Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday that he’d accepted an apology from Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Kremlin’s contention that Adolf Hitler had had “Jewish origins.”
Bennett’s office said the apology took place during a phone call Thursday, in which the two leaders also discussed the further evacuation of civilians trapped in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant, the last holdout for Ukrainian defenders in the ruined port city.
An account of the call on Russian state-run news site RIA Novosti made no mention of the apology.
The Hitler comment — made Sunday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov — drew a sharp rebuke this week from Bennett, who accused the Russian minister of using the Holocaust as a “battering ram.”
“When they say, ‘What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews,’ well, I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing,” Lavrov said when asked by Italian media how Russia could claim to “denazify” a country with a Jewish president.
“For a long time now, we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves,” he continued.
Bennett called the statement “lies.”
“Such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them,” the Israeli leader said earlier this week.
“As I’ve already said, no war today is the Holocaust nor is it like the Holocaust,” he continued. “The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people as a political battering ram must be stopped immediately.”
With Post wires