Most of Russia’s Jews will likely vote for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Sunday’s presidential elections, according to that country’s chief rabbi.
“Maybe if there were a more serious choice of candidates they would vote for someone else. But I haven’t yet met a single Jew who is voting for [Russian tycoon Mikhail] Prokhorov, for example,” said Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazar, in an interview with Haaretz.
He added, “I think the fact that a new, young leader has not yet stepped forward in Russia is a problem. All these people — [Gennady] Zyuganov, [Vladimir] Zhirinovsky [presidential candidates for the Russian Communist and Liberal Democratic parties, respectively] — we’ve already heard their sermons before. It’s the same old people.”
Lazar has the delicate task of threading the needle between the government in Moscow and the Jewish community — many of whose members have been involved in protests against Putin in the past months.