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Gene study settles debate over origin of


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#1    SCFan

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:33 PM

PARIS — Jews of European origin are a mix of ancestries, with many hailing from tribes in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism and created an empire that lasted half a millennium, according to a gene study.

The investigation, its author says, should settle a debate that has been roiling for more than two centuries.

Jews of European descent, often called Ashkenazis, account for some 90 percent of the more than 13 million Jews in the world today.

According to the so-called Rhineland Hypothesis, Ashkenazis descended from Jews who progressively fled Palestine after the Moslem conquest of 638 AD.

They settled in southern Europe and then, in the late Middle Ages, about 50,000 of them moved from the Rhineland in Germany into eastern Europe, according to the hypothesis.

But detractors say this idea is implausible.

Barring a miracle --which some supporters of the Rhineland Hypothesis have in fact suggested -- the scenario would have been demographically impossible.

It would mean that the population of Eastern European Jews leapt from 50,000 in the 15th century to around eight million at the start of the 20th century.

That birth rate would have been 10 times greater than that of the local non-Jewish population. And it would have occurred despite economic hardship, disease, wars and pogroms that ravaged Jewish communities.

Seeking new light in the argument, a study published in the British journal Genome Biology and Evolution, compares the genomes of 1,287 unrelated individuals who hail from eight Jewish and 74 non-Jewish populations.

Geneticist Eran Elhaik of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, trawled through this small mountain of data in search of single changes in the DNA code that are linked to a group's geographical origins.

Such telltales have been used in past research to delve into the origins of the Basque people and the pygmy people of central Africa.

Among European Jews, Elhaik found ancestral signatures that pointed clearly to the Caucasus and also, but to a smaller degree, the Middle East.

The results, said Elhaik, give sound backing for the rival theory -- the "Khazarian Hypothesis."

Under this concept, eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, a hotchpotch of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries AD and, influenced by Jews from Palestine, converted to Judaism in the 8th century.

The Judeo-Khazars built a flourishing empire, drawing in Jews from Mesopotamia and imperial Byzantium.

They became so successful that they sent offshoots into Hungary and Romania, planting the seeds of a great diaspora.

But Khazaria collapsed in the 13th century when it was attacked by the Mongols and became weakened by outbreaks of the Black Death.

The Judeo-Khazars fled westwards, settling in the rising Polish Kingdom and in Hungary, where their skills in finance, economics and politics were in demand, and eventually spread to central and western Europe, according to the "Khazarian Hypothesis."

"We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaised Khazars, Greco-Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews and Judeans," says Elhaik.

Full Article: http://www.google.co...61c17572c848.81

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#2    SCFan

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:35 PM

Dec-30-2012 20:20
Ofer Aderet: The Jewish People's Ultimate Treasure Hunt
Salem-News.com

In his search for Jewish ancestry, researcher Eran Elhaik says he has discovered that Jews originated in the Khazar empire, not the kingdom of Judah.
Courtesy: en.paperblog.com



(TEL AVIV Ha'aretz) - "Just imagine a group of blind people who encounter an elephant for the first time in their lives. They place their hands on it and touch it in order to understand what kind of animal it is. But each of them feels a different part of the elephant's body so that, in the end, each of them gains a different impression as to what sort of animal it is." Using this ancient Indian parable, geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik tries to illustrate one of the most controversial issues in the study of history: the origin of the Jewish people.


From Dr. Eran Elhaik's Website



"For years, scholars have suggested various explanations as to where the Jews come from," says Israeli-born Elhaik, and lists the different theories proposed over the past century to solve the puzzle. However, each explanation has provided only a partial clue and, to make matters worse, all the explanations contradict one another.

"My study is the first to propose a comprehensive theory that explains all the seemingly contradictory findings," asserts the young scholar in a telephone conversation from his home in Maryland. The 32-year-old Elhaik conducted his research at the School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Earlier this month, he published his findings in an article, "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses," in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, published by Oxford University Press. One of the scholars who reviewed the article before its publication described it as more profound than all the previous studies on the ancestry of the Jewish people.

