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May 07, 2013

Did YU's Harry Ostrer Cook The Genetic Books To Support False Findings Of Ashkenazi Jews Origins?

YU LogoAn Israeli researcher alleges that a Yeshiva University professor manipulated data to reach the “false” conclusion that Ashkenazi Jews have a predominantly Middle Eastern genetic origin when in fact their genetic signature is predominantly from the Caucus region of northeast Asia. And even though this Israeli researcher published his study debunking Ostrer and other geneticists more than 6 months ago, none of them will respond to the questions about their work.

 

The Forward has a report on Israeli researcher Eran Elhaik's 2012 study, “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” on the origin of Ashkenazi Jews. Elhaik found that previous studies were flawed and contradicted each other and was able to use their data and create a hypothesis that rectified them. And then the data matched. Unfortunately for many of us, what Elhaik may have proved is that most Ashkenazi Jews are descended from converts to Judaism – the Khazars.

Elhaik also believes that some of these earlier studies were conducted by scientists who intentionally cooked the books to get the results they wanted – that Ashkenazi Jews predominantly have a Middle Eastern origin – rather than the results that are actually true – that we do not.

Most prominent among those scientists Elhaik believes to be dishonest is Harry Ostrer is a professor of pathology and genetics at Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the author of “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” which was published last year.

But Ostrer and other geneticists refused to talk on the record about Elhaik or his study, and none of them responded in peer reviewed academic journals where letters and brief comments are published without having to go through the time-consuming peer review process.

Now, more six months after Elhaik's study was first published (the official publication date was in December, but the paper was released in digital form before that), Ostrer is still refusing to talk and has not answer Elhaik's paper or Elhaik's allegations. And this, published in the Forward today, may be why:

…But proponents of the Rhineland Hypothesis also have a political agenda, [Eran Elhaik] 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?”…

Related Posts:

New Study Shows Yeshiva University Researcher, Others Appear To Have Cooked The Genetic Books To ‘Prove' Middle Eastern Origin Of The Jewish People When One May Not Really Exist.

New Genetic Study Reportedly Proves Khazar Ancestry For Ashkenazi Jews.

Comments

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A totally unfair charge. I looked over Dr. Ostrer's results, and they totally checked out.

Why should it be "unfortunate" for you and me to be descended from Khazars, other than the fact that anti-Zionist racists claim that only those with Middle Eastern DNA have any right to live in the Jewish ancestral homeland (under Islamic domination, of course). I think you agree with me that we can be proud of our ancestry; I'm just saying that I do not consider my ancestors' embrace of Judaism to be in any way unfortunate, and it compels me to treat sincere converts with love and respect.

Posted by: Rabbi Hersh Goldwasser [sic] | May 07, 2013 at 11:52 AM
I wonder how RHG (sic) checked out the results !
they all cook the books, including R' M.M.Sh claiming to be descended from the Davidian dynasty.

TO answer FM's question....we will possibly never know. Is Elhaik's position legitimate...we will possibly never know.

What would be great however would be if all the detractors of the the normative accepted Jewish history would get together, and come up with one cohesive solution that explains Jewish history in a way that shows a complete lack of legitimacy of the Torah - Chazal - Jewish History version. I mean really, Elhaik theory completely conflicts with Freud's Moses and Monotheism. Who are you going to believe, the great Freud or some newbie named Elhaik? Besides that there are other theories that the Jews were simply Canaanites; what happens there? Also, some Muslim scholars say there was no Beit Hamikdash....how do we reconcile that to Elhaik who simply says the Jews today have no connection with those Jews of then? My goodness....so much work to do. Get to it scholars!

It's like Miller said; to believe in evolution takes tremendous emunah as the 'accepted' theories conflict so radically. For we less sophisticated folks, we only have to believe in two things, yetzias mitzrayim (which even Freud accepts) and matan Torah.

I have a question:

If kohanim in both Ashkenazi and Sephardic populations have the same gene on their Y chromosomes that supposedly descended from Aaron, then how can Ashkenazi kohanim be descended from a totally different population?

I would have to conclude that multiple earlier kohanim men intermarried with Khazar women.

Any PhD's in genetics out there?

Outcast: Nicely said.

Sarek --I would have to conclude that multiple earlier kohanim men intermarried with Khazar women.
Thats a possibility,i am a kohen and have a few distant arab matches muslim names from bahrain and even one from india who claims they immigrated from syria over a thousand years ago.

@Sarek

Eran Elhaik already actually has mentioned the debunked claims on supposed "Cohen genes"; that are found in a wide array of different peoples (in addition to being on the male side here; which wouldn't really matter as far as having a "Jewish mother" anyway).

http://eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org/writingMissingLink.html

Elhaik writes: "Most troubling is that papers that were refuted like the 'Levite' and 'Cohenim' genes (Zoossmann-Diskin 2006, Zoossmann-Diskin 2000) are still being discussed as if nothing happened."

Those works of geneticist Dr. Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin:

"Are today's Jewish priests descended from the old ones?" HOMO: Journal of Comparative Human
Biology - Zeitschrift fuer vergleichende Biologie des Menschen" (volume
51, no. 2-3, 2000, pp. 156-162)

That journal's title "HOMO" stands for Homosapien by the way.

And also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018442X0500065X

Ashkenazi levites’ “Y modal haplotype” (LMH) – an artificially created phenomenon? by Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin

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?”…

That is not the first strange thing Ostrer does. He, and some others, actually try to "explain" the impossible demographics associated with the claims of the Rhineland Hypothesis by claiming a "miracle" happened!

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/oup-nss011413.php

"Then, in the beginning of the 15th century, a group of approximately 50,000 left Germany, the Rhineland, for the east. There they maintained high endogamy, and despite wars, persecution, disease, plagues, and economic hardships, their population expanded rapidly to around 8 million in the 20th century. Due to the implausibility of such an event, this rapid expansion was explained by Prof Harry Ostrer, Dr Gil Atzmon, and colleagues as a miracle."

("Follow the Drinking Gourd", traditional)


When the genes come back
To the scientist
Follow the Khazar horde
For geneticists are a-waiting for to figure out the races
If you follow the Khazar horde

Ashenazi populations followed roads
Grabbed their women along the way
Left some behind, traveling on
Follow the Khazar horde

Follow the Khazar horde
Follow the Khazar horde
For geneticists are a-waiting for to figure out our heritage
Follow the Khazar horde

Across the rivers, through the hills
Follow the Khazar horde
We took all kinds of converts on the other side
Follow the Khazar horde


Follow the Khazar horde
Follow the Khazar horde
For geneticists are a-waiting for to figure out our heritage
Follow the Khazar horde

This resorting to claims of miracles was further noted by Dr. Eran Elhaik http://eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org/writingMissingLink.html

"I focused on the supernatural element of the Rhineland Hypothesis and the fact that it was completely made up to support the (Zionist) narrative."

http://eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org/writingMissingLink.html

Dr. Eran Elhaik "Kirsh (2003) filled two pages with the bad practices of Israeli and Jews geneticists in their attempt to manipulate the data and the results so they will not conflict with the Zionist narrative. I didn't find it necessary to do a similar project because then I would run out of space. Instead, I focused on the supernatural element of the Rhineland Hypothesis and the fact that it was completely made up to support the narrative."

