(JTA) — Russian President Vladimir Putin made a joke invoking the anti-Semitic trope about Jews and money during a visit to Crimea.
During a visit with local residents and religious leaders on Monday in Crimea, a local Jewish leader made a comment about financial difficulties.
Putin replied “So the Jews have problems with finances! Only such a thing could happen in Crimea.” He also said to the bearded ad black-hatted Jewish man in Hebrew “todah rabah,” or thank you very much.
The exchange was first reported in English in a tweet by Washington Post Moscow correspondent Anie Ferris-Rotman, who included a video of the exchange.
Putin today, responding to a Jewish community member in Crimea: “So the Jews have problems with finances! Only such a thing could happen in Crimea” (forced laughter all round) He also tells him, in Hebrew, “thank you very much” https://t.co/fWNvW6wxFt— Amie Ferris-Rotman (@Amie_FR) March 18, 2019
Also on Monday in Crimea, Putin proposed inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the opening of a synagogue in Sevastopol, after offering to invite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the opening of a Crimean Mosque.
Putin also said that the Jewish community in Russia was making a large contribution to his country’s development.
“I hope that Jews in Crimea will play the same positive role,” he said. “Judaism is also among our traditional denominations, traditional religions, and I am very pleased that religious life is developing here in Crimea.”
Some 10,000 Jews live in Crimea, and the community has been deeply supportive of Russian annexation of the peninsula.
Putin Jokes About Jews And Money In Crimea