Russia attacks Israel amid row over Ukraine’s Holocaust

The Kremlin on Tuesday morning escalated its rhetorical dispute with Israel over the history of World War II by emphasizing and expanding its… False-filled comments made by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey LavrovAbout the supposed cooperation of Jews during the Holocaust with the killers of the Nazis.

at A post titled “On Anti-Semitism” was published on the social network TelegramThe Russian Foreign Ministry attempted to equate Israel’s support for Ukraine with Jews it claimed collaborated with the Nazis in World War II, arguing (incorrectly) that history is “unfortunately familiar with tragic examples of Jewish-Nazi cooperation.”

It went on to accuse the current regime in Kyiv — led by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is a Jew — of precisely such complicity, with Israel insisting that it was the Red Army “that stopped the Holocaust and the destruction of the Jewish world.”

The post even went so far as to suggest that Israel, which did not play a prominent role in supporting Ukraine in its war effort, might be too naive to realize that after the Russians “abolished,” the Ukrainian leadership would inevitably act against the country’s Jewish population.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a meeting in Moscow on April 27 (Russian Foreign Ministry / Statement / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It was a remarkable turn of events, considering that when the war began, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sought to broker a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. slow to help at first, And Israel offered Ukraine financial support late last month. If this support is more limited than that of European countries and the United States, it is largely due to the fact that the precarious geopolitical situation of Israel leaves little room for maneuver between allies and enemies.

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However, it is not entirely clear why the Kremlin decided to invoke one of the most controversial and misunderstood aspects of World War II history as a way to convince Israel – and perhaps other countries – that the invasion of Ukraine was right. Such an attempt was probably inevitable, given that Russia’s initial rationale for attacking its much smaller neighbor needed to “De-NazismUkrainian leadership.

Lavrov offered his own thoughts on the issue on Sunday, telling an Italian media, “Wise Jews say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually the Jews.” He also repeated the debunked claim that the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, was partly Jewish.

After commemorating the Holocaust last week, the Israeli leadership strongly condemned Lavrov’s comments. “The statements of Foreign Minister Lavrov are at the same time an inexcusable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error,” Lavrov’s counterpart, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, wrote on Twitter. The Jews did not kill themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is the accusation of anti-Semitism by the Jews themselves.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on a podium next to the Israeli flag, behind him the Foreign Ministry is printed on the wall.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid holds a press conference on the Ukraine issue at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, April 24, 2022 (Israel Government Press Office (GPO/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Despite the fact that there is little evidence that Lavrov’s argument – or any other Russian justification for invading Ukraine – has gained any traction, the Russian Foreign Ministry decided to post a lengthy presentation on Telegram calling Lapid’s statement “anti-historic” and repeating Lavrov’s comments. The claim that the Jews of Europe were responsible for their destruction.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Zelensky of “consciously” inciting Ukrainian neo-Nazis, comparing him to Jewish leaders during World War II who may have been aware of some aspects of the Holocaust but chose not to say anything. Zelensky, on the other hand, helps the neo-Nazis “voluntarily”, as reported by Telegram.

Russia’s allegations of collusion with the Nazis do not reflect What the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum calls “impossible moral dilemmas” Confronted by Jewish leaders in Eastern European neighborhoods, hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported to death camps in Poland.

The Nazis kept their Holocaust plans a secret, telling the Jews that they were merely “resettled” in Poland. Rumors of death camps already reached the ghettos, where Jews were housed in inhumane conditions, but many refused to believe them.

Even as the Russian Foreign Ministry presented its arguments about Jewish-Nazi cooperation, it acknowledged – in the same post on Telegram – that any cooperation on the part of Jewish leaders was, in the words of three prominent Israeli historians, Marginal phenomenon.

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