Again from Dr. Eran Elhaik's own Johns Hopkins page http://eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org/writingMissingLink.html

Dr. Eran Elhaik "Kirsh (2003) filled two pages with the bad practices of Israeli and Jews geneticists in their attempt to manipulate the data and the results so they will not conflict with the Zionist narrative. I didn't find it necessary to do a similar project because then I would run out of space. Instead, I focused on the supernatural element of the Rhineland Hypothesis and the fact that it was completely made up to support the narrative."

Sarek: Excellent! I was thinking of what to write.

All: What about the lack of linguistic evidence? Yiddish is Middle High German with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic, and Romance components. There is no Turkic element to the Yiddish language, and no Turkic folkways embedded in Ashkenazic practice that I know of. (Not that it would make a difference if there was).

This is all so ridiculous. The level of faith required to believe that the story of the Kuzari actually occurred, when analyzed with the same degree of analysis required to legitimately reject Elhaik theory, in and of itself, would be rejected. It only is accepted by Elhaik in the first place because it suits an end objective. The rule of research is you are paid to draw conclusions; honest or not. So get this; Elhaik, a supposedly reasonable man, and a professor at a respected university, believes some rabbi and some pagan engaged in a conversation centuries ago, and this story is told not by an historian, but by a Rabbi-poet-philosopher. Uh huh.

@Yochanan Lavie

From Elhaik's study "Yiddish, the language of Central and Eastern European Jews, began as a Slavic language that was relexified to High German at an early date (Wexler 1993)."

The citations show the book Elhaik is citing there is "The Ashkenazic Jews: A Slavo-Turkic People in Search of a Jewish Identity" by linguist Paul Wexler

Other relevant books by linguist Paul Wexler:

"Two-tiered Relexification in Yiddish: Jews, Sorbs, Khazars, and the Kiev-Polessian dialect"

and

"The Schizoid Nature of Modern Hebrew: A Slavic Language in Search of a Semitic Past"

A recent linguist who is similar to Wexler, is Ghil'ad Zuckermann.

@bendinai

The fact of the Khazars (or at least some amount of them) converting to the religion of Judaism is confirmed by all historians: see Kevin Alan Brook's recent work "The Jews of Khazaria" for example.

Three historical quotes beyond just the Kuzari:

Christian of Stavelot, in Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam (864):

"At the present time we know of no nation under the heavens where Christians do not live. For [Christians are even found] in the lands of Gog and Magog -- who are a Hunnic race and are called Gazari (Khazars)... circumcized and observing all [the laws of] Judaism. The Bulgars, however, who are of the same seven tribes [as the Khazars], are now becoming baptized [into Christianity]."

Ahmad ibn Fadlan, in his travellogue (c. 922):

"The Khazars and their king are all Jews."

Ibn al-Faqih (c. 930):

"All of the Khazars are Jews. But they have been Judaized recently."

Apologies to: Shining Star by Earth Wind And Fire:

Oy vey!
When you trace your yichus bar
Genes will take you very far, yeah
When you have a Cohen gene
Life ain't always what it seems, oy vey!
Once you see your genome clear
'Tween the thighs of papa dear

You're a white Khazar, no matter who you are
Such a sight to see what Euro Jewry be
What Euro Jewry be

White Khazar, you're still a Jew
Yahweh's watchful light on you, yeah
Gives you leave, put tefillin on
Make brit milah, cut your schlong
Future haters will harass
Love to deconstruct your past

The White Khazar, Euro Jew,
Israel's redeeming shall be true
You shall not pray to the "son", nu
Yet the persecution is no fun
Yeah, scarf down some kosher food
Know that all the land is our own, oy vey

So if you find yourself in need
Why don't you help yourself to glatt meat
Be a convert, it's no sin
Be a Yid, yes I can
Words of Wisdom: Yes I can

You're a White Khazar, no matter who you are
Not a fright indeed, what Euro Jewry be (2x)

White Khazar it's plain to see, what Euro Jewry be (3x)

@Yochanan Lavie

What??? How does what you just wrote have anything to do with the source material or debate here?

As this website has noted; the fact that none of the accused (chiefly Ostrer) have dared to even come forward to try to offer any response or challenge at all to Dr. Eran Elhaik's work after now six months (the final copy of Elhaik's study "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses" was published in the Oxford University Press peer-reviewed scientific journal "Genome Biology and Evolution" in December 2012) speaks volumes!

Elhaik,
So in other words, being historically skeptical of course, a Christian historian mistook the behavior of a tribal group as their being Jews, and a self-promoting Rabbi-philosopher-poet picked up on this a decades later, and wrote this fictional account. Uh huh. Come on; only a complete moron would believe any of this. But it does support a theory, so keep running with it.

@bendinai

Again there is a large amount of historical sources documenting the Khazars conversion to the religion of Judaism (Christian of Stavelot, Ahmad ibn Fadlan, ibn al-Faqih, Al-Masudi, etc etc). This is not debated AT ALL! The only debate among historians, has been did ALL the Khazars convert to Judaism or just some. Again see Kevin Alan Brook's 2006 book "The Jews of Khazaria".

@bendinai

The fact that the Khazars converted to the religion of Judaism is not debated at all. The ONLY debate is did ALL of the Khazars convert to Judaism; or did only some. Again see historian Kevin Alan Brook's 2006 book "The Jews of Khazaria".

This is a fitting site for bullshit like this. Gives all regulars, who are all dopes, something to feed their feeble brains.

@bendinai

The fact that the Khazars converted to the religion of Judaism is not debated at all. The only debate is did all of Khazars convert to Judaism or did only some of them. The evidence suggests most or all of the Khazars were mass converted to the religion of Judaism; as historian Kevin Alan Brook discusses in his 2006 book "The Jews of Khazaria" again.

http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-quotes.html

With DNA tests making huge advances almost daily, I take Eran Elhaik's study with a HUGE GRAIN OF SALT. The ultimate truth will be proven with DNA tests of the future.

Dr. Eran Elhaik writes in his study: http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/61.full

Finally, our findings confirm both oral narratives and the canonical Jewish literature describing the Khazars’ conversion to Judaism (e.g., “Sefer ha-Kabbalah” by Abraham ben Daud [1161 CE], and “The Khazars” by Rabbi Jehudah Halevi [1140 CE]) (Polak 1951; Koestler 1976).

@Reese

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iJN90t2gN6hxGiFQuBv-gYQE060w?docId=CNG.52483183e4e0f60d963361c17572c848.81

The world of genomics is always expanding; but what exactly does that have to do with you apparently not wanting to believe in the validity of Dr. Eran Elhaik's research? If the only response you can muster to Elhaik's work is "well new work is always coming"; you are admitting you have no case.

As this website has noted the fact that none of the accused (specifically Ostrer, a man who has tried to explain "uncomfortable" demographic issues by making claims of "miracles"!) have dared to come forward and even try to offer some response to Dr. Elhaik, now six months on, certainly speaks volumes.

