Moscow’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement claiming that “Israel supports the Neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine,” in an escalation of the conflict between Russia and Israel after Foreign Minister Yair Lapid slammed Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for his comment that “Hitler had Jewish blood.”
The statement from the Russian ministry said that Lapid’s comments are “anti-historical” and “explains to a large extent why the current Israeli government supports the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.”
The statement continued to say that “the most extreme antisemitism” takes place in Ukraine and “Zelensky hides behind his origins” while “he consorts with Neo-Nazis, the heirs of his people’s murderers.”
The statement added that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Jewish identity does not preclude Ukraine from being “governed by neo-Nazis.”
“Antisemitism in everyday life and in politics [in Ukraine] has not stopped and on the contrary is nurtured,” the statement said.
Lapid on Monday excoriated Lavrov for his comments and summoned Russian Ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov for a “clarification discussion.” Lavrov had also stated that “some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”
Western leaders also denounced Lavrov’s comments, including US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said his “friend Yair Lapid put it perfectly.”
“It is incumbent on the world to speak out against such vile, dangerous rhetoric and support our Ukrainian partners in the face of the Kremlin’s vicious assault,” Blinken stated.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)