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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
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Is Putin a Friend to the Jews Who Deserves Support?

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/FLASH90

Therefore, whenever a man or a country is wicked, however good they may temporarily be to the Jews, the friendship will not last. They will eventually turn on the Jews since our mission is to spread morality. And can we really support dictators who are our friends if they are murderous and immoral? Does that not contravene everything we are about?

Can the Jewish community befriend a man who is the shield who protects mass murderer Bashar Assad who gasses innocent Arab children? Can we have any relationship with a man that facilitates such evil?

Take a closer look and you will see that not only is Putin not the friend to Israel we think he is, but he is actually a huge danger. Who is the biggest international defender of Iran at the UN? Putin’s Russia.

Moreover, in 2012 Putin had deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov warn Israel against “any possible military scenario against Iran” which he threatened would be “catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations. Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences … and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves.”

Some friend.Russia has also called the international sanctions against Iran “overt blackmail” and a “crude contradiction of international law.”

In September, 2013, The Daily Mail quoted a Kremlin source as saying that Vladimir Putin was preparing to offer Iran “missile systems and a second nuclear reactor… If it goes ahead Iran will be supplied with five advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles, capable of taking down aircraft or guided missiles, valued at $800million.”

With Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the map one can only wonder why Putin, the great friend of the Jews, is protecting Iran’s nuclear program and arming Iran with advanced weapons systems.

The answer, of course, is that Vladimir Putin has no friends. He is your typical narcissistic, megalomaniacal dictator who will cultivate friendships that burnish his image. And for now it suits his purposes to feign attachment to the Jews.

As to Chabad of Russia’s friendship with Putin, the Lubavitcher Rebbe made it clear that Russia had stolen the celebrated “Schneerson Library” accumulated by successive Chabad leaders. He had the movement launch lawsuits and use every diplomatic connection to retrieve the stolen archive from Russia. Putin has categorically refused to return it, offering to exhibit it in the Jewish museum in Moscow instead. How some in Chabad have accepted this “deal,” given the Rebbe’s ferocious protests to the contrary, continues to mystify.

Always beware friendship with a dictator. When he falls, righteous people will point fingers. And you really don’t want to be around.

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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46 Responses to “Is Putin a Friend to the Jews Who Deserves Support?”

  1. So wait, you are making a distinction between “being a friend to Chabad” and “being a friend to Jews?” interesting set of priorities. Clearly some people believe Chabad is a different religion than Judaism.

  2. Cary Cowell says:

    It is not friendship can”t trust a communist those in America are about to Learn a hard lesson about our communist dictator .

  3. Isa Yazd says:

    And he supports Iran, Syria, and just about every other nation that is anti-Israeli.

  4. Zlatko Djuga says:

    Putin is dictator

  5. Better Putin that Obama who is the real evil for the Jews.

  6. Better Putin that Obama who is the real evil for the Jews.

  7. Putin is not a Antisemit!

  8. You can NOT trust the Russians…nor can you trust this adminstration

  9. Putin a “friend to Jews”? You’ve gotta be kidding. Only if you trust a fox in your henhouse!

  10. Read Ezekiel 38 & 39 about Gog and Magog. Then tell me if you still trust Putin!

  11. Tony Bruan says:

    They should all leave Russia, who wants to be in a situation where you have to compromise your values and your integrity. They should all pack up and go to Israel.

  12. Anthony Kent says:

    Many dictators have looked after the Jews over the course of history. For a while, you have to go with the flow.

  13. kneel before him, forget the amis

  14. no i dont think he does support iran or any other arab country i think he has been aiming to stop obama in his tracks from everything that i have seen and read the reason obama and putin has been battling it our is over terrorisim i have not seen him yet support terrorism but i have seen obama do it

  15. no i dont think he does support iran or any other arab country i think he has been aiming to stop obama in his tracks from everything that i have seen and read the reason obama and putin has been battling it our is over terrorisim i have not seen him yet support terrorism but i have seen obama do it

  16. no i dont think he does support iran or any other arab country i think he has been aiming to stop obama in his tracks from everything that i have seen and read the reason obama and putin has been battling it our is over terrorisim i have not seen him yet support terrorism but i have seen obama do it

  17. Frank Bazan says:

    Just keep far away from Israel those kind of friends …..

