Israel blasts Russia over Holocaust distortion, criticism of Germany for defense of Israel at ICJ

Israel hits back at Russia over the foreign ministry spokesperson’s comments earlier today appearing to downplay the Holocaust’s impact on the Jewish people, characterizing it as a mass extermination of “various ethnic and social groups,” and slamming Germany for intervening on behalf of Israel as a third party in the International Court of Justice’s “genocide” case.

“Israel thanks Germany for its unequivocal support and its stand against South Africa’s baseless claim,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry says in a statement cited by Hebrew media.

The ministry says the Russian spokesperson’s comments were a “distortion of the Holocaust” and “harmful to victims and survivors.”

At a media conference earlier, the Kremlin’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized what she labeled as Berlin’s “unfettered support” for the Jewish state, and accused it of systematically ignoring the plight of non-Jewish European minorities, particularly Slavic peoples in the then-Soviet Union, who were massacred during the Holocaust.

“It seems that Germany has once again forgotten that under UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/7 and several other international instruments, the Holocaust is defined as the persecution and mass extermination of people representing various ethnic and social groups by the Nazis. There is also the OSCE’s Berlin Declaration setting forth the need to promote the importance of respecting all ethnic and religious groups without any distinction,” she said.

The UN resolution, passed in 2005 to establish International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, stressed the impact of the Jews during the genocide, noting that it “resulted in the murder of one-third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities.”

“Berlin persists in its refusal to recognize Nazi crimes against our people as genocide,” Zakharova said, citing Berlin’s refusal to pay reparations to non-Jewish victims of the nearly two-and-a-half-year Siege of Leningrad during World War II.

“Russian investigative bodies and courts have compiled a wide body of evidence exposing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide by the Third Reich troops across various regions of our country,” she said.

“Germany has surpassed other countries in the European Union in zealously defending the [Kyiv] regime which has made the glorification of Nazi accomplices a key domestic and foreign policy tenet,” she stated, referencing Berlin’s support of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion since 2022.

Russian leaders have repeatedly tried to justify their invasion of Ukraine as a struggle against neo-Nazism, though it has not presented evidence to back this up and despite the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, being Jewish.

“All this leads to the conclusion that in the context of the ongoing proceedings at the International Court of Justice, Berlin decided to single out the Holocaust issue by setting it apart from all other aspects of its guilty historical acts against humanity. Moreover, it refuses to view it in a holistic manner. Instead, Berlin adjusts its perspective as it deems fit to suit its momentary considerations,” Zakharova claimed.

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