Scientific Support for the European Jewish Diaspora Narrative

FeaturedScientific Support for the European Jewish Diaspora Narrative

The traditional history of the Jewish people over the past 2,000 years goes as follows:

After the suppression of the Bar Kohba revolt in 135 AD/CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed the province of Judea as Syria Palaestina, the city of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina, and the Jews were dispersed from their home throughout the Roman Empire and the Middle East.

Recently, a new politically motivated revision has emerged of the history of the Jewish people, in hopes of replacing the traditional history. In the newer narrative, the Jews of Europe (Ashkenazy) do not come from the Holy Land, but are European or Asian converts to Judaism. This narrative is used to support the argument that the Israel has no right to exist, since the inhabitants are not natives returning home, but foreign interlopers with no legitimate claim.

Because of their high rate of single-gene (Mendalian) disorders, Ashkenazy Jews are one of the most genetically studied ethnic groups in the world. A new study published in PLOS Genetics by James Xue, Todd Lencz, Ariel Darvasi, Itsik Pe’er, and Shai Carmi titled “The time and place of European admixture in Ashkenazi Jewish history” helps shed some light on the history of the origins of the Jewish people in Europe and further erode the revisionist historical claim that Jews do not have an origin in the Middle East.

     

    There are rarely silver bullets in genetic studies. Rather, these studies form a tapestry that attempts to tell a story. Like many genetic studies, this one is built on previous studies of the origins of Askenazy Jews. What this study attempts to accomplish is take data from previous studies that show Ashkenazy Jews are made up of a combination or Admixture of both Middle Easterns and Europeans, and determine from that the how, what, where, and when this ad mixture occurred.

    The conclusion of the study can be best summarized to the layman using the following chart (Fig 7. A proposed model for the recent AJ history). We will use this chart as a basis for explaining how this study supports the traditional history of the Jewish people after the diaspora.

    Time_And_Place_EuropeanAdmixture_Ashkenazi_Jewish_History_Generations

    The first thing to note is that the scientist were able to disqualify more recent revisionist theories of Ashkenazy Jews coming from a “Khazar” or Asia origin.

    “The first is that AJ genetics defies simple demographic theories. Hypotheses such as a wholly Khazar, Turkish, or Middle-Eastern origin have been disqualified.”

    We know that the origins of Ashkenazy Jews is both mysterious and complex. Those Jews come from an admixture or several people and not of a singular origin – be it Middle Eastern, Turkic, Asian, or European. This is in line with what you would expect from a population that has been dispersed from their place of origin and forced to live among others. A certain amount of co-mingling is to be expected.

    What the geneticists who conducted the study were able to determine is that the origins of Ashkenazy Jews was 40 – 65 percent from the Middle East and the remaining 35 – 60 from Southern Europe. Southern Europe refers to modern day Italy and Greece. This is congruent with the traditional story of the diaspora. Jews, having been forced to leave their home in Judea, would naturally travel over land to areas in the Roman empire that offered the most opportunity at the time – Rome itself and the highly developed Greek cities. Approximately 25 to 50 generations ago, the Jews who migrated from the Middle East intermix and procreate with the non-Jews from Southern Europe. In other words, Jews were evicted from their homeland in Judea, they made the arduous journey to Greece and Rome, and lived insular/separate lives until at some point the immigrant Jews began to marry the locals. These are the original Ashkenazy Jews.

    In order to dig a little deeper, we must ask the question, “What is a generation?” The scientists note that Jews first begin appearing in the Rhineland (Germany) in the 10th century (900s) and in Poland in the 13th century. They note that the original  “Admixture in Southern Europe possibly occurred in Italy” sometime before that. After this admixture, the Ashkenazy population them bottlenecked to a small number of Jews, and then began to grow, migrate north, and then another smaller admixture occurring with Northern/Eastern Europeans approximately 10 generations ago.

