An 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?”…
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.