Elhaik,

If you are trying to convince me of anything, you are wasting your time. Whether your theory is correct or incorrect is meaningless to me and many others. We live our lives. This website loves anything that contradicts accepted (albeit flawed) Orthodox Judaism. Between you, FM and a perpetually lying Gary Rosenblatt, you all can have a hearty discussion that concludes in absolute irrelevance.

The first group of American rabbis to meet a Pope met John Paul II. A more pompous group would have been difficult to assemble. When leaving the meeting an American news reporter asked them about it and one Rabbi responding for the group said; "it was an historic event." Yeah. In his mind. Draw you own analogical conclusion.

As an offspring of Hungarian geirim on both sides of my parents I am a proud Jew. My family embraced judaisim and accepted the Torah and its commandments ever since they converted as true Jews. It is of no concern to us that my ancestors were hubgarians, it absolutely makes no differents, Abraham Ainu was a ger , Ruth the grandmother of king david was from Moab who converted to judaisim, so what this
Hogwash is all about I don't understand . As practicing Jews we belong to the Jewish heritage and all that comes with that. Looking back on linkage is just another was for anti Semites to divide the Jews with their non sense and anti jewish bias .My family accepting the faith of of our father Abraham makes us not less Jewish , actually makes us more Jewish because we accepted the faith on our free will rather then being born into it by default.

@bendinai

So you just basically admitted you don't care what the facts are on this historical and genetic issue. Well at least your being honest!

@ Eran Elhaik Johns Hopkins Fan

You expect the garbage link you posted to prove anything? It doesn't prove a thing, only that this Khazar theory, is nothing but a THEORY. Mostly used by people with issues.

@Reese

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/75.full

Although his findings will not be welcome in all circles, Elhaik's interest is more medical than political.

“All I want is to help my colleagues who are studying genetic disorders,” he says. “I hope this work will open up a new era in genetic studies where population stratification will be used more correctly.”

@Reese

Highlight: Out of Khazaria—Evidence for “Jewish Genome” Lacking by Danielle Venton
December 20, 2012

Although his findings will not be welcome in all circles, Elhaik's interest is more medical than political.

“All I want is to help my colleagues who are studying genetic disorders,” he says. “I hope this work will open up a new era in genetic studies where population stratification will be used more correctly.”

YL - nice, said our mutual admiration society

To all who provided links about debunking the kohen gene marker: thanks for nothing. I prefer the original hypothesis (with a little body English) that we kohanim possess a marker that is proof of our superiority (you may say "difference", but potato-potăto.)

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Which may remind you of certain groups discussed on this website.....

@Bendinai, Freud postulated a lot of things that were just plain wrong. Elhaik isn't suggesting that ALL Ashkenazi Jews are of Khazar origin. He simply states that SOME Easter European Ashkenazim share a statistically significant percentage of their of DNA with some Central Asians. If you prefer Freud because of your need for confirmation bias, by all means go for it.

People, once again, I've had my fill of the frum trolls. I'm tired of reading the remarks of morons with fifth-grade educations who have no clue of what is going on outside of their cloistered, xenophobic little world feeling qualified to dismiss, contemptuously, whatever fails to validate their childish belief system.

"This is a fitting site for bullshit like this. Gives all regulars, who are all dopes, something to feed their feeble brains."

Yes, we're all dopes. Your rebbe, who hasn't left his study in fifty years, who tells you sucking on an infant's penis is perfectly safe, is operating at a much higher madrega and has a much clearer understanding of objective reality than does any scientist, living or dead.

"It's like Miller said; to believe in evolution takes tremendous emunah as the 'accepted' theories conflict so radically. For we less sophisticated folks, we only have to believe in two things, yetzias mitzrayim (which even Freud accepts) and matan Torah."

Where does one begin? It's impossible to communicate with such people. Their development has been arrested, and there is no way in which this can be explained to them. Primitive people don't know they're primitive. Stupid people don't, for the most part, know they're stupid.

I'm sick to death of them. They are not merely wrong; I find them utterly contemptible. Most of you want them to change. I don't; I want them to disappear - and if they could take the evangelicals with them, so much the better. The rest of us could then get on with the business of attempting to salvage what is left of civilization.

It's time for me to take another walk.

How about Dr. Jon Entine. This is the you tube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRtc0XaA5k0 THere is a small amount of Khazar blood among Levites but none among Israel's and Cohen's because the Khazar could not buy the Priesthood but sadly could buy being a Levite. He seems credible. He also concludes that the DNA of the male line does trace back to the Middle East but the female line does not which of course his conclusion is a threat to Rabbinic Judaism but not the bible which clearly uses Patralineal lineage as is the case with a Cohen. In fact he concludes that when Jews originally moved to the Diaspra some took local wives who were not Jewish but they raised the kids Jewish although once a large community was established marriages were with their own. This would explain some features similar to Europe among Ashkanazic Jews. Not Khazars.

Adam –

Entine is NOT a doctor and he did no genetic research of his own. He is relying of Ostrer, et all.

@Yochanan Lavie

What??? How does what you just wrote have anything to do with the source material or debate here?

Posted by: Eran Elhaik Johns Hopkins Fan | May 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM

It's called a "song parody." Those of us with a sense of humor know what that is.

Genetics may well have its own Shlomo Sands (far-left anti- or post-Zionist Israelis who manipulate facts to make totally untrue claims). There are many, many genetic studies (and not just by Israelis) supporting a middle eastern origin of Jews and casting doubt on the Khazarian hypothesis. Solid historical evidence also supports the view that most Ashkenazim were descended from those who were pushed East by expulsions. Just because one or two genetics makes inflammatory and conspiratorial accusations doesn't mean they're right.

Its funny how many Cohens are around compared to Levites.
I guess washing feet, second in call ups and atomisation by the ark isn't such great fun. Still I'd rather be a Levite for the novelty and surprised looks in shul. Its hard to find a Levite!!!

@Shmarya Rosenberg

You are correct on that Entine is not a doctor. And also an interesting point to note there as well (in addition to the clear facts you noted) is that Dr. Eran Elhaik is obviously a PhD geneticist from Johns Hopkins University: a university noted for its medical school and medical programs. Whereas Entine was, and I believe still is, associated with George Mason University which is noted more for things like its political science, humanities, and business type programs not medical or physical sciences programs.

@ reese,

I like your post, especially when I can turn it around like frying an egg against you and like minded fools like you.

Let me see...you say "You expect the garbage link you posted to prove anything?"

I will immediately tell you, and you expect the mythological garbage in your torah, yes torah with small caps,proves anything? Creation 6000 thousand years ago? Many supernatural events that defy logic and the laws of physics? A vindictive God that would kill at will out of a fit of jealousy? Not only that, that same vindictive god puts a murdered to lead an entire tribe throughout a desert for 40 years, and sadistically see them going through tribulation after tribulation, and this same murdered, yes the guy who killed the Egyptian, that was murder too, in case you do not know what murder means. Happens that this guy, talks to god, who happens to appear to him on a burning bush...yeah, right.Certainly a god with too many human flaws.

Wait, I am not done with you and your like minded fanatics yet. You also say..." It doesn't prove a thing". Neither your religion, or any religion to that matter, glad we are on the same page. They are all based on myth, fear and ignorance.

