Russian President Vladimir Putin might find himself the subject of antisemitic accusations after jokingly making use of a classic antisemitic trope on Monday.
Speaking to members of the public in Crimea, Putin was told of difficulties in financing a synagogue in the disputed territory, and responded by saying “Jews have problems with finances? Only in Crimea such a thing could happen!” Washington Post reporter Anie Ferris-Rotman tweeted.
The purported joke, linking Jews to finances, caused polite laughter and led to the Russian leader to say “Thank you very much” in Hebrew.
This is not the first time Putin attempted to make jokes involving Jewish people.
In 2017 he told a joke about the IDF.
“"Do you want to hear a joke about the Israeli army?" he asked when speaking on a television panel about energy.
And since it's Putin, he didn't wait for an affirmative response before continuing.
"A young soldier is asked: 'If you see 20 terrorists, what would you do?'"
"'I would take an Uzi and shoot them.' 'Good.' 'What if a tank was coming at you?' 'I would take a rocket launcher and defend myself,'" Putin continued.
"'And what if you see planes, tanks and terrorists together?' He replies: 'General, am I the only one in this army?'"
"So, I'd like to ask you: Am I the only one on this panel? Next to me are other people!"
The crowd dutifully laughed and applauded.
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