Russian embassy slams PM Lapid for 'disdain of Palestinians' lives'

The Russian Embassy in Cairo attacked Prime Minister Lapid, commenting on a tweet in which he referred to the massacre in the city of Bucha, accusing him of "disrespecting the lives of Palestinians."

 Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST, Sputnik/Sergei Savostyanov/Pool/via Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST, Sputnik/Sergei Savostyanov/Pool/via Reuters)

The Russian Embassy in Cairo accused Prime Minister Yair Lapid of hypocrisy for attacking Gaza while condemning Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, charging that he held Palestinian lives in disregard.

“Yair Lapid... lies about [Ukraine] in April and attempts to place blame and responsibility on [Russia] for the deaths of people in Bucha brutally murdered by the Nazis,” the Russian Embassy tweeted on Wednesday. Compare that “with his calls in August for bombing and strikes on land in the Gaza Strip. Isn’t that double standards, complete disregard and contempt for the lives of Palestinians?”

It then retweeted a message from Lapid in April, when he was foreign minister, in which he wrote, “It is impossible to remain indifferent in the face of the horrific images from the city of Bucha near Kyiv from after the Russian Army left. Intentionally harming a civilian population is a war crime and I strongly condemn it.”

He was responding to reports that the Russian Army had deliberately killed more than 1,300 civilians during its invasion of Bucha. Russia has denied that accusation.

Russia’s Embassy in Tel Aviv did not issue any similar message. Instead, it posted information about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s phone call with his Israeli counterpart, President Isaac Herzog, initiated by Herzog’s office.

No response 

The Prime Minister’s Office had no response to the unusual tweet out of Cairo.

Former prime minister Naftali Bennett took a more neutral stance on the war while in office, whereas Lapid has been more outspoken. Bennett also acted as an intermediary at the start of the war, and flew to Moscow to speak with Putin. Lapid has not played the same role.

The Palestinians and anti-Israel critics have attempted to make a comparison between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and IDF actions against the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza.

Israel and its supporters have refuted all such comparisons. Lapid and Israeli officials have been careful to emphasize that the IDF is careful not to target civilians, and that its focus was the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and its infrastructure.

There were 47 Palestinians killed in Gaza during the, of whom 21 were considered Islamic Jihad operatives. Some of the civilian casualties, including four children, were the result of Islamic Jihad rockets launched at Israel that fell short of their targets and landed in Gaza. The IDF said more civilians were killed by errant PIJ rockets than from Israeli firepower.

“The only double standard is in Moscow’s consistent denial of its repeated war crimes in Ukraine,” said the American Jewish Committee.

At the UN Security Council meeting on Monday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield commended Lapid for steps that “ultimately prevented further casualties and suffering,” while blaming Islamic Jihad in Gaza for delaying the ceasefire that went into effect late Sunday night.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebenzya accused Israel of provoking the violence in Gaza, in which Palestinians fired 1,100 rockets into Israel. There were no Israeli fatalities.