    So now we begin to get a clearer picture, as noted in Figure 7. This is certainly not the only interpretation of this study, but it is a clear one supported by the story of the Jewish people told over thousands of year. Through the study we can deduce:

    The Jewish people left the Middle East (Judea) sometime during the first millennium AD and made their way to modern day Greece and Italy, where they lived separate from other communities (not hard to imagine seeing as how modern day observant Jews live separate from other communities). Then at some point after hundreds of years, they began to marry the local, non-Jewish population. This formed the origin of the Ashkenazy Jews. This group of Jews genetically bottlenecked until they started to expand. Eventually, these Jews spread north and some of them began to marry EasternEuropeans (15-25%).

    And there we have the origin of the Jews in Europe, who can trace 40 – 65% of their genetic makeup to the Middle East in spite of being forced to live in the diaspora for 2,000 years. After such a long history of coexistence and intermarriage, one would expect that the percentage of Middle Eastern genetics would be much smaller. This is a testament for the desire of the Jewish people to survive as Jews and to one day return to their homeland.

    Advertisements

    Questioning Six Million

    FeaturedQuestioning Six Million

    We can all recognize classic Holocaust denial. Originating from the far right, Holocaust deniers assert that Jews were never exterminated in the Holocaust, there were no gas chambers, and the overwhelming proof of its historicity is fabricated. Most of the people who engage in classic Holocaust denial are transparent. It is clear that their denial is racially motivated. They openly hate Jews, yet deny the Holocaust. It is an act of absolution. The far right will even spin conspiracy theories that the true perpetrators of the extermination were Jews who killed large numbers of whites in Russia. Ironically, while on the one hand they deny the Holocaust, on the other hand they vocally endorse another one.

    But what about the people who do not completely deny that the Holocaust happened, but question the magnitude of the event. Some Jews were killed by the Nazis they say, but it was few – certainly not six million – and the majority of Jews who died did so from disease or starvation. They call six million an exaggeration. This view has become popular on the left, especially in Europe. It has moved into the mainstream. Recently, the UK Labour party hosted a lecture on free speech and Israel where they invited a speaker who promotes the position that under the guise of free speech, people should question the number “six million”. Is questioning six million or other details of the Holocaust a form of Holocaust denial? And if it is, since Holocaust denial is a clear form of antisemitism, why has it become normative on the the left among people who consider themselves progressive and anti-racist. Why is this view become so popular among the left wing parties in Europe, such as the UK Labour party?

    When Momentum’s vice-chair and outspoken UK Labour member Jackie Walker writes “It’s horrible but don’t they have the figure for the Holocaust wrong?” is that a legitimate question or a form of Holocaust denial?

    Jackie_Walker_Holocaust_Denial2

     

    To answer that question, lets think of the Holocaust as the world’s largest and ugliest block of soapstone.

    soapstone_raw

     

    If I told you that this large, ugly block of soapstone doesn’t exist, you would think I’m crazy. It’s right in front of you. The evidence is overwhelming. Only someone completely delusional would believe that the block of soapstone isn’t there.

    But, what if I tried to convince you that this block of soapstone does exists, but it isn’t as large and as ugly as you think. What if I slowly chip away at this block of soapstone. I sculpt it and polish it until it looks like something different. And then, I ask you is that piece of soapstone really that large and ugly? You look at it and think it’s not really that bad. In fact, the sculpted and polished soapstone is kind of pretty. Why are they trying to convince otherwise? What are they trying to hide?

    Is questioning if six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust or the authenticity of Anne Frank’s diary a form of Holocaust denial? The answer is an overwhelming yes. Not only is this a new and insidious form of Holocaust denial, but it’s a far more dangerous one. The classic Holocaust denier shows you the block of soapstone and tries to convince you that it isn’t there. No one in their right mind believes it. The new breed of Holocaust deniers – the neo-deniers or Holocaust revisionists – are like the sculptors who are slowly chipping away at the large, ugly block of soapstone and sculpting it into something that isn’t so bad.

    Denying that the Holocaust occurred is absurd. The overwhelming evidence of the atrocities is like the large, ugly block. How can any rational person look at the tens of thousands of pieces of evidence, the tens of thousands of survivor testimonials, the images of the piles of dead and believe that none of it is real? But if I can slowly chip away at parts of the narrative, like a sculptor chisels away at parts of the ugly soapstone, I can make something that isn’t so ugly out of it. What if I can make the soapstone look like this?