"only that this Khazar theory, is nothing but a THEORY. Mostly used by people with issues."

Thank you, you just stole the words out of my mouth, same as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, all with their own theories to try to explain the nature of a form of energy that they all, collectively,call God, not only call God, but also put on it, many human attributes like jealousy and anger.

ALL RELIGIONS ARE MAN MADE, by insecure and ignorant people,like you and many others here, with many issues, so many issues, that they had to invent religion and the concept of god to have a sense of security and a pretext for justifying their eccentric behavior and explain what they refuse to understand, natural phenomena occurring everyday that has been occurring during the last 8 or 10 billion years or so, give or take a billion.

You see how easy is was to flip your "reasoning" around like frying an egg? Or you need me to post a video of a frying egg so you can understand it?

What you and people like you fail to realize or should I say accept; is that Dr. Eran Elhaik's paper specifically synthesizes, corrects, and refutes all the past work. This is made very clear in all the publications covering this issue.

So you and others trying to say "well older stuff disagrees with this"; is completely absurd for you to say when Elhaik is specifically and strongly: correcting, forcefully challenging, and synthesizing all the past works and making a clear picture for all to see.

What you say is still, very tellingly, the main "response" being give to Dr. Elhaik's work. Which highlights just what this article noted; there has been no legitimate response or challenge of any kind to Dr. Eran Elhaik's work for now going on six months! Which is very telling for the strength of his paper at this moment. In fact, other than what you stated, the only other real "responses" out there among the other laypeople who want to allegedly "challenge" Elhaik's work and study is bringing laughably invalid amateur blogs as supposed "sources". In particular many still very oddly try to bring blog postings from August 2012 as there "source" and "challenge" to Elhaik. Which is completely ridiculous as these August 2012 blog postings they are still trotting out were only trying to critique or challenge Elhaik's preprint aka rough draft paper that was posted on the preprint website arXiv on August 6, 2012. None of that is relevant or any form of a "response" at all to Elhaik's final paper for his study "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses" which was then later accepted into the prestigious Oxford University Press peer-reviewed scientific journal Genome Biology and Evolution "Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution" on December 5, 2012.

What you and people like you fail to realize or should I say accept; is that Dr. Eran Elhaik's paper specifically synthesizes, corrects, and refutes all the past work. This is made very clear in all the publications covering this issue.

So you and others trying to say "well older stuff disagrees with this"; is completely absurd for you to say when Elhaik is specifically and strongly: correcting, forcefully challenging, and synthesizing all the past works and making a clear picture for all to see.

What you say is still, very tellingly, the main "response" being give to Dr. Elhaik's work. Which highlights just what this article noted; there has been no legitimate response or challenge of any kind to Dr. Eran Elhaik's work for now going on six months! Which is very telling for the strength of his paper at this moment. In fact, other than what you stated, the only other real "responses" out there among the other laypeople who want to allegedly "challenge" Elhaik's work and study is bringing laughably invalid amateur blogs as supposed "sources". In particular many still very oddly try to bring blog postings from August 2012 as there "source" and "challenge" to Elhaik. Which is completely ridiculous as these August 2012 blog postings they are still trotting out were only trying to critique or challenge Elhaik's preprint aka rough draft paper that was posted on the preprint website arXiv on August 6, 2012. None of that is relevant or any form of a "response" at all to Elhaik's final paper for his study "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses" which was then later accepted into the prestigious Oxford University Press peer-reviewed scientific journal Genome Biology and Evolution "Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution" on December 5, 2012.

The main peddlers of this kharzer theory, tend to be anti Semites who are saying in effect,( " you are not even Jews anyway").

Or Jews for what ever reason have a problem being Jewish,(" why worry we may not even be Jews anyway".

That said, I do understand why some question the origins of the entire pre war east Europe Jewry being from 15th century South Germany.

History is often not a neat and tidy straight line.

I don't mind open academic debate about the Khazar issue, but it always invites anti-Semtic, anti-Zionist cranks who wish to discredit the Jewish people.

1. George Bernard Shaw said: There's lies, damned lies, and statistics. DNA identifying origins is complicated, does not give simple answers.
2. DNA results show that the Ethiopian Jews are not Jewish, so this blog shouldn't get too excited about any DNA tests

The majority of you commenting here are absolutely retarded.

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/75.full

The controversy cut into by Elhaik's work runs deep, far past the lab bench. Among some circles, his conclusions are bound to be unpopular. “This is the first scientific paper to prove the Khazarian Hypothesis and reject the Rhineland Hypothesis,” he says, “and with it about 40 years of research.” Although his findings will not be welcome in all circles, Elhaik's interest is more medical than political.

“All I want is to help my colleagues who are studying genetic disorders,” he says. “I hope this work will open up a new era in genetic studies where population stratification will be used more correctly.”

@Z

You (and others like you) apparently are incapable, or should I say likely just unwilling, to understand that you can't legitimately just say "well older studies say something different" as a supposed "response" here. As Eran Elhaik's work is specifically synthesizing and correcting (and also debunking the errors found in) the past works.

Because of this to actually try to "respond" to Elhaik you would need to bring something new that is specifically "challenging" him and his work (and you can't do this of course). But I don't blame you for not being able to do this; as the people Elhaik exposed and refuted (as ridiculous clowns who again literally claim "miracles" happened to supposedly "explain" the impossible demographics of their pet "Rhineland hypothesis" nonsense) have clearly gone into hiding! As this article notes that fact that no one has heard a word from them in going on six months now speaks volumes!

Yonasan –

Not exactly. Have that discussion with a geneticist and you learn why.

According to the geneticing testing service my family used, there is both Middle Eastern and Southwestern Asian blood. It's interesting but irrelevant except for people with a political agenda.

I imagine the Middle Eastern aspect stayed strong in my family because we were kohanim on both sides, and kohanim have a direct male lineage to Aaron.

P.S. We used 23 and Me if anyone else is interested.

Shamrya Rosenberg,

What exactly is the problem with Dr. Entine?

He draws the conclusion the Khazar theory is false and only exists among Levites to a small degree.

The fact that he went to a lesser known school means little. He is now 60 years old and isn't part of Genetic analyst mathematics and trying to shift through data and if it is statistically significant which Dr. Entine seems qualified to do.

If only people that went to the best schools are worthy of listening to (which they attended school 30-40 years ago in some cases) that seems absurd in it's own right and I known people who were great students who can't think outside any box as school is not to be creative and know how to repeat what someone else wants to here even though it isn't true.

Who is this Shamrya Rosenberg?

adam –

Go back and read every comment on this thread slowly.

Do you understand what Elhaik's study did? Do you understand the scientific process at all?

Now I'll write it clearly for you so you can think about it.

1. Elhaik's study REFUTES previous studies.

2. Entine is NOT a researcher or a geneticist and he relies on the studies that were REFUTED by Elhaik.

3. Entine is therefore a secondary source whose work is SUBSERVIENT to all primary sources. His primary sources have been proved FALSE. Therefore, whatever work he did is useless.

