‘Hitler also had Jewish blood,’ just like Zelensky, says Russia’s top diplomat

Lavrov said that Jews have been among the world’s worst antisemites; Israel furious, Lapid summons ambassador.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel is summoning the Russian ambassador in anger over a Sunday interview in which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov compared Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to Adolf Hitler.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told Ynet Monday morning that the conversation with the head of the Middle East desk in the ministry will be “harsh.”

Asked how Russian President Vladimir Putin can claim that a key cause of his military campaign is to “denazify” Ukraine when Zelensky is a Jew, Lavrov told Italian news channel Zona Bianca, “The fact that Zelensky is Jewish does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood.”

He then doubled down, saying that “some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”

“This is both an unforgivable and scandalous thing to say – and a terrible historical mistake,” Lapid said. “We expect an apology” from Lavrov.

“The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust,” which is what Lavrov was in essence saying by claiming that Hitler had Jewish ancestry, Lapid continued.

“We are not forgiving when it comes to the Holocaust,” said Lapid, the son of a survivor from Hungary.

“I view with utmost severity the Russian Foreign Minister’s statement. His words are untrue and their intentions are wrong,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated Monday afternoon.

“The goal of such lies is to accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history, which were perpetrated against them, and thereby absolve Israel’s enemies of responsibility.

“As I have already said, no war in our time is like the Holocaust or is comparable to the Holocaust.

“The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people as a political tool must cease immediately,” he demanded.

“The remarks of Russian Foreign Minister Sergeĭ Lavrov, as quoted, are absurd, delusional, dangerous and deserving of condemnation.  Lavrov is propagating the inversion of the Holocaust – turning the victims into the criminals on the basis of promoting a completely unfounded claim that Hitler was of Jewish descent,” Yad Vashem said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“Equally serious is calling the Ukrainians in general, and President Zelensky in particular, Nazis. This, among other things, is a complete distortion of the history and an affront to the victims of Nazism,” Yad Vashem said.

Russian officials have made use of the fact that a Ukrainian paramilitary group established after Moscow’s 2014 illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula has long been accused of being neo-Nazis.

The Azov Battalion has been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbas region for the past eight years. Russia recognized two breakaway republics there at the start of its invasion in late February and is now making a push to take the entire area. Westerners see this as a land grab, while Moscow contends it is trying to protect the residents there from Ukrainian depredations.

The volunteer militia did have many nationalist extremists in its ranks but says that is no longer the case. It has since been incorporated into the country’s National Guard.

Lavrov called them Zelensky’s “Nazi forces.”

In turn, many Ukrainian officials, including Zelensky himself, have compared the invading Russian forces to Nazis and their actions as “genocide” of their nation.

On Saturday, the mayor of Mariupol, a critical city in Ukraine’s south-east that has been flattened by Russian bombs, posted to Telegram that Russia is committing “the worst genocides of civilians in modern history.”

“In two years, the Nazis killed 10,000 civilians in Mariupol,” Vadym Boychenko wrote. “And the Russian occupiers in two months – more than 20 thousand.”

The Russians “have already illegally deported as many Mariupol residents as Hitler’s troops during the years of occupation,” he added.