, but Hitler had Jewish blood in him. This means nothing. The most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews, according to Wise Jewish people. Every family has a black sheep, as we like to say. The minister pointed out to Ukraine's Azov Battalion whose fighters include people with openly nationalist and Nazi views. He said that captured fighters from Azov and other units display Nazi symbols on their uniforms and have swastika tattoos. They openly read and promote Mein Kampf, referring to the book by Hitler, Lavrov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Israel's ambassador last month over Lapid's anti-Russian comments regarding Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.