Jewish Leaders Reject Russian Foreign Minister’s Outrageous Attempt at False, Antisemitic Justification for Ukraine Invasion

New York, NY, . . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We are disturbed by the outrageous comments of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, who falsely parroted the absurd, antisemitic claim that Jews are themselves, ‘the biggest antisemites,’ and were somehow complicit in the genocide of the Holocaust. He did so as he attempted to deflect criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Foreign Minister Lavrov’s inexcusable remarks have no bearing in history, nor do they justify in any way Russia’s actions against Ukraine. His baseless assertions were a blatant violation of the broadly recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism – the most authoritative and internationally accepted definition of antisemitism – which highlights examples of contemporary antisemitism, such as Holocaust distortion and denial and accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for wrongdoing committed by others. Twenty-five U.S. states and the District of Columbia adopted or embraced this definition, along with many major cities, over thirty countries, hundreds of universities, sports teams, and major governmental bodies. We will continue as one of our key initiatives to urge local, state, national, and international governments to combat antisemitism in all its forms by adopting the critically important IHRA definition.

“It is shameful and deeply offensive for a senior government official to invoke the Holocaust in such a reckless, disgraceful, and inaccurate manner. We owe it to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust to refrain from references to the Shoah that risk denying the singularity and uniqueness in human history of the Holocaust.”


The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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