Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Dangerous And Sickening Antisemitic Comments Made By Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

May 2, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor condemning antisemitic comments made by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov over the weekend. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

I want to begin by responding to a particularly disgusting comment made over the weekend by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. As the Russian army continues slaughtering civilians, 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. As the highest ranking Jewish elected official in the U.S., I take particular umbrage at what Mr. Lavrov said.

Asked on Italian television yesterday to defend his nation’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr. Lavrov repeated the deranged conspiracy that Ukraine is dominated by Neo-Nazis, and dismissed President Zelenskyy’s own Jewish heritage by saying, to quote Mr. Lavrov: “I believe that Hitler also had Jewish origins.” He also added “we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves.”

I have only one word for this: sickening. It is sickening.

Mr. Lavrov’s comments are just sickening and 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 are 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.

It’s chilling to see Russia’s top diplomat—he should not be called a diplomat after saying that—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.

I condemn Mr. Lavrov’s comments in the strongest possible terms. And every individual who wishes to guard against the poisons of antisemitism should do the same.