Shmarya, a single claim by one paper does not "prove false" all previous studies. It may claim to, but that doesn't mean it in fact accomplishes what it claims to do. The fact that a few months has passed without a response isn't an admission by all previous authors. Presumably they plan on publishing responses. The peer review process can take years. Be patient and wait for the scientific debate before rushing to judgment.

Please.

They have refused all interviews, refused to answer any of the allegations against them and have taken advantage of the simple available act of writing a letter to the editor of a peer reviewed journal to defend themselves.

Elhaik appears to have rectified the contradictions between the studies that precede his while showing Ostrer and others cooked the books.

Until his work is actually refuted (if it ever is), it stands.

Dear Mr. Rosenberg,

It is funny because if he is such a great scientist what is he trying to rectify other peoples work. As a layman I understand why studies disagree with each other. The reason is Mr. Rosenberg, is because one of the conclusion is likely wrong. It sounds like from the beginning he is playing politics by claiming he is trying to "help" the other theories when in reality he doesn't agree with them which is ok but when people use this double talk it likely is because they are trying to use numbers of people who share the same view even though though numbers don't mean the theory is right.

AND MOST OF ALL, MR. ROSENBERG, this does not rectify these theories and in fact contradict them. If we are Khazars then the other studies are false. To claim otherwise is jut to hide behind some fake agreement that isn't there. This is classic political double talk Mr. Rosenberg.

I don't know how you can honestly believe that he is rectifying any theory because he isn't. He is contradicting them but why doesn't he be a big boy and say so and say I disagree with the other theories. I think the answer is because he himself is playing politics more then looking for truth to make such an absurd statement that he is rectifying other theroies.

Please, Mr. Rosenberg please explain how this agrees with other theories.

adam –

You are completely illiterate in science and you have no idea what you are talking about.

Past that, previous studies disagreed with each other. What Elhaik did is find a way to make their data agree. That way proves the Khazar Hypothesis correct, and shows that Ostrer and others are biased.

Perhaps if your yeshiva had taught you basic science, history, etc., you would be able to grasp this. But it seems it did not.

@Z

"Seth J. Frantzman is a doctoral candidate in historical geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem", so a wannabee geography teacher who happens to only currently be the editorial page editor at a right wing rag (and Frantzman is also known for being a flunky follower of the disreputable neocon Daniel Pipes).

Versus Dr. Eran Elhaik http://eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org/

What's next are you doing to bring up the propagandist Dore Gold's laughable article?!

@adam

What???

Elhaik pointed out the clear errors and huge problems in the past "studies" (i.e. works that claimed "miracles" happened to try to "explain" the impossible demographics of their little pet theories)

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iJN90t2gN6hxGiFQuBv-gYQE060w?docId=CNG.52483183e4e0f60d963361c17572c848.81

Gene study settles debate over origin of European Jews (AFP) – Jan 16, 2013

"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."

i.e. again so impossible that even the propagandists like Ostrer and co. literally had no other answer to provide then "well it was a 'miracle'"!!

This entire DNA discussions is a distraction.

The point is that no coherent demographic model can account for the large number of Jews in Eastern Europe solely in terms of migration from Palestine to Spain and then through the Rhineland and Eastern Europe.

Hence the recourse (long before Kostler's "The Thirteenth Tribe") to the probably correct Khazarian hypothesis.

@Melchisedek

You correctly note the core demographic point in your post. That is the historical demographic reality (50,000 Jews in Eastern Europe in the 15th century CE and then 8 million at the start of the 20th century CE) all but necessitates the Khazarian hypothesis to even be logically explained. What Dr. Elhaik's paper further documented was the fact that Eurasian Jewish communities cluster with Caucasus populations; which further supports the Khazarian hypothesis from that genetic angle.

In this Elhaik was going further on the earlier work of people like Dr. Ariella Oppenheim. Whose work in 2001 very famously stated that: "In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors."

@ Eran,

We all know about Statistics and lies.
10 time increase sounds like it can't be done but we are talking about 400 years here. This can be based on very small differences in birth rates but they grow exponentially. If you consider a generation 25 years that would be 16 generations.

Europe's population in 1950 was 547 Million. Not sure what it was in 1900. If Jews were 8 Million of let us say 400 Million in 1900 which based on the numbers I see in the Almanac that would be only 2% of Europe's population. From 1500-1804 the population doubled from 500 mil to 1 billion. Over a period of 400 years which is 16 generations for a group to grow 10 times more then another with small differences accounting for that. If the average European had a birth rate of two while Jews had a a birth rate of three a very small difference although 50% more over 16 generations that 3 birth rate would become 875. While a birth rate of 2 would still be 2 so in this case you would have a 438 times difference based on a birth rate of three instead of two over 16 generations. So very small birth rate differences over 16 generations can cause a big jump vs. another group while in one generation it doesn't look like much. You are talking about over 400 years. Just do an Excel spreadshhet of a 50% growth with a birth rate of three every 25 years. And we know thank God during the Enlightment Jews had more rights and may have taken advantage of that. I do know that my Maternal UNcle has told me that one part of the family had 16 children. I guess before the pill and feminism that the Rabbis approve of the pill which hasn't helped us and we were more sexually pure then our neighbors we had higher birth rates which over 400 years a 10 time increase can be based on very small differences if you know anything about exponents.

@ Eran,

Furthermore, only the Khazar royalty converted not the people as a whole. So that really makes this "theory" untenable.

And again the fact that you try to claim that it is "impossible" for Jews to grew 10 times more then others Europeans which in one or two generation that would be really dramatic but over 400 years it really isn't and can be based on small differences in birth rates over 16 generations shows the people with this agenda really don't understand math very well and therefore none of their conclusion could be trusted because they don't understand basic math and only seem to understand politics and trying to claim well someone said this was a miracle but that isn't science that someone who isn't a scientist claims this was a miracle when it isn't.

It also ignores there was a time when Jews had very high birth rates knowing this from my own family although now in my family the rates are low. So it is not a miracle to have slightly higher birth rates then your corrupt neighbors that lead over 16 generations to growing 10 times more then others.

@adam

Your claim that only the Khazar "royalty" converted is not supported by the sources that point to a widespread conversion to the religion of Judaism. See historian Kevin Alan Brooks' recent book "The Jews of Khazaria"

The people Elhaik is going against (i.e. Ostrer, etc) themselves admit the demographics for the "Rhineland hypothesis" are impossible: which is why they themselves declare it was a "MIRACLE" (because they, unlike you, admit to the impossibility of the demographics).

Dr. Elhaik says in his study http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/61.full

"A major difficulty with the Rhineland hypothesis, in addition to the lack of historical and anthropological evidence to the multimigration waves from Palestine to Europe (Straten 2003; Sand 2009), is to explain the vast population expansion of Eastern European Jews from fifty thousand (15th century) to eight million (20th century). The annual growth rate that accounts for this population expansion was estimated at 1.7–2%, one order of magnitude larger than that of Eastern European non-Jews in the 15th–17th centuries, prior to the industrial revolution (Straten 2007). This growth could not possibly be the product of natural population expansion, particularly one subjected to severe economic restrictions, slavery, assimilation, the Black Death and other plagues, forced and voluntary conversions, persecutions, kidnappings, rapes, exiles, wars, massacres, and pogroms (Koestler 1976; Straten 2003; Sand 2009). Because such an unnatural growth rate, over half a millennium and affecting only Jews residing in Eastern Europe, is implausible—it is explained by a miracle (Atzmon et al. 2010; Ostrer 2012). Unfortunately, this divine intervention explanation poses a new kind of problem—it is not science. The question of how the Rhineland hypothesis, so deeply rooted in supernatural reasoning, became the dominant scientific narrative is debated among scholars (Sand 2009)."

