March 7, 2004: As I mentioned yesterday, for the past several months
I have been immersed in research for the second volume of the The
Secret History of The World series. It was during the course
of this research that I stumbled over an item that raised the hair on
the back of my neck. This discovery had to do with "Mongols,"
and as I read the material in question, what came to my mind were two
other references that included the word "Mongols" that were
stuck in my memory banks from years past. The first is one of Nostradamus'
famous quatrains and the second is a quote from a prediction made by America's
famous seer, Edgar Cayce just prior to World War II.
neuf cens nonante neuf sept mois,
Du ciel viendra un grand Roy d'effrayeur:
Resusciter le grand Roy d'Angolmois*
Avant après Mars regner par bon heur. X 72
been translated into English as follows:
year 1999 and seven months
From the sky will come the Great King of Terror,
Raising again the great king of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars (war) reigns at his pleasure. X.72
Cayce's remark about Mongols was as follows:
is not the acceptance in America of the closer brotherhood of man, the
love of the neighbor as self, civilization must wend its way westward
- and again must Mongolism, must a hated people be raised.
reader may certainly wonder how and why two odd comments by two prophets
who lived hundreds of years apart should have struck me as so all-fired
interesting considering our perspective on "inspirational" material
- that research is always necessary. Well, again, bear with me. I am going
to attempt to recount the research as it proceeded. As I do, I think that
the reader will come to see the above remarks about "Mongols"
in a new light.
of all, this past summer in all the hullabaloo over the death of Dr. David
Kelly, we came across the term "Ethnic Specific Weapons" in
an article we published on the Signs
Page that went as follows:
With Link to Race-Based Weapon Turning Up Dead
to American Free Press
By Gordon Thomas
Kellythe biological warfare weapons specialist at the heart of
the continuing political crisis for the British governmenthad
links to three other top microbiologists whose deaths have left unanswered
British scientist was involved with ultra secret work at Israels
Institute for Biological Research. Israeli sources claim Kelly met institute
scientists several times in London in the past two years. [...]
been persistent reports that the institute is also engaged in DNA sequencing
research. One former member of the Knesset, Dedi Zucker, caused a storm
in the Israeli Parliament when he claimed that the institute was
"trying to create an ethnic specific weapon" in which Arabs
could be targeted by Israeli weapons.
"Ethnic Specific Weapons?" Hmmm... maybe the Israelis have
forgotten that the Arabs are genetically identical to the Jews... ?
What will kill an Arab will kill a Jew.
have long been suggesting that the ultimate agenda of the Global Reich
is to set Israel up and do the most fiendish double cross of all; and
now we may have a clue as to how they plan to do it.
out, Israel, you have all been herded into a corral by the Balfour Agreement,
your leaders have been calling you home to Israel for years... aided
and abetted by England and America - those whose sympathies with the
Nazis are well known; and you think they are "serving you"
??? On a platter, maybe...
We were actually
so non-plussed by this article that we didn't quite know what to make
of it. But something really bugged me and the Signs Team decided to take
this dangling thread and pull on it. The question was, of course, since
all the genetic studies with which I was familiar pointed out the fact
that Jews and Arabs are "brothers," what in the world were they
talking about here? What kind of "Ethnic Specific Weapon" could
target Arabs and NOT Jews?
have a look at this graph of the genetic relationships between Jews and
from Michael Hammer's study, Uni of Arizona.
are represented by triangles: Ashkenazim = Ash, Roman Jews = Rom,
North African Jews = Naf; Near Eastern Jews = Nea; Kurdish Jews
= Kur, Yemenite Jews = Yem; Ethiopian Jews = EtJ; non-Jewish Middle
Easterners = Pal, non-Jewish Syrians = Syr, non-Jewish Lebanes =
Leb, Israeli Druze = Dru, non-Jewish Saudi Arabians = Sar; Non-Jewish
Europeans: Rus = Russians, Bri = British, Ger = Germans, Aus = Austrians,
Ita = Italians, Spa = Spanish, Gre = Greeks, Tun = North Africans
and Tunisians; Egy = Egyptians, Eth = Ethiopians, Gam = Gambians,
Bia = Giaka, Bag = Bagandans, San = San, Zul = Zulu. Tur = non Jewish
Turks, Lem = Lemba from south Africa.
