‘Rumors that Putin’s successor is Jewish has community worried’

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(Vladimir Putin and his successor-to-be, Dmitri Medvedev)

(Haaretz) — The Jewish community of Russia is worried over a rumor campaign by nationalist parties claiming that Dmitri Medvedev, President Vladimir Putin’s handpicked successor, is Jewish. Russian Jewish leaders declined to comment on the rumors officially, fearing to lend them credibility. Off the record, however, one said: “I pray it isn’t true, because it would only make trouble, for him and for us.” Medvedev, who recently told a Russian weekly that he was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church at age 23, has not commented on these rumors. But Russian Internet sites are full of reports about his alleged Jewish roots. The rumors are based in part on the fact that his maternal grandfather’s first name was Veniamin – similar to the Hebrew Binyamin (Benjamin) – while his family name, Shaposhnikov, is sometimes a Jewish name. But beyond that, accusing an electoral rival of being Jewish is a tactic that nationalist parties have employed in the past, both in Russia and in other former communist countries… Click for full article

Comment: Does this story not remind you of the way right wing pundits and Obama opponents in the United States “accuse” Barack Obama of being a Muslim? See for example two articles by conservative commentator Daniel Pipes who puts in considerable effort to investigate Obama’s Muslim heritage in two articles, Was Barack Obama a Muslim? and Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam. Notice that Obama never bothers to qualify these pundits’ mis-characterizations of him with a follow up statement to the effect of “So what if I was?…” Fox News and Ann Coulter et al. never miss an opportunity to remind us of Obama’s alleged Muslim background, his middle name Hussein, and the fact that his first name rhymes with Osama — apparently a serious blow to his electability by the standards of some American voters.

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One Response to “‘Rumors that Putin’s successor is Jewish has community worried’”

  1. dcc Says:

    Right on man! Well done.

    (AN)

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