Russia Accuses Israel of Supporting ‘Neo-Nazis’ in Ukraine

Russia has accused Israel of supporting the “neo-Nazi regime” in Ukraine, further escalating a diplomatic dispute.

In a statement on May 3, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid of making a statement that “contradicts history and largely explains the policy by the current Government of Israel to support the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv.”

The diplomatic dispute began when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed in an interview with Italian television network Mediaset earlier this week that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood.”

“[Zelensky’s] argument is: How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if he is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews,” Lavrov said when asked to justify Russia’s claim to “de-Nazify” Ukraine.

Lapid on May 2 denounced Lavrov’s remarks as “unforgiveable and outrageous” and “a terrible historical error.”

“Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of anti-Semitism,” Lapid said on Twitter.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry had summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Viktorov and demanded an apology.

There is not much known on what occurred in the summoning.

“The Israeli position was made clear in the meeting and the parties agreed that no further details would be published,” an unnamed official told local media on May 3.

Israel has offered Ukraine humanitarian assistance since the Russian invasion began, but it stopped short of joining sanctions and supplying lethal aid despite pressure from the United States and Ukrainian government.

The diplomatic dispute now adds pressure for Israel to abandon its relatively neutral stance on the war in Ukraine.


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