    Soapstone

    If I can convince you that the large, ugly block of soapstone is really this sculpture by John Brown, you are more likely to believe it. If I can chip away at it piece by piece, the Holocaust no longer looks so large, so unique, or so ugly. This is what Holocaust revisionists do, and it is dangerous and evil, even more so than classic Holocaust denial . The revisionists mask Holocaust denial behind a vernier of free speech, inquisitiveness, academia, or some other excuse in order to chip away at it until you no longer see the Holocaust for what it really is, a large and ugly block of history perpetrated against the Jews. If I showed you this beautiful sculpture first, would you be able to picture the large, ugly block of soapstone? This is why this new breed of Holocaust denial that has ensnared Europe is so dangerous, because it’s hard to see it for what it truly is.

    So, why has Neo Holocaust denial or Holocaust distortion become so commonplace in the European left and considerable portions of the UK Labour party? The answer is far less transparent. It is old fashioned anti-Semitism. As with classic Holocaust denial, the neo-deniers are seeking absolution. Both classic and revisionist forms are agenda driven. They are both looking to paint Jews as not the victims, but the perpetrators. So while the far-right says the “Holocaust didn’t happen but what did was Jews killed 60 million White Christians in Russia”, the left says “the Holocaust wasn’t that bad. What happened to the Jews is nothing compared to what these White European Jews are now doing to the Arabs in Palestine.” This is also why they push the false narratives that Jews served in Hitler’s army and Hitler was a Zionist, an accusation brought to the forefront by former London mayor and UK Labour member Ken Livingstone. Make no mistake, they are all sculpting the Holocaust, like a large piece of soapstone, trying to make it look different than the truth of it.

    When (now former) Labour Party activist Gill Kaffash says to the Iranian news agency, “There is no doubt that a great number of Jews along with other victims of the Nazi army were killed by Hitler. However, historical phenomena need to be further examined to uncover the truth. Therefore banning opposition to the theses termed as ‘invariable reality’ is irrational” she is engaging in Holocaust denial.

    When the recently reinstated member of the UK Labour party Mike Sivier says that he doesn’t know if six million Jews died in the Holocaust and it’s “no big deal” if Jews are excluded from a list of Holocaust survivors, have no doubt that this is both Holocaust denial and racist.  The statement serves only one purpose, to de-victimize Jews as the object of the Nazi’s atrocities and paint them as the new Nazis. This is antisemitism.

    If you can convince people that Auschwitz wasn’t that bad and most Jews that died there did so from diseases, you can more easily convince the world that Gaza is worse than Auschwitz and that it is the real concentration camp. If you can convince the world that Anne Frank’s diary is a fake and she wasn’t murdered in a concentration camp by Nazis, then you can more easily convince the world that the arrest of Ahed Tamimi for assault is far worse than the fate of Frank and the Jews who arrested her are worse than the Nazis.

    Have no doubt, questioning if six million Jews died in the Holocaust is Holocaust denial, it is anti-Semitism, it is a tool used to push an agenda. It’s just a far more clever one than the far right employs. The sheer fact that they are able to place doubt in so many people’s minds that it is Holocaust denial shows how dangerous it is. So the next time you see a post from Jackie Walker asking the question if the figures of the Holocaust are wrong, you will know what she is really doing.

    Jackie_Walker_Holocaust_Denial

    Anatomy of an “Anti-Zionist” Lie

    I receive ludicrous and inflammatory lies about Israel all the time. The tiny nation of Israel is under the magnifying glass more than any other country. If all the stuff was happening in Israel that they claim, there would be video and images coming out every day, and not all the fabricated garbage that you see.

    Let break down one of these lies. I received this tweet recently.

    Kevin_Hughes

    The claim is that Israel for 13 years has murdered a child, on average, every 3 days. I’m not that great at math, but if you do a simple calculation, that would mean that at minimum, in it’s worst year, Israel “murdered” 121 children.

