‘Jews a Race’ Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert


forward.com

Scientists usually don’t call each other “liars” and “frauds.”

But that’s how Johns Hopkins University post-doctoral researcher Eran Elhaik describes a group of widely respected geneticists, including Harry Ostrer, professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of the 2012 book “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People.”

For years now, the findings of Ostrer and several other scientists have stood virtually unchallenged on the genetics of Jews and the story they tell of the common Middle East origins shared by many Jewish populations worldwide. Jews — and Ashkenazim in particular — are indeed one people, Ostrer’s research finds.

It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine, as the Romans called it after they conquered the Jewish homeland.

But now, Elhaik, an Israeli molecular geneticist, has published research that he says debunks this claim. And that has set off a predictable clash.

“He’s just wrong,” said Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, a leading researcher in Jewish genetics, referring to Elhaik.

The sometimes strong emotions generated by this scientific dispute stem from a politically loaded question that scientists and others have pondered for decades: Where in the world did Ashkenazi Jews come from?

The debate touches upon such sensitive issues as whether the Jewish people is a race or a religion, and whether Jews or Palestinians are descended from the original inhabitants of what is now the State of Israel.

Ostrer’s theory is sometimes marshaled to lend the authority of science to the Zionist narrative, which views the migration of modern-day Jews to what is now Israel, and their rule over that land, as a simple act of repossession by the descendants of the land’s original residents. Ostrer declined to be interviewed for this story. But in his writings, Ostrer points out the dangers of such reductionism; some of the same genetic markers common among Jews, he finds, can be found in Palestinians, as well.

By using sophisticated molecular tools, Feldman, Ostrer and most other scientists in the field have found that Jews are genetically homogeneous. No matter where they live, these scientists say, Jews are genetically more similar to each other than to their non-Jewish neighbors, and they have a shared Middle Eastern ancestry.

The geneticists’ research backs up what is known as the Rhineland Hypothesis. According to the hypothesis, Ashkenazi Jews descended from Jews who fled Palestine after the Muslim conquest in the seventh century and settled in Southern Europe. In the late Middle Ages they moved into eastern Europe from Germany, or the Rhineland.

“Nonsense,” said Elhaik, a 33-year-old Israeli Jew from Beersheba who earned a doctorate in molecular evolution from the University of Houston. The son of an Italian man and Iranian woman who met in Israel, Elhaik, a dark-haired, compact man, sat down recently for an interview in his bare, narrow cubicle of an office at Hopkins, where he’s worked for four years.

In “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” published in December in the online journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Elhaik says he has proved that Ashkenazi Jews’ roots lie in the Caucasus — a region at the border of Europe and Asia that lies between the Black and Caspian seas — not in the Middle East. They are descendants, he argues, of the Khazars, a Turkic people who lived in one of the largest medieval states in Eurasia and then migrated to Eastern Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. Ashkenazi genes, Elhaik added, are far more heterogeneous than Ostrer and other proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis believe. Elhaik did find a Middle Eastern genetic marker in DNA from Jews, but, he says, it could be from Iran, not ancient Judea.

Elhaik writes that the Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century, although many historians believe that only royalty and some members of the aristocracy converted. But widespread conversion by the Khazars is the only way to explain the ballooning of the European Jewish population to 8 million at the beginning of the 20th century from its tiny base in the Middle Ages, Elhaik says.

Elhaik bases his conclusion on an analysis of genetic data published by a team of researchers led by Doron Behar, a population geneticist and senior physician at Israel’s Rambam Medical Center, in Haifa. Using the same data, Behar’s team published in 2010 a paper concluding that most contemporary Jews around the world and some non-Jewish populations from the Levant, or Eastern Mediterranean, are closely related.

Elhaik used some of the same statistical tests as Behar and others, but he chose different comparisons. Elhaik compared “genetic signatures” found in Jewish populations with those of modern-day Armenians and Georgians, which he uses as a stand-in for the long-extinct Khazarians because they live in the same area as the medieval state.

“It’s an unrealistic premise,” said University of Arizona geneticist Michael Hammer, one of Behar’s co-authors, of Elhaik’s paper. Hammer notes that Armenians have Middle Eastern roots, which, he says, is why they appeared to be genetically related to Ashkenazi Jews in Elhaik’s study.

