Lebanese paper says Putin has ‘Jewishness’

Published August 9th, 2016 - 11:06 GMT
Russian president Vladimir Putin (AFP/File)
Russian president Vladimir Putin (AFP/File)

Russian president Vladimir Putin is considered many things: a war criminal, a dictator, on one hand; a strong leader and the savior of the West on the other. Jewishness is not something he is oft accused of, but Lebanon’s As-Safir ran an article by Sami Kleib Tuesday entitled “Putin’s Jewishness, does it benefit the Arabs and Syria?”

The article  alleges that Russia under Putin enjoys close strategic relations with the Jewish state. “No Russian or Soviet president has offered more to Israel than Putin,” the article read in its opening paragraph. To this end, Kleib cites frequent visits to Moscow by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and military sales between the two countries.

But Kleib goes even farther in his attempt to prove Putin’s supposed Jewishness. “Some novels on Putin say he lived in a Jewish neighborhood when he was young,” wrote Kleib. Other outlets have reported on the Jews in Putin’s life too.

On whether Putin’s good relations with Jews in Russia, Eastern Europe and Israel will benefit the Arabs, Kleib suggests Russia play a larger role in mediating between Israel and “the resistance,” referring to Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and others who oppose Israel’s existence.

As-Safir is generally considered a supporter of the March 8 Alliance in Lebanon, which includes Hezbollah. The headline was brought to attention to some English tweeters by NOW. reporter Alex Rowell.


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