@adam

Again see Kevin Alan Brook "The Jews of Khazaria"

http://www.khazaria.com/khazar-quotes.html

A sample of the historical sources:

Christian of Stavelot, in Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam (864):

"At the present time we know of no nation under the heavens where Christians do not live. For [Christians are even found] in the lands of Gog and Magog -- who are a Hunnic race and are called Gazari (Khazars)... circumcized and observing all [the laws of] Judaism. The Bulgars, however, who are of the same seven tribes [as the Khazars], are now becoming baptized [into Christianity]."

Ahmad ibn Fadlan, in his travellogue (c. 922):

"The Khazars and their king are all Jews."

Ibn al-Faqih (c. 930):

"All of the Khazars are Jews. But they have been Judaized recently."

Again, you clearly do not understand the rule of compounding. 1.7-2% increase a year is a lot. That means over 25 years not including compounding is 42.5%- 50% in one generation which I am considering a generation 25 years. With compounding it would be higher then that. In fact I was just on Excel and to get from 50,000 to close to 8 million in 400 years requires a birth rate on average of a little higher then 2.8. That is not extreme and not sure evenly distributed it was either. In fact if Europe had a birth rate of 2.4 or only .4 less on average then the Jewish rate yet over 400 years and 16 generation (a generation being about 25 years) that would lead to a 10 fold increase of Jews vs. other nations with a .4 difference over 16 generations due to compounding. So a 1.7-2% growth per year for 400 years would lead to 50,000 being 8,000,000. That rate is consistent with about a 2.8 birth rate per generation.

Here are my numbers with a birth rate of 2.8 which means 2 people are having 2.8 children on average obviously which is an increase of 40% per generation. Per 25 years which fits the 1.7-2% per year. In fact a little conservaitve. But anyway. 2.8/2 is a 140% a 40% increase which is what the 40% increase is based on.

Let us start with 50,000 Generation 1
70,000 Generation 2
98,000 Generation 3
137,200 Generation 4
192.080 Generation 5
268,912.Generation 6
376,476.80 Generation 7
527,067.52 Generation 8
737,894.53 Generation 9
1,033,052.34 Generation 10
1,446,273.27 Generation 11
2,024,782.58 Generation 12
2,834,695.62 Generation 13
3,968,573.87 Generation 14
5,556,003.41 Generation 15
7,778,404.78 Generation 16
Clearly the compounding has a big impact as the increase builds on itself. Just go on Excel and just start with 50,000 and multiply each number by 40% (a birth rate of 2.8). I hope people here are not those that want people not know math because this way you push agenda if men are stupid. But here you get close to 8 million with not a birth rate that is very plausible.

Let us say now Europes birth rate was only .4 lower. Which today is well our birth rates are about .5 higher. IN Europe sadly the average birth rate is now 1.4 while Israeli Jews 2.2 American Jews 1.5 so about 1.85. Both are declining numbers but we aren't declining as fast.

Anyway so let us Europe then was 2.4 instead of 2.8 for Jews a difference of only .4 but over 16 generations this is what happens starting with the same 50,000. A 2.4 birth rate would be an increase of 20% per generation as 2 people are having on average 2.4 children. 2.4/2 is 120% an increase of 20%.

50,000 Generation 1
60,000 Generation 2
72,000 Generation 3
86,400 Generation 4
103,680 Generation 5
124,416 Generation 6
149,299.2 Generation 7
179,159.04 Generation 8
214,990.848 Generation 9
257,989.0176 Generation 10
309,586.8211 Generation 11
371,504.1853 Generation 12
445,805.0224 Generation 13
534,966.0269 Generation 14
641,959.2323 Generation 15
770,351.0787 Generation 16
Again do it on Excel. Instead of almost 8,000,000 with a 2.8 birth rate of 16 generation. You have close to 800,000 with a birth rate of 2.4 starting with the same 50,000. A small difference but over many generations it adds up due to compounding of the increase on top of itself which it took 6 generations for this increase to lead to double the numbers. I don't see how this couldn't have happened as these numbers clearly show how 50,000 could be 8,000,000 in 16 generations while a slightly smaller rate would cause it to be only 800,000 10 times less. It just seems again that is more political. Entine didn't have a problem with the Jews having a bottleneck and then becoming 8 million from 50,000 over a period of 400 years or 16 generations which you don't need extreme birth rates for this as I clearly show above.

adam –

I'll altert the dozens of actual scholars who disagree with you on this that an anonymous blog commenter who couldn't understand the difference between an actual geneticist and Entine thinks they are wrong.

Basically so if a scientist went to a great school we should just bow down to everything he says. This is no different then those who bow down to Rabbis. Bowing down to a scientist is no different when nothing here that has been said makes any sense nor is Jews growing from 50,000 to 8 million people over 400 years something that remarkable. All is needed is about a birth of 2.8-2.9 per generation each 25 years as I showed the math a few posts above. Which Eran claiming Jews grew at ONLY 1.7-2% per year is more then enough to have this kind of birth rate of 2.8-2.9. Your arguments since I am not a dogmatist to either side has only helped for me to see that this was mostly internal growth.

All you and Eran are doing is claiming is blindly following a few people as if scientists like Rabbis are above sadly putting their own agenda's above truth and using that they are a scientist to intimidate anyone who could see that nothing they say is logically and that the math is very possible as well.

@adam

As Shmarya said to you; you really have no idea what you are talking about!

Again the impossibility of (i.e. that is the lack of any logical explanation for) the demographics involved in the now debunked "Rhineland Hypothesis was freely admitted by Ostrer & co. themselves!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116195333.htm

"Due to the implausibility of such an event, this rapid expansion was explained by Prof Harry Ostrer, Dr Gil Atzmon, and colleagues as a miracle."

You have not refuted one point I have made and this saying that is a miracle the fact Jews have survived is somewhat of a miracle.

From a numbers perspective as I pointed a few posts above it is very possible to go from 50,000 to 8 million with a birth of 2.8-2.9 over 400 years with a generation being 25 years and you would have 16 generations in that time span and clearly you can't refute it so you just keep repeating the same thing over and over again and because you went to a great college that means you know more and I don't know what I am talking about which this is the way people act when they don't have facts on their side. Hide behind school affiliation and now it is 2 vs. 1 with Mr. Rosenberg joining you but that doesn't make you right because it is a 2 vs. 1.

And from this link it is more like 500 years really so that would give you 20 generations instead of 16 to grow and then it may be as low as 2.6 or so to go from 50,000 to 8 million. Many Jews had problems but still had families. If they didn't have problems they would have bigger families but 2.6 is not extreme.

adam –

I realize you are not particularly bright, but do try to process: the scientists whose work you endorse? The acknowledge that the increase in population has NOT be explained by natural means – which is why Behar called it a miracle.