Hammer, who also co-wrote the first paper that showed modern-day Kohanim are descended from a single male ancestor, calls Elhaik and other Khazarian Hypothesis proponents “outlier folks… who have a minority view that’s not supported scientifically. I think the arguments they make are pretty weak and stretching what we know.”

Feldman, director of Stanford’s Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, echoes Hammer. “If you take all of the careful genetic population analysis that has been done over the last 15 years… there’s no doubt about the common Middle Eastern origin,” he said. He added that Elhaik’s paper “is sort of a one-off.”

Elhaik’s statistical analysis would not pass muster with most contemporary scholars, Feldman said: “He appears to be applying the statistics in a way that gives him different results from what everybody else has obtained from essentially similar data.”

Elhaik, who doesn’t believe that Moses, Aaron or the 12 Tribes of Israel ever existed, shrugs off such criticism.

“That’s a circular argument,” he said of the notion that Jews’ and Armenians’ genetic similarities stem from common ancestors in the Middle East and not from Khazaria, the area where the Armenians live. If you believe that, he says, then other non-Jewish populations, such as Georgian, that are genetically similar to Armenians should be considered genetically related to Jews, too, “and so on and so forth.”

Dan Graur, Elhaik’s doctoral supervisor at U.H. and a member of the editorial board of the journal that published his paper, calls his former student “very ambitious, very independent. That’s what I like.” Graur, a Romanian-born Jew who served on the faculty of Tel Aviv University for 22 years before moving 10 years ago to the Houston school, said Elhaik “writes more provocatively than may be needed, but it’s his style.” Graur calls Elhaik’s conclusion that Ashkenazi Jews originated to the east of Germany “a very honest estimate.”

In a news article that accompanied Elhaik’s journal paper, Shlomo Sand, history professor at Tel Aviv University and author of the controversial 2009 book “The Invention of the Jewish People,” said the study vindicated his long-held ideas.

”It’s so obvious for me,” Sand told the journal. “Some people, historians and even scientists, turn a blind eye to the truth. Once, to say Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say they’re not a race is anti-Semitic. It’s crazy how history plays with us.”

The paper has received little coverage in mainstream American media, but it has attracted the attention of anti-Zionists and “anti-Semitic white supremacists,” Elhaik said.

Interestingly, while anti-Zionist bloggers have applauded Elhaik’s work, saying it proves that contemporary Jews have no legitimate claim to Israel, some white supremacists have attacked it.

David Duke, for example, is disturbed by the assertion that Jews are not a race. “The disruptive and conflict-ridden behavior which has marked out Jewish Supremacist activities through the millennia strongly suggests that Jews have remained more or less genetically uniform and have… developed a group evolutionary survival strategy based on a common biological unity — something which strongly militates against the Khazar theory,” wrote the former Ku Klux Klansman and former Louisiana state assemblyman on his blog in February.

“I’m not communicating with them,” Elhaik said of the white supremacists. He says it also bothers him, a veteran of seven years in the Israeli army, that anti-Zionists have capitalized on his research; not least because “they’re not going to be proven wrong anytime soon.”

But proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis also have a political agenda, he said, claiming they “were motivated to justify the Zionist narrative.”

To illustrate his point, Elhaik swivels his chair around to face his computer and calls up a 2010 email exchange with Ostrer.

“It was a great pleasure reading your group’s recent paper, ‘Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,’ that illuminate[s] the history of our people,” Elhaik wrote to Ostrer. “Is it possible to see the data used for the study?”

Ostrer replied that the data are not publicly available. “It is possible to collaborate with the team by writing a brief proposal that outlines what you plan to do,” he wrote. “Criteria for reviewing include novelty and strength of the proposal, non-overlap with current or planned activities, and non-defamatory nature toward the Jewish people.” That last requirement, Elhaik argues, reveals the bias of Ostrer and his collaborators.

Allowing scientists access to data only if their research will not defame Jews is “peculiar,” said Catherine DeAngelis, who edited the Journal of the American Medical Association for a decade. “What he does is set himself up for criticism: Wait a minute. What’s this guy trying to hide?”

Despite what his critics claim, Elhaik says, he was not out to prove that contemporary Jews have no connection to the Jewish people of the Bible. His primary research focus is the genetics of mental illness, which, he explains, led him to question the assumption that Ashkenazi Jews are a useful population to study because they’re so homogeneous.

