The philosophy of hate speech: examples of Russian diplomacy

Sergei Lavrov provoked a diplomatic scandal in Israel, calling Hitler a Jew and, in fact, accusing Jews of anti-Semitism. This is not the first time in the Russian minister’s tenure that his behavior has created tensions in the world. Let’s recall them.

In fact, Lavrov launched an anti-Semitic disinformation that Jews are to blame for the Holocaust, as they are “the biggest anti-Semites,” including Hitler, who has “Jewish roots.”

In response, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid asked Lavrov for apologies and said that “to say that Hitler was a Jew is like saying that Jews killed themselves.” Israel called the Russian ambassador asking for an explanation.

Given that Israel had taken a relatively neutral position on Russia in the war with Ukraine prior to the scandal, this would have been a terrible mistake for classical diplomacy and possible further resignation. After all, diplomacy involves finding allies and peace, not initiating scandals.

However, Lavrov is not a diplomat in the classical sense, and Russia is not a country that seeks peace and friendship. Lavrov, who has held the post since 2004,is tasked with justifying the Kremlin’s aggression and threatening anyone who does not buy these justifications.

At the same time, Lavrov often loses self-control and begins to use swear words or “gangster jargon.”

Who are you to fucking lecture me?

In 2008, Lavrov spoke with then-British Foreign Secretary David Miliband about the war in Georgia. The British diplomat explained to Lavrov that the occupation of a neighboring country would force Europe to reconsider its relations with Russia, to which he received the above answer.

Fuckers, motherfucker”

In 2015, Lavrov, was meeting with his colleague from Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir. During al-Jubeir’s speech, Lavrov stated the above-mentioned phrase, which was aired. Subsequently, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that their boss spoke about journalists, not Minister al-Jubeir. Well, this does not make the situation any better.

However, Lavrov is used to being rude to journalists. In 2017, when asked about Russia’s use of chemical weapons in Syria, Lavrov answered journalists simply: “Who was bringing you up? Who was giving you your manners? ”.

 Prison jargon

Sergei Lavrov has a very good command of Russian prison jargon, and although its use is considered a bad tone in society, Lavrov constantly uses it even in diplomatic meetings.

In 2014, he accused the West of supporting Ukraine’s “extremists” (as official Moscow has called any government in Ukraine since 2014), where hoping that Russia would not intervene. At the same time, he literally stated that “the West wanted to take us on a whim.”

In 2022, before the full-scale invasion, Lavrov said that the West should live by prison laws “by concepts” and adhere to the principle of “boy said – boy did.” Yes, Lavrov argued that the need for legal guarantees is not NATO enlargement.

In addition

Lavrov has been broadcasting Russian propaganda about the “regime in Kyiv” for years, where five presidents have already changed during Lavrov’s tenure as the minister. Lavrov accuses Ukraine of fascism, the West of “neocolonial politics” and oppression of “freedom of speech”, and now Jews of anti-Semitism.

Lavrov does not avoid threatening not only the neighboring countries but also the world, hinting at the use of nuclear weapons. The Kremlin speaks to the world through Lavrov’s words: using threats, swearing, prison rhetoric and spreading fakes. All this is happening with the approval of the Russians because his statements “in human language” are enjoyed on the state media.

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