in the above graph, that the lower right corner of the graph is
where Near Eastern Jews are positioned. One might therefore theorize
that the Near Eastern Jews are, more or less, the most "Jewish"
of the Jews in terms of many generations of "Jews" in
their family lines. Looking around this cluster, we notice that
there are several "families" that are very close, including Yemenite
Jews, Druze, North African Jews, and Palestinians. On the
other hand, the Ashkenazi Jews are not only much closer to Turks,
Syrians and Roman Jews, they are quite distant from both the Near
Eastern Jews and the Palestinians. I also noted with some considerable
interest that Saudi Arabians are much closer to Europeans and even
Ashkenazi Jews than to Palestinians.
So, the question
was: How could an Ethnic Specific Weapon work when we have the idea that
just about everybody is related to everybody else to one extent or another,
and most particularly, how could anybody have the idea that they could
distinguish between Jews and Palestinians genetically?
years, there have been a raft of genetic studies focused on issues of
"Jewishness." This work has been advanced, to a great extent,
by Jewish scientists themselves, so it cannot be considered a venue for
anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, in spite of the seeming attempts of Jews
seeking to prove that they ARE different from everyone else, there are
many voices raised against the issue of Jews as a separate genetic "line."
not a race. Anyone can become a Jew - and members of every race, creed
and color in the world have done so at one time or another. There is
no distinguishing racial physical feature common only to Jews.
Jewish is not a race because Jews do not share one common ancestry or
biological distinction. People of many different races have become Jewish
people over the years.
Harold M. Schulweis explains the nature of Judaism:
the unique aspects of Judaism is its rejection of Judaism as a biological
entity, an inherited spiritual DNA, racial or ethnic. The point is that
being a Jew is not a matter of genes and chromosomes. To the contrary,
Judaism is the first religion to recognize the 'ger', the stranger who
chooses to identify himself with Judaism. Judaism is not rooted in race
or clan or in a genetic matter but a religious tradition of choice.
as to "Who is a Jew" that is most often give is that Jews are
a religion and a civilization, but not a race or singular
ethnic group. Rabbi Rami Shapiro said: "There is only one response
to Who is a Jew? that works: A Jew is one who takes Judaism seriously.
One who takes Judaism seriously studies it, argues with it, and lives
course, begs the question as to why so many genetic studies are being
done by and about Jews, and how does this relate to Ethnic Specific Weapons?
Clearly, Jews themselves do not agree on what defines being a Jew, but
what confuses the issue even more is the disinformation.
As I noted,
yesterday there was an article that suggested to me a possible platform
for this present discussion. In
Mark of Doom, we find the following comments:
scientists have declared that in ten years they will succeed in creating
a radically new type of biological weapon. This weapon would be capable
of infecting people according to a genetically predetermined marker
such as skin color or eye shape. Infection could have a delayed effect
or only begin once a certain type of medicine was taken. A recent closed
seminar held by the CIA was devoted to the topic. The event took place
as part of the Project for the New American Century. [...]
most terrifying new possibility is the hypothetical biological weapon
that could infect people according to genetic markers. Not only would
it allow for genocide; it would be created specifically for that purpose.
A recent report by the British Medical Association stated that "the
rapid progress in genetics could become the basis for ethnic cleansing
on an unheard of scale in the near future." [...]
ago, ideologues like US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and
PNAC Director William Crystal were already discussing genetic weapons.