Elhaik says he first read about the Khazarian Hypothesis a decade ago in a 1976 book by the late Hungarian-British author Arthur Koestler, “The Thirteenth Tribe,” written before scientists had the tools to compare genomes. Koestler, who was Jewish by birth, said his aim in writing the book was to eliminate the racist underpinnings of anti-Semitism in Europe. “Should this theory be confirmed, the term ‘anti-Semitism’ would become void of meaning,” the book jacket reads. Although Koestler’s book was generally well reviewed, some skeptics questioned the author’s grasp of the history of Khazaria.

Graur is not surprised that Elhaik has stood up against the “clique” of scientists who believe that Jews are genetically homogeneous. “He enjoys being combative,” Graur said. “That’s what science is.”

  1. #1 by George on May 12, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    Jews are a mongrel mixture just like the rest of us.That genetic purity crap is just racist nonsense.

  2. #2 by BMan on May 12, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    What is it with the anti-Jewish Control movement who insist that Jews are a semitic “race”? It is obviously untrue.

    So, who profits the most from this insensible insistence?

    Jews do. Of course.

  3. #3 by noz on May 12, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    When the research work is peer reviewed and let the chips fall, the jews will be very upset with their genetic make up of not being the chosen people.

  4. #4 by Don on May 12, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    The Khazars were a central Euro tribe who converted to Judaism and who don’t have one drop of DNA from the Mideast. The AshkeNAZIs are not Semitic at all, hence the term “anti-Semitic” is illegitimate. It’s like classifying a Grizzly bear as a reptile. Typical equivocal jew-speak. Everything related to the jews was dreamed up by the jews to benefit the jews, starting with their cult of hate and violence, the Talmud. “Jews” are the biggest lie ever invented. 95% or more of world jewry are Khazar/Ashkenazi; the “blue eyed” jew, like Paul Newman. Jews are NOT A RACE anymore than Italians, Catholics, Germans or Swedes are individual races.

    There are 3 races; Negroid, Mongoloid and Caucasoid….that’s it. There is no Jewasoid!! One doesn’t have to be a PhD Geneticist to know that, any more than one has to be an engineer to know the 3 WTC buildings came down in controlled demolitions.

    I don’t know what the hell David Duke is talking about!

    Jews can argue literally anything, such as the ocean isn’t salty or that it’s not daytime at high noon.

    Jews invented lying.

  5. #5 by Luciana on May 12, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    Take my DNA and you will discover that I am Cleopatra reincarnated. Lets be for real here.

  6. #6 by Anthony Clifton on May 12, 2013 - 6:12 pm

    no one has to stay in the stool sculpture deity cult compound…”they” could come out . . .

    http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/defense-against-the-psychopath/

    the only Race the so-called “Jews are in is the race to the bottom of the bottomless pit…”JEWTOPIA” !!

    there really needs to be a comedy showcase “WEBSITE” to chronicle all the comedy on the “Jewishness” of the so-called “Jews”…

    it seems that every day they find a new and lower level for the BAR to snake crawl under to fully appreciate the CHUTZPAH & HYPOCRISY that are the birthmarks of Talmudic Judaism…

    do the “Jewish” womyn who want to “Pray” at the wailing wall have to wear any special attachments to “Pray” in the usual “Jewish” manner to properly please their “Jewish” dung god ?

  7. #7 by dublinmick on May 12, 2013 - 6:38 pm

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=70626

    Hitler and the the Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b, tricky blood grouping.

  8. #8 by Luciana on May 12, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    These very same jews were protesting racism in ‘Israel’ in NYC last night. I will try to find out more information on this.

  9. #9 by restinpieces on May 12, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    Judaism is a religion (not a race). THE END.

  10. #10 by Blake on May 12, 2013 - 9:38 pm

    They just full of crap.

  11. #11 by 1bigcree Shadowhawk on May 12, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    Congratulations to Dr Elhaik. Job well done. Enough said.

  12. #12 by morris on May 12, 2013 - 10:25 pm

    Judaism’s unstated aim is to mix all races.
    So what a cruel irony to inflict a lie of genetic similarity on a mixed bag of people dedicated to insuring all the races mix.