In our telephone interview, Elhaik, who does not hide his light under a bushel, describes his study as a "breakthrough" and says he has provided the scholarly foundations for an ancient and controversial theory claiming that European or Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of the Khazars. The Khazar Empire consisted of various peoples (Iranians, Turks, Slavs, Caucasians and others ), and ruled over a vast territory stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea during the medieval period. According to this theory, the Khazars converted to Judaism in the eighth century and their descendants are the "European" or Ashkenazi Jews who live today in Israel and the Diaspora.





The commonly accepted narrative considers the Jews to be descended from residents of the Kingdom of Judah who were exiled and returned to their native land - the modern-day State of Israel - only after thousands of years of exile. In contrast, this new study supports the theory that the Jews are descended from different peoples who lived in various regions in the Mediterranean Sea Basin, and who converted to Judaism in different eras. According to that theory, the story of the exile from Judah, the exilic life led by Jews in the countries of the Diaspora and their continual longing for their native homeland can be considered a myth.

"My research refutes 40 years of genetic studies, all of which have assumed that the Jews constitute a group that is genetically isolated from other nations," notes Elhaik. His study is based on comprehensive genetic data published in other studies. In the absence of such data on the Khazars themselves, Elhaik - following a procedure commonly used by researchers in his field - relied on figures relating to populations that are genetically similar to the Khazars, such as Georgians, Armenians and Caucasians. Elhaik says "they have all emerged from the same genetic 'soup.'"

After conducting numerous analyses utilizing various techniques, some of which have never been employed before, the researcher discovered what he describes as the Khazar component of European Jewry. According to his findings, the dominant element in the genetic makeup of European Jews is Khazar. Among Central European and East European Jews, this component is the most dominant in their genome, accounting for 38 and 30 percent, respectively.

What other components constitute the genome of European Jews?

Elhaik: "[They are] primarily of Western European origin, which is rooted in the Roman Empire, and Middle Eastern origin, whose source is probably Mesopotamia, although it is possible that part of that component can be attributed to Israeli Jews."

The latter datum is of considerable importance because it "reconnects" European Jews to Israel. However, that connection amounts to only a small part of the makeup of the genome, and that figure is not statistically significant enough to establish that the origin of the Jews is the Kingdom of Judah.

According to Elhaik's study, there is a genetic continuum linking the Jews of Iran, the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Georgia with the European Jews. In other words, it is possible that these groups share common ancestors - namely, the Khazars.

The geneticist goes on to explain that, among the various groups of European and non-European Jews, there are no blood or family connections: "The various groups of Jews in the world today do not share a common genetic origin. We are talking here about groups that are very heterogeneous and which are connected solely by religion."

The bottom line, he claims, is that the "genome of European Jews is a mosaic of ancient peoples and its origin is largely Khazar."

Full Article: http://www.salem-new...ish-gene-oa.php

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#3    SCFan

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:57 PM

The competing “Khazarian hypothesis” considers Eastern European Jews to be the descendants of Khazars (supplementary note S1, Supplementary Material online). The Khazars were a confederation of Slavic, Scythian, Hunnic–Bulgar, Iranian, Alans, and Turkish tribes who formed in the central–northern Caucasus one of most powerful empires during the late Iron Age and converted to Judaism in the 8th century CE (figs. 1 and 2) (Polak 1951; Brook 2006; Sand 2009). The Khazarian, Armenian, and Georgian populations forged from this amalgamation of tribes (Polak 1951) were followed by relative isolation, differentiation, and genetic drift in situ (Balanovsky et al. 2011). Biblical and archeological records allude to active trade relationships between Proto-Judeans and Armenians in the late centuries BCE (Polak 1951; Finkelstein and Silberman 2002), that likely resulted in a small scale admixture between these populations and a Judean presence in the Caucasus. After their conversion to Judaism, the population structure of the Judeo–Khazars was further reshaped by multiple migrations of Jews from the Byzantine Empire and Caliphate to the Khazarian Empire (fig. 1). Following the collapse of their empire and the Black Death (1347–1348) the Judeo–Khazars fled westward (Baron 1993), settling in the rising Polish Kingdom and Hungary (Polak 1951) and eventually spreading to Central and Western Europe. The Khazarian hypothesis posits that European Jews are comprised of Caucasus, European, and Middle Eastern ancestries. Moreover, European Jewish communities are expected to be different from one another both in ancestry and genetic heterogeneity. The Khazarian hypothesis also offers two explanations for the genetic diversity in Caucasus groups first by the multiple migration waves to Khazaria during the 6th–10th centuries and second by the Judeo–Khazars who remained in the Caucasus.

