A Lebanese news service made the shocking claim this week: the Russian President Vladmir Putin‘s increasingly close ties with Israel are because he is Jewish. On Tuesday, reporter Sami Kleib wrote an article titled, “Putin’s Jewishness: Does it serve the Arabs and Syria?”. The article appeared in As-Safir, a leading Arabic-language pro-Hezbollah daily newspaper based in Beirut.
The article notes the frequent meetings between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the increase in economic ties and military cooperation between their countries. Other proof cited was Israel choosing not to join in international sanctions against Russia when they annexed the Crimea, and the cooperation that has prevented confrontations between the IDF and Russian forces operating in Syria. The report suggests that this growing friendliness may lead to Russia not fulfilling its promise to transfer the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran.
The report goes on to describe Putin’s close personal ties with Jews while growing. Several of these childhood friends have remained close to the Russian leader, becoming wealthy as a result. These personal ties are also credited with the recent and unprecedented religious tolerance for Judaism in Russia. Putin frequently participates in Jewish ceremonies on an official basis and is close with leaders of the Jewish community.
Putin wrote extensively about his childhood experiences with Jews in his autobiography published in 2000. His boxing coach, a surrogate father-figure to Putin, was an observant Jew
Algemeiner speculated that the As-Safir report was based on a number of conspiracy websites that claimed Putin’s childhood among the Jews of his community was due to his actually being Jewish. Though no proof is offered, Debatepolitics made the startling claim that Putin’s grandparents, maternal and paternal, were Jewish. It followed this with a statement that was disturbingly racist.
“Just look at Putin’s face and ears closely; he is no more a Christian than Benjamin Netanyahu. He is just another crypto Jew, having conveniently converted to Orthodox Christianity. How convenient.”
The As-Safir report notesdthe significant immigration of Russian Jews to Israel as one of the factors in the growing closer ties between the two countries. Russian Israelis, under Russian-Jewish Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, fighting against Arabs in the IDF is a point of concern raised by the article.
In a claim disturbingly similar to the anti-Semitic manifesto, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the report claims that due to the leader’s benevolence, Jews are taking over the finance and media in Russia.