They recommended that the Pentagon consider the possibility for using
this type of weapon not only to successfully wage war, but also to reconfigure
world politics. According to a PNAC report, genetic weapons could completely
change the politics of the entire planet: "cutting-edge biological warfare
targeting a certain genotype could turn the reign of terrorism into
a politically useful tool."
to information from PNAC, Israel has also recently begun to work actively
on mutagenic weapons. Israel geneticists confirm that Arabs carry a
unique gene that no one else in the world has. This gene forms the basis
for the Israeli research, believe American experts. [...]
it is not as easy to create a selective biological weapon as some scientists
are claiming. Though it may be possible to create bacteria that multiple
only when a person takes a specific medication, the creation of an effective
genetic weapon that would not harm the developers themselves seems unrealistic
in the foreseeable future. [...]
one more reason why this kind of biological weapon is unlikely to be
as effective as the ideologues would wish. As Nazi doctor Josef Mengele
put it, "Scratch a Frenchman and find an African." Humanity has existed
for many millennia. In the context of all our past tribal and intertribal
connections, it is not far from the truth to say that we are all
brothers. "Over the many years of human existence, ethnics groups
have intermingled to such an extent that the genetic structures determining
ethnic identity have blurred and become difficult to recognize," notes
In the related
Desirable, Genetically Unviable,we find the following:
there are politicians who set goals for scientists. These goals are
often never accomplished, but nonetheless, why not set goals and why
not get money for research? Creating genetic weapons is a goal of this
kind. In reality, it would be quite difficult to create this kind of
weapon. A lot of currently published research is dedicated to the structure
of the human genome and the difference between various races. It
has been proven that the differences are very slight, and scientists
have only begun to identify them. [...]
majority of countries, including the US and Russia, signed a convention
that prohibits developing, testing, manufacturing, and storing biological
weapons. If they begin conducting research and tests, they will be violating
this convention and giving other countries an excuse to start this kind
of research themselves. [...] Yet to create viruses that could target
only a certain race or people is nearly impossible in my opinion,
at least at the current stage of biology.
the above with the following from our Ethnic
Specific Weapons Supplement:
Weapons For Ethnic Cleansing
"theoretical possibility" was recognized over 25 years ago,
if not before. It was originally brought to the attention of potential
customers with the publication of an article in the Military Review
of November 1970.
for command-level military personnel was published by the US Army Command
and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The feature,
entitled "Ethnic Weapons," authored by Carl A. Larson, outlines
the history, desirability, and possibilities of engineered biological
pathogens which would affect only those races which historically have
no natural defense against certain "enzyme inhibitors."
is listed as head of the "Department of Human Genetics at the Institute
of Genetics, Lund, Sweden" as well as a licensed physician. The
Hippocratic oath was apparently not administered in Sweden when Larson
received his accreditation. [...]
to Charles Piller and Keith Yamamoto in their 1988 book Gene Wars,
Larson's article was the first time that the subject of ethnically
targeted CBWs was broached publicly, and that in "the military's
private circles it was old news."
We learn that the work on such weapons was begun in Nazi Germany. The
victims of these weapons were largely Jews. When Larson published his
paper in 1970, in "the military's private circles it was old news,"
which means it had been discussed for a long time by the US military,
most likely with the Nazis brought into the US after World War II via
Operation Paperclip. Tests were carried out as far back as 1951 on Blacks
working at the Mechanicsburg, PA Naval Supply Depot. For more information
on tests carried out by the US government against its own citizens,
refer to our timeline.
and the Apartheid Legacy
Muwakkil, In These Times
June 6, 2003
story in the Washington Post on April 20 and 21 revealed that biological
agents developed by the South African government during its apartheid
days have fallen into private hands.
by Post reporters Joby Warrick and John Mintz, the piece noted that
unique, race-specific strains of biotoxins were available on the
world market for the right price or the right ideology.
top-secret program that Basson directed was called Project Coast, and
it lasted from 1981 to 1993. The South African National Defense Force
created it at a time when the white-minority regime was under increasing
threat by indigenous black South Africans. Daan Goosen, the former director
of Project Coast's biological research division, told the Post he was
ordered by Basson to develop ways "to suppress population growth
among blacks" and to "search for a 'black bomb,' a biological
weapon that would select targets based on skin color."
