U.S. Senate Leader Calls Lavrov's Comparison of Zelenskyy and Hitler 'Sickening'

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer condemns the Russian FM's remarks, which spread 'disinformation about the history of the Holocaust in order to advance Mr. Putin's political and military agenda'

Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington
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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2022.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2022.Credit: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels
Washington

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday over his "sickening" comments comparing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Adolf Hitler.

"Foreign Minister Lavrov did what many others who now reside in the dustbin of history have done before him: resort to antisemitism to defend his nation's actions," the Democratic senator from New York said from the Senate floor.

Schumer, who is the highest ranking Jewish elected official in America, said he took "particular umbrage" at Lavrov's remarks on Italian television, where the Russian foreign minister said that Adolf Hitler also 'had Jewish blood', referring to Zelenskyy's Jewish origins, adding that "the wise Jewish people said that the most ardent antisemites are usually Jews."

Schumer said Lavrov's comments "deserve to be condemned by all who oppose the dangers of antisemitism. They tap into the very old and very poisonous notion that the Jewish people themselves were the architects of the worst human atrocities of modern history – even when they were aimed at Jews themselves."

"Mr. foreign minister, you're fooling no one. The war crimes committed by Russia are as plain as day for the world to see, and to justify Russia's violence with appeals to antisemitism is sickening. It is dangerous," Schumer continued.

"It's chilling to see Russia's top foreign policy person so casually spread disinformation about the history of the Holocaust in order to advance Mr. Putin's political and military agenda," Schumer concluded, noting he condemns Lavrov's comments in the strongest possible terms. "Every individual who wishes to guard against the poisons of antisemitism should do the same."

Schumer's remarks follow widespread outrage from senior Israeli officials and the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism's office, as well as U.S. Jewish establishment organizations and leaders.

The Anti-Defamation League called Lavrov's language a "transparently desperate" effort to "justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine," adding that the "misuse of Nazis, Hitler and the Holocaust must stop."

The U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism's office noted that this is not the first time the Russians have "cynically accused its neighbors of neo-Nazism and fascism as cover for its own provocations and human rights abuses," adding "not only are the Kremlin’s accusations against Ukraine false, its disinformation detracts from real and critically-important worldwide efforts to combat antisemitism, Holocaust distortion and denial, and other dangerous forms of racially- or ethnically-motivated violent extremism."

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