All the headlines scream that the Russian president Vladimir Putin has equaled the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion in accusing Jews for Russian meddling in the 2017 US elections. That is surprising and puzzling, because, time and again, Putin, like his US counterpart Trump, has proven himself to be a loyal admirer of and ally to Jews. So what’s really going on?

Reading beyond the headlines, we find that he didn’t blame the Jews at all. One should know, first of all, that the Russians see themselves as a People, and Jews and Blacks, and Mongols and Ukrainians, etc., as non-Russians. For them, there is no such thing as a Russian Jew. Jews who immigrate to Israel from the former Soviet Union are astounded to be called Russians here. There they were called Jews.

So that is what Putin meant when he said “Maybe they are not even Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews, but with Russian citizenship, which should also be checked.”

So he’s playing innocent by saying:

  • Who says it comes from our territory?
  • And even if it did, who says it comes from Russians? Maybe it’s from people from another nation that live here?
  • And even if it were Russians, who says I ordered them to do so?
  • They could have been paid by people in the US.

In summary: even if committed by Russian nationals does not mean that Russia has done this. Only an assignment of the Russian State can make an act Russian.

The lady protests too much, methinks.

Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, scene ii

Of course he sounds very guilty by the length of his defense. He might not know Shakespeare and so not be aware of the above quote.

But in any case, he stays a loyal friend of Jews. Of course.