  13. #13 by dublinmick on May 13, 2013 - 1:49 am

    True they are a mixture of many different racial groups but there is one blood grouping they try and nurture. It may possibly have something to do with the requirement of insisting upon a jewish mother in order to be jewish.

    http://dublinsmick.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/monkey-blood-rh-negative-blood-types-y-dna-haplogroup-e1b1b-blood-grouping-shared-by-royalty-and-dictators-alike/

  14. #14 by Darwin26 on May 13, 2013 - 5:50 am

    Scientologists are the real ‘Chosen People’ jk

  15. #15 by morris on May 13, 2013 - 9:34 am

    If someone is raised as a jew, they know the whole score, it’s simply cultural, blood types and mother’s have nothing to do with it. Time to let go of any myths of there being any type of physical distinction, there is none. And all talk of a physical distinction feeds into the supremacist debacle.

  16. #16 by George on May 13, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Jewish DNA???LOL

  17. #17 by dublinmick on May 13, 2013 - 7:29 pm

    No Morris and George it is time to keep digging regardless of whose ox is gored. DNA doesn’t lie regardless of how many LOLs are generated and why.

  18. #18 by morris on May 13, 2013 - 11:42 pm

    you have no idea of the reality on the ground
    all the 100s of 1000s parading as jews who have no jewish mothers for beginners
    the reality is not the picture we are painted with
    time to get real
    the russian immigrants (often the most extreme settlers) are the highest percentage in this category.
    you are clearly determined to substantiate a distinct race, this is borne of and the responsibility and role of the religious.
    And their sheeple buy it all up from the zionist press.

  19. #19 by morris on May 13, 2013 - 11:49 pm

    so you think the ethiopians and europeans and russians and turks and all the others share a common dna
    israel has also imported ethnic chinese (do a youtube search)
    dont you know a front when you see one

  20. #20 by morris on May 13, 2013 - 11:53 pm

    What is clear to me dublinmick is that your dna is 100% jewish and your fate is intricately tied up with them as is your mind set. And if you dont think conjuring up a scientific reports results is as much the norm as an exception, then you have not been privy to our rulers ways.

  21. #21 by morris on May 13, 2013 - 11:57 pm

    …. and the goyim did line up to defend the jewish identity …..

  22. #22 by dublinsmick on May 14, 2013 - 1:05 am

    What I am saying is most khazars are (Y-DNA) haplogroup E1b1b, and carry that grouping, it seems to be among the so called royals also. Hitler and Napoleon were of this group also. Yes the majority of them present themselves as Jews today, maybe they will be bajias tomorrow who knows. It seems some are threatened that herr fuhrer may have been in on the plan. It is a big money earner as the reparations are still rolling in. They use it in Japan in shinto to identify their own with. The focus seems to be, try and keep the bloodline together, maybe that is why they are always talking about blood libels and such.

    So you are trying to say I am a jew now Morris? I was kind of wondering if you were.

  23. #23 by morris on May 14, 2013 - 9:54 am

    the truth is not permitted to be told, i was only raised as a jew, but you can remain in the statistics provided to you, that should cloud enough truths

  24. #24 by dublinmick on May 14, 2013 - 11:09 pm

    You should get out more Morris!

    http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2013/05/many-americans-supported-hitler.html

    HITLER’S JEWISH PSYCHIC

    Hitler’s Jewish Doctor

    Hitler’s favorite Jew: The strange case of Dr. Eduard Bloch

    Hitler’s Jewish solicitor

    Jewish works found in Hitler’s personal record collection Independent

    Hitler Loved Jewish Tunes

    Adolf Hitler’s homosexuality. Wiki

    Hitler’s Jewish maid [breaks her silence on Adolf Hitler]

    Hitler’s Favorite Jewish Filmmaker

    The Untold Story of the Nazi Jews

    150 000 Jews served in Hitler’s Army

    Jews in the Nazi Military

    Thousands of Hitler’s soldiers were of Jewish Descent

    So what if you’re related to Hitler?

    In the Wolf’s Mouth

    Hitler’s Jewish Police

    “Hitler was Jewish”

    Youtube Censorship

    ‘This video has been removed due to terms of use violation’.

    Was Hitler Just a Pawn?

    Understanding Hitler’s Secret Relationship to the House of Rothschild

    Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler

    History Channel Now Admits U.S. Banks Funded The Third Reich

    Hitler’s death also remains a mystery.

    The OMEGA File HITLER ESCAPED!

    The Rise of the Fourth Reich

    World was Lied to about Hitler’s Death

    “Goebbels had engaged six doubles to impersonate Hitler for purposes of security and public appearances.