To make this even clearer to you, this does not mean an actual miracle – it means that there is an explanation that is not evident, and that is NOT found in the statistics.

That you lack the mind to grasp this is clear, but perhaps you could take it as a matter of faith – after all, every scientist you rely on admits this problem exists and has no explanation for it, and every one of them is smarter than you and more educated than you.

Sir, so you are asking me to hide behind a scientist. At least I have some ability to think independently something you seem unable to do. I see you have the same mentality of the religious. You worship scientists as if they are some sort of God.

Many things that have happened in Jewish history were minor miracles but still had some natural basis to it. And over a 500 year period a slightly higher birth rate would lead to a 10 fold increase which at first blush may not seem that way to many people. But you completely ignore the math. I guess I understand why you hate the religious as I guess they must have not taught you math. I have my own reasons but thankfully my math is ok. You don't need a PHD to figure out how a population increases based on various birth rate over a long period of time. All you really need is Excel and knowing how to use it which I guess since you can't you completely ignore the numbers I posted about 5, 10 posts ago which I guess you feel having 2.8 kids per generation is impossible for a period of 400 yeras or maybe more but some didn't live.

adam –

You just do not get it, do you? It is not a minor increase – it is a significant increase carried out every generation over many generations.

That is NOT minor. It is huge.

It isn't huge. Over 400 years to grow from 50,000 to 8 million requires a birth rate of 2.8-2.9 per generation. If you consider that HUGE then clearly either A. You don't understand math and compounding B. An Average birth rate at this level is too high for you to accept because you ideology would lead to low birth rates in general. Here are the numbers again with a 40% increase with a birth rate of 2.8 which would lead to a 40% increase every 25 years. Let us start with 50,000 in year 1500 40% growth per 25 years which would be less then 2% per year. A birth rate of 2.8 or 2.9 as replacement is 2.1 would give you a 40% increase.

Year 1500 50,000.00
Year 1525 70,000.00
Year 1550 98,000.00
Year 1575 137,200.00
Year 1600 192,080.00
Year 1625 268,912.00
Year 1650 376,476.80
Year 1675 527,067.52
Year 1700 737,894.53
Year 1725 1,033,052.34
Year 1750 1,446,273.27
Year 1775 2,024,782.58
Year 1800 2,834,695.62
Year 1825 3,968,573.87
Year 1850 5,556,003.41
Year 1875 7,778,404.78

Obviously it wouldn't be this smooth but overall a relatively moderate birth rate would lead to a big growth over 400 years due to compounding which I guess you don't put money in the stock market either because the gains are "huge" even though sometimes it is only 4-5% a year that gets compounded over many years.

adam –

Since the actual scientists, historians, etc., consider it too large to be sustainable over that time period, I'll have to side with them – especially because some of them are Orthodox and others are haredi, and they would be predisposed to find ways to make it possible, not the reverse.

You, on the other hand, have no f-ing idea what you are talking about.

Shmarya.. item 1: the poor often have a higher birthrate than the rich. This is a rather common fact.

item 2: Sustaining a birthrate of 3 or more babies wouldn't be all that difficult. All it requires is a lot of shtupping and refraining from abortion.

Item 3: Preindustrial birthrates were higher than industrial era birthrates. This was checked by death and disease - one major reason for the high birthrates - but Jews could very well have beaten the point spread by being relatively religious, relatively population expansion oriented, and relatively poor.

Item 4: Jews in old Europe were often ghettoized or restricted in their choice of location, thus leading to potential isolation from diseases.

That being said, I think both the Rhineland and Khazar hypotheses have merit and should both be explored further. We should also consider an "Italo-Mediterranean hypothesis", because of there reportedly being plenty of Jews in the ancient Roman empire.

""A major difficulty with the Rhineland hypothesis, in addition to the lack of historical and anthropological evidence to the multimigration waves from Palestine to Europe (Straten 2003; Sand 2009), is to explain the vast population expansion of Eastern European Jews from fifty thousand (15th century) to eight million (20th century)."

Immigration could come from the Rhineland as well as Khazaria, and (for that matter) from Israel, Turkey, India, France, etc. The population expansion does need an explanation, but simply assuming the need for immigrants does not require the immigrants to come from any specific region. And, yes, a high birthrate could help to explain at least some of that population increase.

There is also a gap of a few centuries between the period Khazaria existed and the population boom. The Khazar Khaganate fell in 1048. Before then, the Hungarians had revolted and left. The Rus' founded a khaganate, and the Khazars fought wars with the Rus' and lost. This occurred well before the 15th century. So what happened in the intermediate centuries?

And another thing. The genome origin of European Jews was called "Caucasus-Near Eastern" in the study, rather than just "Caucasus". Why?

Perhaps the Jews of Europe came from both Khazaria and the Rhineland, and the two populations merged. It's not implausible. The Mesopotamian basin was the center of the Jewish world during the Talmudic era, and even in early Ashkenaz, the Jews had some connections to Mesopotamia. Populations do not exist in a vacuum, completely separate from each other. They travel, migrate, and mix.

I love this. Academic scholars who study demographics and population shifts pretty much unanimously say the population growth of Ashkenazi Jews is greater than can be explained through normal means.

Historians agree and the very geneticists you presumably endorse agree.

Yet you insist that all of these scholars are ignorant of history, do not understand demographics or population shifts and don't know math.

You know bits of things but not their whole, you fail to understand their context or place, and you are puzzled.

Perhaps if you looked at primary sources, you would answer your questions.

"Yet you insist that all of these scholars are ignorant of history, do not understand demographics or population shifts and don't know math."

I am not Adam; I am a separate critic of the
"implausible demographics" argument. Nonetheless, I consider the demographics plausible from whatever position.

Nonetheless, I agree with the plausibility of a diverse European Jewish origin, including from Khazaria.

"We compared two genetic models for European Jewish ancestry depicting a mixed Khazarian–European–Middle Eastern and sole Middle Eastern origins. Contemporary populations were used as surrogates to the ancient Khazars and Judeans, and their relatedness to European Jews was compared over a comprehensive set of genetic analyses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis depicting a large Near Eastern–Caucasus ancestry along with Southern European, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European ancestries, in agreement with recent studies and oral and written traditions. We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaized Khazars, Greco–Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews, and Judeans and that their population structure was formed in the Caucasus and the banks of the Volga with roots stretching to Canaan and the banks of the Jordan."

And I agree. This is not even a pure Khazar hypothesis. This is more of a mixed hypothesis: a Khazar-Roman-Levant hypothesis, with the melting pot coming together in Khazaria rather than, say, Eastern Europe.

Perhaps one can argue for a "Radhanite hypothesis": the idea that the Radhanites, Jewish traders that wandered the length of Eurasia and visited both the Khazars and western Europeans, connected Jewish communities together and facilitated the rise of Ashkenazi Judaism.

However, the whole "50,000 to 8 million is implausible" part of the argument is a bit silly.

Please.

Cite scholarly sources to support your assertions.