Washington Post even noted, "Goosen says many scientists kept
copies of organisms and documents in order to continue work on 'dual-use'
projects with commercial as well as military applications."
A May 2002
story on Project Coast in the Wall Street Journal reported that Goosen
said he has been "visited by scores of people looking for 'stuff
to kill the blacks.'" Race-specific weapons naturally are in
hot demand among racists, so it's no surprise that South Africa's race-specific
research is highly coveted.
links between Israel's ethnic weapons and South Africa's Project Coast
are tentative; some would say tenuous. But the possibility of such links
is terrifying, and justifies as much scrutiny as was focused on Iraq's
At this point,
the reader may wish to peruse the entire Signs
Supplement on Ethnic Specific Weapons so as to understand that the
claim that no such weapons are currently available, nor could they even
work, is complete disinformation. This work has been going on for a very
long time and is, undoubtedly well advanced and may even be being used
on this subject, inspired by the Dr. David Kelly affair, was published
in August of 2003 and was met with basically dead silence. Nobody even
wanted to touch this one. Now, all of a sudden, the issue is popping up
here and there, mostly from the disinformation angle.
with my little chronology, the question of what could be used as a "separator"
between Jews and Palestinians led me to re-visit all the genetic research
I could get my hands on. My puzzlement grew as I pursued this line.
At the present
time, it is known that Eastern European Jews have a significant Eastern
Mediterranean element which manifests itself in a close relationship with
Kurdish, Armenian, Palestinian Arab, Lebanese, Syrian, and Anatolian Turkish
peoples. At the same time, there are traces of European (including Western
Slavic) and Khazar ancestry among European Jews. Ethiopian Jews mostly
descend from Ethiopian Africans who converted to Judaism, but may also
be related to a lesser extent to Yemenite Jews. Yemenite Jews descend
from Arabs and Israelites. North African Jewish and Kurdish Jewish paternal
lineages come from Israelites. The problem with all of these studies is
that they fail to compare modern Jewish populations' DNA to ancient
Judean DNA and medieval Khazarian DNA, and they focus on paternal
I had a copy
of the book The Seven Daughters of Eve on the shelf that I hadn't
read yet, and decided that it might give me a few clues. It was then that
I realized that the answer might lie in mtDNA. And so, I began the search
for any genetic studies of Jewish mtDNA.
Nicholas Wade writes in DNA, New Clues to Jewish Roots:
genetic picture is based largely on two studies, one published two years
ago and the other this month, that together show that the men and women
who founded the Jewish communities had surprisingly different genetic
study, led by Dr. Michael Hammer of University of Arizona, showed from
an analysis of the male, or Y chromosome, that Jewish men from seven
communities were related to one another and to present-day Palestinian
and Syrian populations, but not to the men of their host communities.
suggested that Jewish men who founded the communities traced their lineage
back to the ancestral Mideastern population of 4,000 years ago from
which Arabs, Jews and other people are descended. It pointed to the
genetic unity of widespread Jewish populations and took issue with ideas
that most Jewish communities were relatively recent converts like the
Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that embraced Judaism.
A new study
now shows that the women in nine Jewish communities from Georgia, the
former Soviet republic, to Morocco have vastly different genetic
histories from the men. In each community, the women carry very
few genetic signatures on their mitochondrial DNA, a genetic element
inherited only through the female line. This indicates that the community
had just a small number of founding mothers and that after the founding
event there was little, if any, interchange with the host population.
The women's identities, however, are a mystery, because, unlike the
case with the men, their genetic signatures are not related to one
another or to those of present-day Middle Eastern populations.
It was in
this last discovery that the skin on the back of my neck began to crawl.
Obviously, if Jewish men are related to one another and to present-day
Palestinian and Syrian populations, the means of producing a "death
factor" of so-called "Ethnic Specific Weapons" - by either
inclusion or exclusion - might lie in the mtDNA. It occurred to me that
it was coincidentally odd that in ancient Israel, the Jewish priesthood
was handed from father to son, but at some point, Jewish status came to
be defined by maternal descent. Nicholas Wade tells us:
that most or all Jewish communities were founded by Jewish men and local
women is somewhat at variance with the usual founding traditions. Most
Jewish communities hold that they were formed by families who fled persecution
or were invited to settle by local kings.