    365 days in a year divided by every 3 days = 121.667 children in a year.

    That would be in Israel’s very worst year mind you. All other years would be less bad than that one.

    I immediately called him out on this. I wanted proof. So he sent me the following tweet as proof.

    Kevin_Hughes2

    So I read the article. It’s from a British publication called the Independent, which has a history of anti-Israel bias and publishing uncorroborated claims. You can read more about this biased, bordering on anti-Semitic publication in my article, Deciphering Anti-Israel Propaganda. The first thing you will notice about this article is that it is based on a report from an NGO called “Defence for Children International” (DCI), which is a biased Palestinian NGO. You can read more about it in NGO Watch. In their report they claim that 2016 was the very worst year for Israel killing Palestinian children and the total killed in 2016 was 32. Of course, if it was a 17 year old who stabbed several Israelis to death and was killed in the process of stopping that terrorists attack, that “child” is included in the 32. For example, in January 2016 alone, a 15 year old boy was shot and killed after stabbing an Israeli soldier. Also in the same month, a 13 year old girl was shot and killed trying to kill another Israeli soldier. This is just the first month of 2016. Those two children who tried to murder Israelis and were killed in the attempted murder are considered child victims by biased NGOs and are included in the total of 32. It’s as if they feel the soldiers should allow themselves to be killed and should not exercise any self defense. These fake numbers go out into the world and are picked up by anyone looking for even the least credible of sources to defame Israel.

    But wait a second, even though I’ve already shown how those numbers are biased and fabricated, let’s take DCI’s numbers at face value. It states that 32 children were killed by Israel in 2016 and that was the very worst year in a decade. Something doesn’t add up. Doing my very simple math:

    365 days in a year divided by 32 children = a child every 11.4 days 
    in the worst year.

    Wait a second, didn’t he just say that a child is killed every 3 days on average for the last 13 years? That would be 122 children at minimum in the very worst year. But now he is showing me “proof” that in the very worst year it’s 32 children or every 11.4 days. So which one is it? Is it his fabricated number of every 3 days or the biased NGOs calculation of every 11.4 days (in the worst year). Incidentally, his “calculation” makes Israel look FOUR TIMES worse than even the biased NGO report he sent as proof.

    It doesn’t matter to them. The truth doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. Statistics don’t matter. They will find any source, not matter how fake, biased, uncorroborated, or taken out of context to advanced their lies. Because, at the end, all they have are lies. There isn’t a shred of truth to their claims.

    If you continue to read further down in the article he sent, it states “According to DCI, 28 Palestinian civilians under 18 were killed in 2015, 13 in 2014, and four in 2013.” So even from that fake number of 32, which represents the very worst year possible, the number provided by the biased Palestinian NGO drops dramatically. That did not stop him from tripling down on his now disproved claim.

    Kevin_Hughes3

    Hold it. First he said 13 year, now it’s 12 year. And guess what? The math is getting even worse.

    1500 children divided by 12 years = 125 per year. 
    365 days a year divided by 125 = every 2.92 days.

    My guess is next time I check my twitter feed it’s going to be 10,000 children in the last 15 years, and then 100,000 children in the last 50 years, and eventually 1 million children in the last 500 years. See when you have a political agenda based on vilifying and hating a group of people, facts don’t matter. All that matters is getting your propaganda out and enough like minded haters will believe it no matter what. And you know what, eventually, you will also convince a few gullible people to join you in your lies.

    Hamas Hurts Palestinians

    Hamas Hurts Palestinians

    The Hamas experiment in Gaza is nearly 10 years old. What have the people of Gaza gotten out of it? As the leadership of Hamas continues to fill their coffers (it’s estimated there are over 1,500 millionaires living in the strip), the people have been neglected. This summer’s electricity crisis is the latest example of how Hamas hurts Palestinians. Hamas is refusing to pay their electric bill. The Palestinian Authority, under an agreement from the Oslo Accords, pays Israel for the electricity that it pumps into Gaza. They have informed Israel that they do not plan on paying the bill and have asked Israel to cut the electricity to Gaza. This is an apparent attempt to reclaim rule in the strip. Continue reading “Hamas Hurts Palestinians”

    Marx and Racial Antisemitism

    Marx and Racial Antisemitism

    By studying Karl Marx, we can learn some important lessons about antisemitism.

