Russia summons Israeli ambassador for slamming Russian rhetoric on Holocaust and Hamas

Simona Halperin criticized Russia for delaying condemnation of October 7th massacres, slammed Russia’s Holocaust rhetoric.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday it will summon Israel’s ambassador to Russia, Simona Halperin, in for a dressing down over what it describes as “unacceptable” comments she made in an interview with Kommersant Daily, as reported by Russia’s TASS.

Halperin, who assumed her position in December was described by a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson as making “an extremely unsuccessful start” to her role as ambassador.

During her interview, Halperin said “I really believe in open and direct dialogue” between Israel and Russia, criticized Russia’s position on Israel at the UN, its refusal to list Hamas as a terror organization and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for downplaying the Holocaust.

Halperin said of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “I don’t really understand why Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov downplays the significance of this monstrous event (The Holocaust).”

She added, “Yes, many nations suffered heavy losses, the Russian people paid for the victory over Nazism with millions and millions of lives. And we remember this.”

“But never before in history has the world known such a massive and systematic extermination of people solely on ethnic grounds. Only the Jewish people experienced this. I will repeat this tirelessly,” Halperin explained.

Sergei Lavrov has made many controversial statements regarding the Holocaust, including comparing the West’s sanctions against Russia in its war with Ukraine to a kind of “final solution,” likening Ukrainians to Nazis and claiming Hitler had Jewish blood.

In addition, Lavrov said Israel was imposing “collective punishment” against Gazan civilians and accused it of violating “international humanitarian norms.”

Simona Halperin criticized the delay before Russia condemned the October 7th massacre and called it a terror attack.

She said, “Some time passed before Russia publicly condemned this attack, called it a terrorist attack, and mentioned Hamas.”

In addition, she pointed out that while the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is a branch, is listed by Russia as a terrorist organization, Hamas isn’t listed as a terrorist group in Russia.

Halperin also raised eyebrows with the Russian Foreign Ministry when she declared Israel’s policy was to side with the Ukrainians against Russia in its current war.

She said, “Israel has supported and will continue to support the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”

In 2022, then Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine condemned the invasion and sent humanitarian aid.

Although Israel has maintained a neutral position during the Netanyahu government, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister claimed that neutrality was tantamount to “siding with Russia.”

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