Iraqi Jews are said to be descended from those exiled to Babylon after
the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C. Members of the Bene
Israel community of Bombay say they are the children of Jews who fled
the persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanus, who repressed the Maccabean
revolt, around 150 B.C.
those founding narratives do not have strong historical support. Dr.
Lawrence H. Schiffman, professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New
York University, said the new genetic data could well explain how certain
far-flung Jewish communities were formed. [...]
Cohen, professor of Jewish literature and philosophy at Harvard, said
the implication of the findings and the idea of Jewish communities'
having been founded by traders, was "by no means implausible."
authors are correct in saying the historical origins of most Jewish
communities are unknown," Dr. Cohen said. "Not only the little
ones like in India, but even the mainstream Ashkenazic culture from
which most American Jews descend."
In a recent
book, "The Beginnings of Jewishness," Dr. Cohen argued that
far-flung Jewish communities had adopted the rabbinic teaching of the
matrilineal descent of Jewishness soon after the Islamic conquests in
the seventh, eight and ninth centuries A.D.
of the Goldstein team's analysis, that matrilineal descent of Jewishness
was practiced at or soon after the founding of each community, could
fit in with this conclusion, Dr. Cohen said, if the communities were
founded around this time.
comments about the mtDNA research caught my attention. "A new study
now shows that the women in nine Jewish communities from Georgia, the
former Soviet republic, to Morocco have vastly different genetic histories
from the men. In each community, the women carry very few genetic
signatures on their mitochondrial DNA, a genetic element inherited
only through the female line. [...] unlike the case with the men, their
genetic signatures are not related to one another or to those of present-day
Middle Eastern populations." I went to the original research
and found the following:
analyzed the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA from each of nine
geographically separated Jewish groups, eight non-Jewish host populations,
and an Israeli Arab/Palestinian population, and we have compared the
differences found in Jews and non-Jews with those found using Y-chromosome
data that were obtained, in most cases, from the same population samples.
suggest that most Jewish communities were founded by relatively few
women, that the founding process was independent in different geographic
areas, and that subsequent genetic input from surrounding populations
was limited on the female side.
contrast to this, the paternally inherited Y chromosome shows diversity
similar to that of neighboring populations and shows no evidence of
differences demonstrate an important role for culture in shaping
patterns of genetic variation and are likely to have significant
epidemiological implications for studies involving these populations.
We illustrate this by presenting data from a panel of X-chromosome microsatellites,
which indicates that, in the case of the Georgian Jews, the female-specific
founder event appears to have resulted in elevated levels of linkage
Mothers of Jewish Communities: Geographically Separated Jewish Groups
Were Independently Founded by Very Few Female Ancestors
by Mark G. Thomas,1, Michael E. Weale,1 Abigail L. Jones,1 Martin Richards,3
Alice Smith,2 Nicola Redhead,2 Antonio Torroni,5,6 Rosaria Scozzari,6
Fiona Gratrix,2 Ayele Tarekegn,1 James F. Wilson,2 Cristian Capelli,2
Neil Bradman,1 and David B. Goldstein2
1TheCentre for Genetic Anthropology, Departments of Biology and Anthropology,
and 2 Department of Biology, University College London, London; 3Department
of Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield,
United Kingdom; 4Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute,
Technion and Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel; 5Dipartimento di
Geneticae Microbiologia, UniversitÓdi Pavia, Pavia, Italy; and 6 Dipartimentodi
Geneticae Biologia Molecolare, "LaSapienza" di Roma, Rome
for correspondence and reprints: Dr. David Goldstein, Department of
Biology, University College London, GowerStreet, London WC1E6BT, United
I began to tug on this thread to find out exactly WHO, among Jews, were
related to these Eight Founding Mothers. The above cited paper says further:
of Y-chromosome and mtDNA patterns reveals a striking contrast between
the maternal and paternal genetic heritage of Jewish populations.
