Chief Rabbi: Most Russian Jews Backing Putin
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.