Totally unrelated but very cool graphic

Yesterday, The American Journal of Human Genetics ( published a paper titled, Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry. The authors are mostly affiliated with Albert Einstein, NYU, and Columbia Medical Schools in NYC. They are Gil Atzmon, Li Hao, Itsik Pe’er, Christopher Velez, Alexander Pearlman, Pier Francesco Palamara, Bernice Morrow, Eitan Friedman, Carole Oddoux, Edward Burns, and Harry Ostrer. In an effort to define the relatedness of contemporary Jewish people (European, Mizrahi and Sephardim), the authors conducted a genome-wide analysis of seven Jewish groups (Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek, and Ashkenazi) (they left out the eighth, which is called Brooklynite) and compared them with surrounding non-Jewish groups and found that their are distinctive Jewish population clusters, each with shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations, and variable degrees of European and North African admixture.

Two major groups were identified by using principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analyses. They are Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. The results suggested suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry.

I had no idea there was any sort of bottleneck, but the study stated that the rapid decay of IBD in Ashkenazi Jewish genomes was consistent with a severe bottleneck followed by large expansion, such as occurred with the so-called demographic miracle of population expansion from 50,000 people at the beginning of the 15th century to 5 Million people at the beginning of the 19th century. Thus, this study demonstrates that European/Syrian and Middle Eastern Jews represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters woven together by shared IBD genetic threads.

“This is an almost perfect confirmation of what we knew,” said Francesc Calafell, a human population geneticist at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. “Although the new study doesn’t contain any real surprises, it gives a more complete picture of ancestral ties and leaves little room for doubt about the origin of different Jewish groups.” The lead researcher from NYU, Harry Ostrer, said that this is not a way to define a Jew, they will still leave that issue to clerics, communities, and the Knesset.

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  • That would be all good and nice except that the study doesn’t consider that a huge share of Europeans can claim Middle Eastern ancestry not related to Jewish migration particularly in those parts of Western Europe where Jews predominantly settled before they moved East. (In addition, the Jewish diaspora started centuries before Arabs migrated to what today is Israel and what was the biblical Promised land.) Also the occurance of blue eyes as a recessive genetic anomality should have been addressed. Sounds a lot like looking for a “q.e.d.” and at that playing into the hands of those that desperately try to paint Judaism as a (too) closely related race.

  • Larry said “You Mean I’m Not a Khazar?”

    The study says you aren’t predominantly a Khazar but it doesn’t mean you’re not a Khazar at all. Ashkenazic haplogroups that might come from Khazars (Q-P36, R1a1, G) are only found in small proportions of Ashkenazic populations.

    My book “The Jews of Khazaria, Second Edition” refutes the idea in Shlomo Sand’s book “The Invention of the Jewish People” that Khazars are the dominant element and so does this study.

  • No people are totally “pure” and that includes the Jewish people. The thing about Sand is that he has (quite successfully) claimed that Jews are not a people at all. Which has played into the hands of those who claim that since the Jews are not a people, they should not have a state. It is satisfying that Sand is refuted through genetic science. There were plenty of facts before to substantiate that Jews indeed are a people, both genetic and linguistic. How many Khazar words are there in Yiddish e.g.?

    • Well, Yiddish is a Germanic language, so that would make people Teutonic, wouldn’t it?

      Am I the only one that gets concerned if somebody conducts studies that basically prove Nazi accusations right but nothing more? How telling is it really to annalyse the genetic make-up of affiliated volunteers? Isn’t that like conducting a survey at a German football stadium to find out how many percent of Germans are football fans? And does nobody else take issue with the résumé that suggests that they found what they were looking for and believed to be right from the start? I’d have thought people at such renowned institutions would know better than that.

  • The thing about scientific, genetic studies is that it is much more reliable than social studies stuff or the sheer propaganda that Shlomo Sand sold us. Including Froylein Flroylein’s gibberish.
    That Yiddish is in its main part Germanic,has to do with where a lot of Jews lived under a relatively long time. It doesn’t signify that they became a Germanic people – unless one believe’s in some kind of Lysenko theory.

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