ADL to Putin: Don't blame Jews

ADL voices deep concern after Russian President suggests Jews could have been responsible for Russian meddling in U.S. election.

Ben Ariel,

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Sunday voiced deep concern following remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin suggesting Jews and other minorities in the Russian Federation could be behind the meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.

President Putin, asked in an interview with NBC News if the hacking was sponsored by the Russian government, stated: “Maybe they’re not even Russians. Maybe they’re Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, just with Russian citizenship. Even that needs to be checked. Maybe they have dual citizenship. Or maybe a green card. Maybe it was the Americans who paid them for this work. How do you know? I don’t know.”

In response, ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement, “As the Russian government faces expanding evidence and new questions about possible meddling in U.S. elections, President Putin bizarrely has resorted to the blame game by pointing the finger at Jews and other minorities in his country.”

“It is deeply disturbing to see the Russian president giving new life to classic anti-Semitic stereotypes that have plagued his country for hundreds of years, with a comment that sounds as if it was ripped from the pages of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion,’” continued Greenblatt.

“We live in a moment when anti-Semitic violence is on the rise and words can have profound consequences, particularly when spoken by public figures or elected officials like President Putin. We hope he swiftly clarifies his words before they cause further damage to those communities he has singled out,” he concluded.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) had also condemned Putin’s remarks on the weekend.

“President Putin suggesting that Russian Federation minorities, be they Ukrainian, Tatar, or Jewish, were behind U.S. election is eerily reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He should clarify his comments at the earliest opportunity,” the AJC tweeted.

MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Union) also tweeted about Putin’s remarks, linking them to the new controversial Polish law that would make it a crime to blame Poland for the Holocaust.

“We r quite familiar with the oldies ‘Maybe Jews run the world, maybe Jews use blood for their rituals, maybe Jews had slaughtered Jews in Poland’. Now comes the latest hit ‘maybe Jews meddled in US elections’. Our government has to condemn strongly this statement #putin #jews,” she tweeted.

Despite his latest comments, Putin is widely credited with cracking down on anti-Semitism and facilitating unprecedented growth among Russian Jewish communities.

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