There Is No Middle Ground Between Lavrov’s & Hitler’s Worldviews
Lavrov isn’t antisemitic or any of the other terrible things that Israeli officials accused him of being. His point about one’s ethno-religious identity at birth not predetermining their views is factually true. Condemning him for the controversial comparison that he used to make that point is by default inadvertently extending credence to the opposite point, that which Hitler propagated and exploited to carry out the Holocaust and Nazi Germany’s other genocides such as those against Poles, Russians, Serbs, and that evil empire’s millions of other victims.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov inadvertently sparked a global conversation about the connection between someone’s ethno-religious identity at birth and their political views later in life during his recent interview with Italian media. Asked to respond to criticisms that it’s illogical to claim that there are Neo-Nazis in contemporary Ukraine because President Zelensky is Jewish, Russia’s top diplomat had this to say:
“[Ukrainian President Zelensky’s] argument is: How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if he is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews. ‘Every family has its black sheep,’ as we say.”
Regardless of what one thinks about the controversial comparison that he employed, his point is nevertheless legitimate: one’s ethno-religious identity at birth doesn’t predetermine their views. Socio-cultural and economic influences shape the formation of someone’s political views, not their genome. This is the exact opposite of what Adolf Hitler theorized in his “Mein Kampf” manifesto where he claimed that ethno-religious identity does indeed predetermine one’s political views.
Considering that this discredited conspiracy theory from the world’s most infamous fascist was responsible for Nazi Germany’s genocide against over 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, one would think that Israeli officials – who represent Holocaust survivors and their descendants – would sympathize with Lavrov’s very strong repudiation of Hitler’s views. Regrettably, they ended up extending credence to the same man’s hateful views that were responsible for the genocide of their own people.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Lavrov of “the lowest level of racism” in his statement:
“Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error. Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism.”
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused him of “absolving” the Nazis of the Holocaust:
“I view with utmost severity the Russian Foreign Minister’s statement. His words are untrue and their intentions are wrong. The goal of such lies is to accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history, which were perpetrated against them, and thereby absolve Israel’s enemies of responsibility. As I have already said, no war in our time is like the Holocaust or is comparable to the Holocaust. The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people as a political tool must cease immediately.”
Both Israeli officials are completely wrong and inadvertently extended credence to Hitler’s antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews’ ethno-religious identity at birth predetermined their political views that this evil monster disgustingly believed was why they all deserved to die in the cruelest ways imaginable. Lapid and Bennett would of course never openly endorse Hitler’s false rationale for the Holocaust but that’s nevertheless what they tacitly just did in their overreaction to Lavrov’s valid point.
They and those who endorse their false accusations against Lavrov need to do some deep soul-searching, especially if their ethno-religious identity is among those that Hitler believed deserved to die for his fascist reasons. The problem, however, is that Israeli officials are actually the ones who “use the Holocaust of the Jewish people as a political tool” to justify their state’s scandalous creation and censor all criticism of its treatment of the Palestinians.
The “politically correct” narrative in Western society is that the Holocaust forever shielded Israeli Jews from any criticism from then on out since such is now supposedly “antisemitic” no matter what. The false logic is that the Jewish people’s suffering during the Holocaust means that they deserve to forever be held to a special standard whereby no non-Jew can ever criticism them lest they inadvertently risk provoking a repeat of that genocide by emboldening psycho antisemitic killers to target Jews.
Without realizing it, those who support and enforce this special standard are unwittingly perpetuating the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Jews supposedly see themselves as superior to all non-Jews and should thus be treated exceptionally by everyone else, in this case by shielding them from any criticism. That’s a false, fascist, hateful conspiracy theory that was discredited long ago but is unfortunately coming back with a vengeance due to the political designs of certain forces, however “well-intended”.
All human beings are equal and nobody should be shielded from any criticism simply on the basis of their ethno-religious identity at birth. That’s literally bigoted, fascist, and racist. Without exaggeration, it’s the embodiment of Hitler’s hateful conspiracy theory, albeit the inverse whenever Israeli officials weaponize the Holocaust to serve their political purposes. Applying a special standard to Jews just because of who they are is no different than Hitler doing the same to Germans for the same reason.
Israeli officials probably won’t ever stop weaponizing the Holocaust to shield their state from criticism even though this is unwittingly feeding into antisemitic and fascist conspiracy theories about Jews, which ironically enough genuinely endangers their security much more than allowing public criticism of Israel does. Lavrov isn’t antisemitic or any of the other terrible things that they accused him of being. His point about one’s ethno-religious identity at birth not predetermining their views is factually true.
Condemning him for the controversial comparison that he used to make that point is by default inadvertently extending credence to the opposite point, that which Hitler propagated and exploited to carry out the Holocaust and Nazi Germany’s other genocides such as those against Poles, Russians, Serbs, and that evil empire’s millions of other victims. There is no middle ground between these polar opposite worldviews so Israeli officials should deeply reflect on which one truly deserves condemnation.