Well, fertility rate may be correlated with poverty, but this does not imply that one necessarily causes the other. At least one scholarly source hypothesizes that high fertility might cause or contribute to poverty: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2804102.html

(Nonetheless, that source does link poverty to high birth rates.)

You may also want to take a look at the Wikipedia article on total fertility rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate), which takes data from the CIA World Factbook. It is pretty interesting that sub Saharan Africa (except for South Africa and maybe a couple of neighboring countries) has fertility rates above 3 per woman.

Fertility rates decline during wars, it seems, but rebound and make up for the decline after the wars. http://www.guillaumevdb.net/ww1a.pdf

http://www.jstor.org/stable/2770960

The American experience with fertility seems to have been more complicated than just income or wars might show....http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cde/cdewp/74-27.pdf

I find the present day hareidi birth rate in Israel to be interesting as well... http://forward.com/articles/139391/in-israel-haredi-and-muslim-women-are-having-fewer/

(Note the dip...from 7.5 babies per woman to 6.5!)

Please.

Stop insinuating your BS.

There were no antibiotics hundreds of years ago – or 100 years ago – and there was no concept of sterilization of bandages, instruments or germs.

And there was famine, lots of disease, appalling high infant mortality rates and lots of wars and pogroms.

You are a fool.

I gather that Dr. Elhaik is a PhD geneticist but not a physician. He wants to support his colleagues in the medical profession in their struggle with genetic diseases.

Presuming that Dr. Ostrer and the others he criticizes did in fact cook the books, I'm curious as to what if any negative effects this might have had for the Jewish patients of the physicians who relied upon the Rhinelandish conclusions of the geneticists?

Physicians are enjoined to 'do no harm'. Has harm been done despite their best efforts? If the answer to that is 'no', and that there will be none in the future, then is this a tempest in a teapot *except* on the political level. Not that the politics of it should be minimized as this strikes me as something of a bombshell.

Hunter Watson

Dr. Eran Elhaik lied and lied BADLY.

Dr. Elhaik doesn't know when Khazaria existed either.
"Alternatively, the “Khazarian Hypothesis” suggests that Eastern EuropeanJew descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in theearly centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8thcentury. Mesopotamian and Greco-RomanJews continuously reinforced the Judaized Empire until the 13th century"
There simply was not Khazar polity after 1016 CE, when the Rus and Byzantines destroyed the reminents of Khazaria in the Crimea. Ironically, the leader of this polity, Georgiuz Tzul carried a CHRISTIAN name.
I should not be able to find a glaring error in the abstract of piece.
Dr. Elhaik continues his citation ignorance by holding that Khazars were
" a confederation of Slavic, Scythian,Hunnic-Bulgar, Iranian, Alans, and Turkish tribes who formed in the central-northern Caucasusone of most powerful empires during the late Iron Age and converted to Judaism in the 8th century CE"
There Khazars were no such thing. The Khazars were Oghuric/Lir Turks (Hunninc-Bulgar) who had many subject peoples. But there is not a shred of historic evidence that subject peoples converted. All of the accounts of travellers and from the Khazars state and show otherwise.
Dr. Elhaik then uses this bad history as a justification for picking horrible choices for genetic sampling.
"Palestinians were considered proto-Judeans because they are assumed to share a similar linguistic, ethnic, and geographic background with the Judeans and were shown to share common ancestry with European Jews(Bonné-Tamir and Adam 1992; Nebel et al. 2000; Atzmon et al. 2010; Behar et al. 2010).Similarly, Caucasus Georgians and Armenians were considered proto-Khazars because they are believed to have emerged from the same genetic cohort as the Khazars"

This makes no sense. Palestinians aren't proto-Jews. Elhaik could have chosen Samaritanes (those Israelites still exist) and Sephardim. Instead he chooses a different admixture. Neither Georgia nor Armenia were part of Khazaria and they were absolutely not "proto-Khazars".
So why were they chosen? The old Hebrew name from Armenia, "Ashkenaz" should be a clue. He could have chosen Turks who claim Khazar ancestry, such as Karaylar and Krymchaks. He refused to do so, because he didn't want to compromise his political study with FACTS.
Dr. Elhaik may not have known history, but he knew how to fake a study.
And you don't have to believe me, you can believe Razib Khan.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/05/the-algorithms-dont-lie-but-people-may-err/#.UiQ45X8gb4g

Eran Elhaik's study proves the opposite of what he wants to prove.

First of all, it should be noted that Dr. Eran Elhaik never really claims that ALL (or even MOST) European Jews are descendants of converted Khazars - Yet alone "proved it". His only claim is that the Khazar Empire was a transition point were Jews from all kinds of places (including Judea, Byzantine Empire, Iraq, Persia, and even Rome) met, mixed a bit with each other and with local Khazar population, and then continued to East and Central Europe - As on can see in his Fig 1:

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/61/F1.expansion.html


Here are the real conclusions of this study - with a link too it:
"We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaized Khazars, Greco–Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews, and Judeans and that their population structure was formed in the Caucasus and the banks of the Volga with roots stretching to Canaan and the banks of the Jordan."

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/61.full

It's true that he does claim at some point that: "The Near Eastern–Caucasus ancestries are dominant among Central (38%) and Eastern (32%) European Jews followed by Western European ancestry (30%)"; And also that: "Although the Rhineland hypothesis explains the Middle Eastern ancestry by stating that Jews migrated from Palestine to Europe in the 7th century, it fails to explain the large Caucasus ancestry, which is nearly endemic to Caucasus populations"... However, a quick look at his Fig 5 reviles that other Middle Eastern populations, like the Cypriots, Syrians and the Lebanese, got almost the same amount of "Caucasus ancestry" (~15% - 25%) and a much-much higher amount of "Near-Eastern ancestry" (that would probably be Turkic ancestry - which would make them closer to Khazars than the Ashkenazi Jews), and even some amount of "Western European ancestry" (10%-20%) - which altogether means that Askenazi Jews got most of their "Caucasus ancestry" and a bit of their "Western European ancestry" in their ancient homeland in the Middle East...

Here you can see it all, in his Fig 5:

http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/61/F5.large.jpg


Now, the thing I like most about Eran Elhaik's study is the part were he tries to determine the "biogeographical origin coordinates" (i.e. where in the world thy most fit genetically today) of Eastern European and Central European Ashkenazi Jews by comparing their DNA to DNA of other populations who live today in different places of the world... To make a long story short, he comes up with all kinds of coordinates in the northern parts of the Middle East - not even close to Europe... For example: The smallest deviations in the geographical coordinates were obtained with Armenians for both Eastern (38 ± 2.7° N, 39.9 ± 0.4° E) and Central (35 ± 5° N, 39.7 ± 1.1° E) European Jews... Now try running those coordinates on Google Maps, and you'll find that the biogeographical centers of Eatern (38° N, 39.9° E) and Central (35° N, 39.7° E) European Jews, are just a bit to the north and a bit to the south of the line between Ur-Kashdim and Harran - which are mentioned in the Bible as the original homeland of Abraham:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=200194895895720439502.0004dcc0c441bff010f2b


So, according to Elhaik's study, the "biogeographical origin" of Ashkenazi Jews is from the same area that the Bible says Abraham came from - Funny, isn't it?

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