Y chromosome, there is no consistent pattern of lower diversity in Jewish
communities when compared with their non-Jewish host populations; in
two cases, diversity is significantly lower in the Jewish groups; in
one case, it is higher; and, in the rest, differences are not significant.
the pattern in the mtDNA is quite different. In each case, the Jewish
community has a significantly lower mtDNA diversity than its paired
host population. Indeed, every Jewish population has a lower mtDNA diversity
than any non-Jewish population. This finding indicates that mistakes
in associating particular host populations with Jewish populations would
be very unlikely to affect our results. [...]
of mtDNA to Y-chromosome diversity were calculated, to standardize the
mtDNA results in relation to the other genetic system, the ratio for
the Jewish data sets ... was again found, in all but one case (the Ethiopian
Jews), to be less than the ratio for the non-Jewish host. [...]
striking than this, however, is the high frequency of particular
mtDNA haplotypes in the Jewish populations. No host population in
our sample has an mtDNA modal frequency greater than 12% (mean 7.7%).
In contrast, seven of the Jewish populations have a modal frequency
(mean 22.6%), and some of the Jewish groups have much higher frequencies.
Moroccan Jews, the Bene Israel, and Georgian Jews have modal frequencies
of 27.0%, 41.3%, and 51.4%, respectively, which are all higher than
those observed in any of the other populations. Again, this pattern
is not seen on the Y chromosome, where the modal frequencies in Jewish
populations (mean 15.2%; range 7.4% to 31.2%) are not significantly
different from those seen in host populations (mean 13.6%; range 8.1%
European and Near Eastern populations, the highest frequency mtDNA type
is the HVS-1 Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS). This type occurs at
16%, on average, in Europe, and at 6%, on average, in the Near East.
This pattern is reflected in our data, in that all of the seven European
and Near Eastern non-Jewish populations have the CRS as their
only two of the nine Jewish populations have the CRS as their modal
haplotype, while, among the other seven, each has a different modal
the nine Jewish groups there are eight different mtDNA types that
are modal with an unusually high frequency.
the CRS, none of the other Jewish modal haplotypes are represented
in the Israeli Arab/Palestinian data set, in contrast to the similarities
between Ashkenazic Jews, Sephardic Jews, Israeli Arabs/Palestinian,
and Lebanese populations reported for the Y chromosome. [...]
These results therefore suggest that an extreme
founder effect has occurred in the maternal but not paternal genetic
histories of most Jewish populations.
Greater geographic structuring of the mtDNA than the
Y chromosome is an unusual pattern. To assess whether this is specific
to the Jewish populations, we also compared mtDNA and Y-chromosome structuring
among the host populations. Among the latter populations we found the
more usual pattern of greater Y-chromosome differentiation. This demonstrates
that the unusual pattern observed among the Jewish populations is not
associated with the geographic areas from which they derive but rather
with their unique demographic histories. [...]
It would appear that the founder effects on the maternal
side have been so severe that mtDNA frequencies in the Jewish populations
are very different from those found in any non-Jewish population. The
non-CRS modal haplotypes in the Jewish populations are generally rare
in the non-Jewish populations. The CRS, on the other hand, is too ubiquitous
to allow it to be pinpointed to anything other than a general Eurasian
For example, the most extreme founder effect is
seen in the Georgian Jews, of whom 51% possess the same haplotype.
The Georgian Jewish modal type is matched by a single individual in
the Georgian sample. However, a search of the mtDNA database shows that
it also occurs in Syria (2/69 individuals) and Iraq (1/116).
One directly derived type is present in two Georgians, but derived types
are also found in the North Caucasus (2/208 individuals), Turkey (1/218),
Armenia (1/191), and Sicily (1/90). For the Georgian modal haplotype,
there is therefore no clear indication of provenance, although an indigenous
origin is certainly possible, given the data. [...]