Genetic studies attempting to infer the ancestry of European Jews yielded inconsistent results. Some studies pointed to the genetic similarity between European Jews and Caucasus populations like Adygei (Behar et al. 2003; Levy-Coffman 2005; Kopelman et al. 2009), whereas some pointed to the similarity to Middle Eastern populations such as Palestinians (Hammer et al. 2000; Nebel et al. 2000), and others pointed to the similarity to Southern European populations like Italians (Atzmon et al. 2010; Zoossmann-Diskin 2010). Most of these studies were done in the pregenome-wide era using uniparental markers and including different reference populations, which makes it difficult to compare their results. More recent studies employing whole genome data reported high genetic similarity of European Jews to Druze, Italian, and Middle Eastern populations (Atzmon et al. 2010; Behar et al. 2010).

Although both the Rhineland and Khazarian hypotheses depict a Judean ancestry and are not mutually exclusive, they are well distinguished, as Caucasus and Semitic populations are considered ethnically and linguistically distinct (Patai and Patai 1975; Wexler 1993; Balanovsky et al. 2011). Jews, according to either hypothesis, are an assortment of tribes who accepted Judaism, migrated elsewhere, and maintained their religion up to this date and are, therefore, expected to exhibit certain differences from their neighboring populations. Because both hypotheses posit that Eastern European Jews arrived at Eastern Europe roughly at the same time (13th and 15th centuries), we assumed that they experienced similar low and fixed admixture rates with the neighboring populations, estimated at 0.5% per generation over the past 50 generations (Ostrer 2001). These relatively recent admixtures have likely reshaped the population structure of all European Jews and increased the genetic distances from the Caucasus or Middle Eastern populations. Therefore, we do not expect to achieve perfect matching with the surrogate Khazarian and Judean populations but rather to estimate their relatedness.

http://gbe.oxfordjou...ent/5/1/61.full

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#4    and then

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:47 PM

I'm curious BJ...what is the point of your obsessive exposition?  Does the origin of the modern Israeli have some special importance to you?  If your thesis is that Jews are not native to the area they currently inhabit then you are ignoring tremendous amounts of archaeological and literary data.  And NO I will not spend an hour compiling it for you.  
Have a good day and try to relax  :tu:

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#5    SCFan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

View Postand then, on 04 May 2013 - 06:47 PM, said:

I'm curious BJ...what is the point of your obsessive exposition?  Does the origin of the modern Israeli have some special importance to you?  If your thesis is that Jews are not native to the area they currently inhabit then you are ignoring tremendous amounts of archaeological and literary data.  And NO I will not spend an hour compiling it for you.  
Have a good day and try to relax  :tu:

I think these findings too groundbreaking and startling to ignore. And no, the point of this thread is NOT because I believe the ancient Judaic inhabitants are a myth. I know there is plenty of archaeological and literary data on the ancient Judaic inhabitants.

Quote

New Study Sheds Light On the Origin of the European Jewish Population

Jan. 16, 2013 — Despite being one of the most genetically analysed groups, the origin of European Jews has remained obscure. However, a new study published online January 17 in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution by Dr Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, argues that the European Jewish genome is a mosaic of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, setting to rest previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. Elhaik's findings strongly support the Khazarian Hypothesis, as opposed to the Rhineland Hypothesis, of European Jewish origins. This could have a major impact on the ways in which scientists study genetic disorders within the population.
Dr Elhaik's paper, 'The missing link of Jewish European ancestry: contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses', examined a comprehensive dataset of 1,287 unrelated individuals of 8 Jewish and 74 non-Jewish populations genotyped over 531,315 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This was data published by Doron Behar and colleagues in 2010, which Elhaik used to calculate seven measures of ancestry, relatedness, admixture, allele sharing distances, geographical origins, and migration patterns. These identified the Caucasus-Near Eastern and European ancestral signatures in the European Jews' genome along with a smaller, but substantial Middle Eastern genome.

