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Israel demands apology after Lavrov says Hitler had Jewish roots -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov attended a news conference together with Osman Salh, Eritrean foreign minister (not pictured) after their talks in Moscow. Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

By Crispian Balmer

JERUSALEM (Reuters). Israel denounced Monday’s comments by Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister. He suggested that Adolf Hitler might have had Jewish roots.

Yair Lapid, Israeli Foreign Minister, stated that the Russian Ambassador would be summoned to have a “tough talk” about the claim. Lavrov claimed it in an interview on Sunday with Italian TV.

Lapid stated that it was an unacceptable, shameful statement and a historical error. He expects an apology.

Russian Embassy has not yet commented.

Lavrov was asked by Rete 4 in Italy how Russia could claim it needs to “denazify Ukraine” when Volodymyr Zeleskiy, the president of Ukraine was Jewish.

Lavrov, speaking in Italian, said: “When they ask ‘What type of nazification are you talking about if Jews?

He added that “For years we have heard wise Jewish people tell us that Jews are the greatest anti-Semites”

Israel repeatedly supported Ukraine. Russia has been a strong broker in Syria and Russia was feared to strain relations. Israel avoided criticizing Moscow at first, but it later imposed sanctions.

Lapid, who accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine last month, contacted Israel to offer helmets, vests, and other equipment to the Ukrainian rescue teams. This signaled a shift in Israel’s policy on such equipment.

Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan stated that Russian minister’s remarks to Israel were “an insult” and “a serious blow to victims of real Nazism”.

Dayan claimed that Lavrov spread an anti-Semitic conspiratorial theory without any foundation on Kan Radio.

It isn’t known who Hitler’s grandfather was, but some people speculate that he may have been Jewish.

Lapid stated that Hitler’s Jewish heritage was equivalent to saying that Jews have killed themselves. He also said that accusing Jews as anti-Semites is “the lowest form of racism”.

Lavrov was also discredited for claiming that pro-Nazi elements ruled over the Ukrainian military and government.

“The Ukrainians don’t belong to the Nazis.” Lapid said that only the Nazis were Nazis, and they had to deal with systematic destruction of Jewish people.” Lapid was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.

Israel has criticised the Ukrainian President for trying to make analogies between his conflict and World War Two.

Zelenskiy, in a March address to Israel’s parliament, compared Russia’s offensive in Ukraine with Nazi Germany’s extermination European Jewry in World War Two.

Yad Vashem called Yad Vashem’s comments “irresponsible”, claiming that they trivialize the Holocaust’s history.