In two cases, however, comparison with the published
data does provide some indication of the possible geographic origins
of the modal types. The modal type in the Bene Israel is a one-step
mutational neighbor of a haplotype present in the Indian sample, as
well as being a one-step neighbor of a type previously identified in
India. Similarly, the commonest type in the Ethiopian Jewish sample
is also present in the non-Jewish Ethiopian sample and occurs in the
worldwide mtDNA database only in Somalia. Other high-frequency haplotypes
in the Ethiopian Jewish sample are also found almost entirely in Africa.
The lack of an indication of a Middle Eastern origin for these haplotypes,
on the basis of the Richards database, makes local recruitment a more
reasonable explanation in these two cases. [...]
The greatly reduced mtDNA diversity in the Jewish populations
in comparison with the host populations, together with the wide range
of different modal haplotypes found in different communities, indicates
female-specific founding events in the Jewish populations.
Although we cannot be certain whether this occurred
immediately after the establishment of the communities or over a longer
period of time, a simple explanation for the exceptional pattern of
mtDNA variation across Jewish populations is that each of the different
Jewish communities is composed of descendants of a small group of maternal
founders. After the establishment of these communities, inward gene
flow from the host populations must have been very limited. [...]
The differences among the Jewish populations in mtDNA
haplogroup frequencies indicates that the Jewish groups formed independently
around (at least) eight small, distinct nuclei of women. The
severity of these demographic events was sufficiently great to drive
an unusual pattern of geographic variation among the Jewish populations.
Although it has been commonly found that Y-chromosome
variation shows greater geographic structure than the mtDNA, this pattern
is reversed in the Jewish populations, which show greater differentiation
for the mtDNA than for the Y chromosome.
Jewish populations therefore appear to represent an
example in which cultural practice in this case, female-defined ethnicity
has had a pronounced effect on patterns of genetic variation. [...]
The pattern in Ashkenazic Jews is of particular interest.
Despite the common opinion that this population has undergone a strong
founder event, it has a modal haplotype with a frequency similar
to that of its host population (9.0% vs. 6.9%), providing little
evidence of a strong founder event on the female side. The possibility
remains, however, that present-day Ashkenazic Jews may represent a mosaic
group that is descended on the maternal side from several independent
founding events. [...]
These results demonstrate that demographic events
restricted to only one of the sexes can be of considerable epidemiological
to say, this is an extremely interesting state of affairs, and my guess
is that a lot more is known about this research than is currently available
to the public. It is almost impossible to speculate about the origins
of the "Founding Mothers" of a significant number of Jews, but
I am reminded of an old saying that if your son marries, you lose him
to his wife's family, and if your daughter marries, you gain a son. Perhaps
this is naturally due to the special types of emotional bonds that are
formed between women. But, of significant interest here is the issue of
what it is that "bottle-necked" these groups of people.
The Seven Daughters of Eve, and a host of technical papers on genetics,
I finally had a look at Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe.
His theory is that the majority of modern Jews are Ashkenazim, descended
from the Khazars, a Caucasian people who had converted to Judaism in the
Middle Ages. For a time, Koestler's ideas were vigorously argued - even
rejected - but in more recent times, his ideas have been partly vindicated.
Ashkenazi Jews have a more significant admixture of Italian, Greek, and
Turkish genes than of Spanish, German, or even Austrian ones as do the
Separdim. This certainly connects them to the Khazars, but does not exclude
mixing with the Western "real" Jews of Spain and elsewhere.
another issue that popped up during this period: Kevin
MacDonald's work. MacDonald ascribes a genetic homogeneity to Jews
postulating that Judaism is an "evolutionary group strategy."
MacDonald has been generally accused of anti-Semitism and, indeed, anyone
with eyes can see that Jews are like everyone else: they come in all colors,
shapes and sizes. We realize now, of course, that there is a wide variation
in the paternal ancestry, but that there is something truly strange about
the maternal ancestry of a significant number of Jews is now quite evident.
then became: what is mtDNA and what, precisely, does it do?
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