    I am often attacked on Twitter with claims that communism is a Jewish construct or was invented by the Jews. The proof that they offer is that Karl Marx was a Jew. Karl Marx, as most people know is one of the co-authors of the Communist Manifesto, which is considered by many to be the birth of Communism. That document had a second author, Fredrich Engels – a German Lutheran, who most people conspicuously omit when talking about the birth of communism. The term communism was not even coined by Marx or Engels, nor were it’s concepts. The term communism can be traced back to French writer Victor d’Hupay and his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe. It was published 38 years before the birth of Karl Marx. But no one says that communism is a French construct or was invented by the French, only the Jews. Continue reading “Marx and Racial Antisemitism”

    Separating Gaza from the West Bank is Key to Peace

    Separating Gaza from the West Bank is Key to Peace

    Before the problems of the West Bank are resolved, the issue of Gaza must first be addressed.

    Gaza represents everything that Israel fears the West Bank can become if they were to withdraw – an enemy state with no prospects of peace and a predetermined time frame for war that you can schedule on iCloud. After all, that is exactly what’s happened in Gaza.

    After Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, leaving the Palestinian Authority to govern the strip, and within two years, the militant political party Hamas won regional elections, a blood civil war ensued, and a military Junta deposed the ruling “moderate” Palestinian party replacing it with a government with no interest in compromise and an unwavering goal of fighting Israel until death or victory. Since that time, you can almost set your calendar based on a calculation when there will be a war between Israel and the de facto enemy state to it’s southwest. Take the amount of time it takes Hamas’ to deplete it’s military arsenal (rockets, IEDs, rocket launchers, tunnels and underground bunkers) and then add the amount of time it takes for them to replenish that arsenal. The one variable is the amount of pressure the international community places on Israel to allow into the strip materials that can be used in order to replenish it’s weaponry. Gaza does not need to win the wars they start. They know they cannot win a conventional war with Israel. They function more like a startup in an established industry. They only need to disrupt Israel long enough to create both domestic and international pressure. This is far more effective for them than military victory and a strategy that has worked all too well for them in the last ten years. Domestically, the Israel public grows frustrated that the government does not do enough to stop Hamas’ rocket fire and provocations. Internationally, pressure mounts as Hamas, efficient at using human shields and launching attacks from populated hospitals and schools, has been successful at controlling the media narrative.

    There is no reason to believe that the quagmire in Gaza that started in 2005 and continues through the present, will not be duplicated in the West Bank if Israel withdraws unilaterally.  In fact, Israel knows that it is exactly what will happen. And Israel has a good point, whether the majority of the world wants to accept it or not. Israel is between a rock and a hard place. If Israel withdraws unilaterally, the unpopular Palestinian Authority will almost surely be replaced with Hamas, or some other militant group, which will ensure an unending cycle of conflict like in Gaza, but on a much larger scale and with even more international pressure. If Israel maintains the status quo in the West Bank, which seems like the only viable option at the moment, Israel will continue to have to play defense on the international stage, slowly eroding is standing. It’s a case of do you let the pot boil over quickly or slowly. Either way, it’s going to boil over.

    The only way to prevent a duplication of Gaza in the West bank is to first resolve the issue of Gaza and have that be the model for what peace will look like long term. Gaza remains the infection in the body that must be resolved before a surgery can take place.

    How do you resolve the situation in Gaza? The first step is to stop thinking of Gaza and the West Bank as a single unit.

    The idea that the West Bank – an area historically known as Judea and Samaria – and Gaza are the same entity is a modern construct, created in the 20th century by the European victors that divided up the spoils of the middle east after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.Kingdoms_of_the_Levant_Map_830

    In ancient times, the West Bank was part of the Kingdom of Israel and Judea, while Gaza was the stronghold of the Philistines, a sea faring people with no connection to the modern day Palestinian Arabs except for similarities in name.

