Israel says Putin apologized for Lavrov’s remarks
In a rare move, Russian President Vladimir Putin apologized to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for antisemitic remarks made by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who accused Israel of supporting a “neo-Nazi regime” in Kyiv.
“The Prime Minister accepted President Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s remarks and thanked him for clarifying his attitude towards the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust,” a statement published by Bennett’s office read, after the two spoke on the phone Thursday.
Putin’s apology comes after the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a 1,000-word statement in defense of Lavrov’s comments about Israel, whose leaders have condemned Russia since the beginning of its invasion of Ukraine.
Lavrov also said “the wise Jewish people say that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews.”
“Vladimir Putin and Naftali Bennett emphasized the special significance of this date for the peoples of both countries, who carefully preserve the historical truth about the events of those years and honor the memory of all the fallen, including victims of the Holocaust,” the Kremlin’s statement read, not noting the apology.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that Lavrov’s comments on May 1 were “unforgivable” and spread falsities about the Holocaust, which killed over 6 million Jews and other minority groups.
Russia continues to falsely justify its invasion into Ukraine by claiming that it is on a mission to “de-Nazify” it, according to an English translation of a video address by Putin. Through spreading propaganda, Moscow claims there is a domination of Nazism in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish.
Zelensky has spoken out against these baseless claims, saying Wednesday on Fox News, “They are following the same concept of [Nazi propaganda minister Joseph] Goebbels and using the same methodology, and the reaction I think is to weaken the world to these phrases of Lavrov.”