The results were consistent in depicting a Caucasus ancestry for all European Jews. The analysis showed a tight genetic relationship between European Jews and Caucasus populations and pinpointed the biogeographic origin of the European Jews to the south of Khazaria, 560 kilometers from Samandar -Khazaria's capital city. Further analyses yielded a complex multi-ethnical ancestry with a slightly dominant Caucasus -Near Eastern, large South European and Middle Eastern ancestries, and a minor Eastern European contribution.

Dr Elhaik writes, "The most parsimonious explanation for our findings is that Eastern European Jews are of Judeo-Khazarian ancestry forged over many centuries in the Caucasus. Jewish presence in the Caucasus and later Khazaria was recorded as early as the late centuries BCE and reinforced due to the increase in trade along the Silk Road, the decline of Judah (1st-7th centuries), and the rise of Christianity and Islam. Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian Jews gravitating toward Khazaria were also common in the early centuries and their migrations were intensified following the Khazars' conversion to Judaism… The religious conversion of the Khazars encompassed most of the Empire's citizens and subordinate tribes and lasted for the next 400 years until the invasion of the Mongols. At the final collapse of their empire in the 13th century, many of the Judeo-Khazars fled to Eastern Europe and later migrated to Central Europe and admixed with the neighbouring populations."

Dr Elhaik's findings consolidate, otherwise conflicting results describing high heterogeneity among Jewish communities and relatedness to Middle Eastern, Southern European, and Caucasus populations that are not explained under the Rhineland Hypothesis. Although Dr Elhaik's study linked European Jews to the Khazars, there are still questions to be answered. How substantial is the Iranian ancestry in modern day Jews? Since Eastern European Jews arrived from the Caucasus, where did Central and Western European Jews come from? If there was no mass migration out of Palestine at the 7th century, what happened to the ancient Judeans?

And crucially for Dr Elhaik, how would these new findings affect disease studies on Jews and Eurasian populations?

"Epidemiologists studying genetic disorders are constantly struggling with questions regarding ancestry, heterogeneity, and how to account for them," he says. "I hope this work will open up a new era in genetic studies where population stratification will be used more correctly."

http://www.scienceda...30116195333.htm

Basically the Khazarian Hypothesis has ultimately prevailed. These findings suggests that indeed the Ashkenazi Jews / European Jews are made-up of Khazarian/Caucacus converts which is so controversial today and people that have long believed this hypothesis have fallen under personal attacks and been dubbed anti-semites.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).

#6    Detective Mystery 2015

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:02 AM

This is just one piece of the puzzle, though. The Hebrew base remains the same, but other cultures and ethnicities are added to it. One can be Jewish by living by the tenets of Judaism, as well as by being of Jewish descent (through the mother's line). It's a shame when anti-Jewish ideologues hijack what should be neutral genome studies.

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#7    SCFan

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:00 AM

View PostDetective Mystery 2013, on 05 May 2013 - 03:02 AM, said:

This is just one piece of the puzzle, though. The Hebrew base remains the same, but other cultures and ethnicities are added to it. One can be Jewish by living by the tenets of Judaism, as well as by being of Jewish descent (through the mother's line). It's a shame when anti-Jewish ideologues hijack what should be neutral genome studies.

Absolutely, but this raises questions about the state of Israel and how contradictory its immigrant right of return laws truly are. People could be born on those very lands are denied the right of return. Yet someone that was never born on those very lands will be granted the right of return.

"I charge thee in the sight of God, who giveth life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed the good confession; that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in its own times he shall show, WHO IS THE BLESSED AND ONLY POTENTE, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; who only hath immortality, dwelling in light unapproachable; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power eternal. Amen" (I Tim 6:13-16).




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