    During Ottoman occupation, a period lasting over 500 years and just prior to the British Mandate, Gaza had it’s own Sanjak (administrative region) with it’s administrative office in Gaza City and was separate from the Sanjak of Nablus in the West Bank and the Sanjak of Akka in the north.1 They  were all part of the greater Damascus (Syria) Eyalet, but that also included the areas of Syria, Lebanon, and modern day Jordan.

    After the Arabs rejected the UN partition in 1947 and after Israel’s victory in the war of independence, when the 1949 Armistice Lines were drawn, control of Gaza went to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan. The Arabs in the West Bank became Jordanian citizens until 1967, when that was revoke.

    Only after Israel captured Gaza and the West Bank after the 1967 war did the Arabs begin to lump the two into a single political entity, aside from both being part of a pan-Arab region. It has no basis in history or logic. By lumping the two together, it makes it exponentially more difficult to resolve the conflict. Israel is expected to negotiate with one entity to resolve the issue of two separated areas controlled by two different groups with completely different agendas. Once thing is for certain. Before resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, the conflict with Gaza must first be resolved, and that does not include direct negotiations with the Palestinians in Ramallah only, but a collective effort of Israel, the Arab League, and the international community at large to redefine what Gaza is and what it will be after a peace agreement.

    First of all, as it has historically been, Gaza should be considered separate from the West Bank. To combine the two makes peace that much more difficult because you now add the logistics of connecting the two regions artificially, a security concern for Israel that could become tinder for future conflicts between the two. By separating the two, Israel can maintain border control and integrity within it’s own territory and a more realistic solution can be pursued to allow travel between the two territories.

    Second, Gaza must become demilitarized, as a precursor to a demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank. Israel, only 9 miles wide at it’s narrowest, which corresponds to the nexus of the majority of it’s population, will never be able to accept a Palestinian state that is militarized. More importantly, there is no reason for them to believe that even if a demilitarized Palestinian state is accepted and created, that it will remain so. That is where Gaza becomes a model that can eventually be extended to the larger West Bank region. Gaza is manageable enough that if it does militarize, as it currently is, Israel will be in a position to rectify the problem without a much larger war. Once Gaza shows that it can function as an independent, demilitarized region with interest in cooperation, rather than war, with Israel, it will give the Israelis more confidence in allowing a larger seaport, an airport, and eventually to resolve the issue with the Palestinians in the West Bank.

    Third, Gaza must be under the administration or protectorate of a larger, established country that can be held accountable if Gaza break any of it’s obligations. The natural option is Egypt, which once controlled Gaza. But other options exists, including having a demilitarized Gaza be administered by the Arab League with responsibility resting in the hands of the Arab League member states. If having Gaza as an administrative region or a protectorate sounds far fetched, it’s not. Think of Hong Kong, Macau, or even US territories like Puerto Rico and Guam, whose are run independently but are protected by larger countries. There is no reason why Gaza can not become another Hong Kong or Singapore. To ensure that the Arabs maintain their end of the bargain, Israel should be allowed to enter into regional treaties to help ensure it’s protection, such as NATO.

    If Gaza is treated as a separate, demilitarized entity it can then be used as a model to show what peace with the Arabs in the West Bank might look like. If Israel can resolve the issues with Gaza, on a regionally level, vis-a-vis with involvement of the Arab nations at large, and if a new normal can be established for a period long enough to convince Israel that peace is possible (say 10 years), then there is no reason that the model can’t be applied to the West Bank and a lasting peace established.

    But, it all begins with separating Gaza from the West Bank politically and mentally, and beginning to treat them as two completely separate regions.

    1 In 1872, near the end of Ottoman rule, the Turks created the Mutasarrifate of Kudus (Jerusalem),  which encompassed Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nazareth, Jaffa, Beersheba, and Gaza, but not the majority of the West Bank to the North. Gaza still remained it’s own separate administrative district within the Mutasarrifate.