Russian President Vladimir Putin made a joke invoking the anti-Semitic trope about Jews and money during a visit with local residents and religious leaders in Crimea on Monday.
When a local Jewish leader made a comment about financial difficulties, Putin replied: “So the Jews have problems with finances! Only such a thing could happen in Crimea.” He also said to the bearded and black-hatted Jewish man in Hebrew, “toda raba,” or thank you very much.
The exchange was first reported in English in a tweet by Washington Post Moscow correspondent Anie Ferris-Rotman, who included a video of the exchange.
Putin also proposed inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the opening of a synagogue in Sevastopol, after offering to invite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the opening of a Crimean Mosque.
He also stated that the Jewish community of Russia was making a large contribution to the country’s development.
“I hope that Jews in Crimea will play the same positive role. Judaism is also among our traditional denominations, traditional religions, and I am very pleased that religious life is developing here, in Crimea,” the president said.