    Hitler died in 1960 in Argentina

    When war erupts in the world…

    Zionism and the Third Reich

    The Hidden History of Zionism

    Adolf Hitler’s New World Order -by Adolf Hitler

    “Paddy” Hitler

    Nazis were Zionists

    Menachem Begin (Israeli Prime Minister, 1977-1983. (Nobel Prize Winner for…Peace!)

    “We are Judeo-Nazis”

    Hitler – Just Another Inside Job

    IBM and the Holocaust

    Adolf Eichmann Was a Crypto-Jewish Zionist Nazi

  25. #25 by unitedagainstzionism on May 15, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    It’s a theory that more or less affirms the understanding that many Jews themselves hold of who they are in the world: a people who, though scattered, share an ethnic-racial bond rooted in their common ancestral descent from the indigenous Jews of ancient Judea or Palestine,

    It’s also the belief that WNs, particularly the more extremist ones, take as gospel truth. In the case of the “Christian Identity” adherents, literally so!

    Their fantastical religious fables, (a)historical information, their sources — their underlying beliefs — all come from Jewish supremacists (ancient and contemporary), whose regard for the concept of “truth” (or “truthfulness” of a story) is secondary to the underlying desire to believe that they are special/superior/”chosen”.

    It’s obvious that Ashkenazim and Sephardim are no more genetically related than, say, Germans and Russians.

    Even without the Khazar theory (which is what Elhaik’s paper, which I have yet to read, expands upon), my understanding is that there is no hard (genetic) evidence linking Ashkenazim to the original Judaism-embracing peoples of the Levant. There is only wishful thinking by agenda-driven Jewish geneticists. Once they published a few such broad DNA studies (using selective data and other fudge factors, which is why the data are “not publicly available”), they can point to their own studies and say “see, this is the majority view” — and by pretending that this constitutes a valid meta-analysis, they are able to dismiss any challengers like Arthur Koestler, Shlomo Sand, or Eran Elhaik.

    “David Duke, for example, is disturbed by the assertion that Jews are not a race. “The disruptive and conflict-ridden behavior which has marked out Jewish Supremacist activities through the millennia strongly suggests that Jews have remained more or less genetically uniform and have… developed a group evolutionary survival strategy based on a common biological unity — something which strongly militates against the Khazar theory,” wrote the former Ku Klux Klansman and former Louisiana state assemblyman on his blog in February.

    David Duke’s audience is the broad WN community, so I can see why he wouldn’t want to bring this idea into the discussion. But…

    Is the idea that Jews “developed a group evolutionary survival strategy based on a common biological unity” really a better explanation than the idea that Jews “developed a group evolutionary survival strategy based on a common cultural unity”? A “holy book” that elevates a small group of people above everyone else, resulting in a mindset of superiority, which keeps them united. Do you really think the Jews’ obsession with “being Jewish” (their “unity” drive) is a genetic expression rather than an epigenetic behavior resulting from (cultural) indoctrination?

    We give too much credit to genetics and too little to the epigenetic phenomenon that makes us human: consciousness.

  26. #26 by frederickrhodes on May 16, 2013 - 1:46 am

    It’s not necessarily the masculine Ashcanazi Jews who may be genetically homogeneous, it’s technically the Diaspora feminine Ashcannazi Jewesses’ Mitrochondrial DNA that spread the deffective gene. There are Ashcan nazi women infecting Christianity and Islam, too.

    It turns out that this is the same gene that leads to breast cancer/mastectomy, so women with this gene are cutting off their tits to prevent breast cancer. It’s Mother Nature’s karmatic justice, because these kabballah witches are lying to us and cutting off our prepuces as infant men to prevent women from getting STI’s and UTI’s, because it doesn’t accually work and causes the opposit effect increasing vaginal erosion from the keratinized glans, leading to increased rates of uterine and cervical cancers as well for women married to circumcised men. Tit for Tat.

    But, as their sons, circumcised as infants, die off from hidden physical and psychological dysfunctions that don’t show up until after puberty, the women have the unfair advantage to breed outside their religions, races, ethnicities, spreading their Mitrochondrial DNA/Askenazi gene (which IMO may not have the genetic adaptation to be able to fight off HPV, which leads to sex/reproductive cancers)
    .
    People who believe in the heavenly godfather’s penis of creation science fiction myth generaly cannot understand that women are our true evolutionary creators.

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