  18. Norman Press says:

    If you trust Putin you must believe on the

  19. Norman Press says:

    Sorry hit post too soon. If you trust putin you must believe in tooth fairies.

  20. A wolf in sheep skin. All Jews world wide should go back to Israel.

  21. Ken Man says:

    Good one Rabbi (;-)) so what on Obummer

  22. Putin is a politician therefore by definition is a liar and can’t be trusted.

  23. Isn’t his name miss spelled Poppun because he is full of Sh_t.

  24. You’re kidding, right?! Putin supports Syria , Egypt AND Iran….. Somehow I really don’t think he is a friend

  25. Amnon Niv says:

    Next Week Obama will freeze Putin’s Facebook acct .

  26. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

  27. Not hardly!Putin like Obama is a friend to himself and his ambition.Period!

  28. I trust Putin like I trust Obama. Not!!

  29. André Nunes says:

    He is no friend…..Israel needs to distance itself from Russia for it’s own souls survival.

  30. Neither Obama nor Putin are to be trusted , however Obama is doing far more damage to Israel then Putin has ever done.

  31. Cheski Baum says:

    How is he brutal?

  32. That’s because he knows you can get more with honey than you can vinegar. He’s a viper that’s thinks Israel needs his honey. Beware Israel!

  33. John Newman says:

    I doubt that he is a friend of Jewish people. He is mostly concerned about Russia.

  34. Lol! A friend to Israel??? How???

  35. Jim Green says:

    Putin is no friend to the Jews

  36. Lina Deza says:

    If he shows support to Israel’s enemies then what does this mean?

  37. Sertainly not worse than Obama

  38. NO, base on Ezekiel 38 and 39

  39. Anonymous says:

    Rabbi Boteach,
    What has doing business with Apartheid South Afrika or Putin's Russia to do with support of the respective political positions or system. Business is just business and business is about nothing else but making money. If you want Israel to follow a moral standard in doing business with other states, then Israel can do business with none of them.

  40. If Israel still can, Israel has to hit Iran's nuke weapons program. This has to be done yesterday.

    If this can be done effectively – and I define "effectively" as setting them back at least five years – then things will sort out as to who Israel's "friends" are in the world.

    I don't trust either Putin or Obama as far as I can throw them. I'd trust the Chinese before either of them…at least the Chinese aren't anti-Semites! But even China is in bed with Iran.

    So, Israel has to look first to defending herself. This, if effectively carried out in Iran's case, will earn the world's respect. And whomever doesn't like it – Obama, Putin, etc. – they can just go fly a kite.

    The world respects strength and resolve. Israeli leaders must show this, particularly concerning Iran. Then, the rest will sort itself out.

  41. 'America's Rabbi' that is an oxymoron in a sense, any Jew would know why..I am a Soviet Jew but grew up in Australia, hence have Soviet and Western influence, to put it simply, thank God for the Soviet influence. Rabbi, I suggest this…teach American Jews (who assimilate the most) why American lifestyle contradicts the Torah..That would be more useful.

  42. Aldo Mimoun says:

    Crimea always was part of Russia. Nikita Krustchev (an Ukrainian) gave Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954. I don't understand the big deal. This tiny enclave is populated with an overwhelming ethnic Russian population. They are entitled to choose whom to ally themselves with. To engage in a war of rhetoric that can ultimately end in either a cold war or worse a hot war is really not in the best interest of the US or the West. Just chill and let the Crimean people decide what's best for them. As far as Poutine expansionist ideas are concerned, it's just a wish that will not materialize. Could Belarus be next?

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