Claims that modern day Israel resembles Nazi-era Germany can often be dismissed as anti-Semitic ravings, but now parallels between the two have been made by an unlikely source - a serving senior Israel Defence Forces (IDF) commander. Furthermore, Major General Yair Golan made the comparisons whilst addressing a Holocaust Memorial Day address in front of Israeli politicians.

In his address, Golan said those remembering the Holocaust in which six million Jews were exterminated should also draw lessons from that great horror and ensure it is never repeated. However, he said, he could see some parallels between then and now, except, he appeared to imply, this time Israelis could be seen as the oppressors.

"It's scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here," Golan told the audience. "The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so.

"If there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016."

Golan, a former paratrooper, also admitted that sometimes Israeli soldiers were heavy-handed in their dealings with Palestinians. However, he cited the example of Sergeant Elor Azaria being tried over a Hebron shooting that was captured on video as evidence the IDF did investigate itself and had high moral standards.

Labour's Ken Livingstone caused outrage when he said Hitler had briefly had the same aims as the Zionists, leading to claims Labour was not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism within its party. Although Golan did not say that, for the Israeli army's deputy chief, to make any sort of comparison between Israel and Germany will be controversial.

However at the same memorial, the UK Left was condemned by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Addressing Holocaust survivors he said: "Anti-Semitism and the persecution of the Jews are not a fad. It is a difficult chronic disease that penetrates deep into the heart and history of nations.

"We find it today in the voices that can be heard in the heart of a different Europe – from the British left and the extreme right in Eastern Europe and in Europe as a whole, and in areas across of the Arab world."