Holocaust doesn’t give Israel impunity – Lavrov
Israel should not think that the suffering of Jews during World War II gives it free rein in foreign policy, particularly when it comes to the hostilities in Gaza, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
Speaking at a press conference on the results of Moscow’s diplomacy in 2023 on Thursday, Lavrov reiterated his support for the creation of a Palestinian state. The decades-long failure to do this is one of the key reasons for the current instability in the Middle East and tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, he added.
The foreign minister noted that Russia had immediately condemned the attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7. However, after the hostilities began, some Israeli officials went so far as to call the residents of Gaza “animals” without facing any backlash from the West, he added.
Israelis can’t… now do anything they want because they suffered during World War II. Yes, there was the Holocaust, it was a terrible crime, but there was also the genocide of all peoples in the Soviet Union.
Lavrov added that the Soviet people had suffered no less as they were exterminated in the same Nazi concentration camps as the Jews, with both people dying from starvation side-by-side in besieged Leningrad.
“According to this logic, we can do whatever we want. That won’t work if we want to systematically uphold international law,” he added.
Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, with the ensuing fighting killing more than 1,200 Israelis and 24,000 Palestinians. Since then, Israel started a ground operation in the Palestinian enclave, which has caused unprecedented destruction. It has vowed not to stop until Hamas is completely defeated and Palestinian society “deradicalized.”
Russia has repeatedly called on the two sides to agree to a ceasefire while urging Israel not to forget the laws of war.
The Holocaust claimed the lives of around six million Jews in Europe. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union lost some 27 million people during the war, including many Jews, with two-thirds of those losses among the civilian population.