In 2013 Johns Hopkins geneticist Eran Elhaik, Ph.D. very largely destroyed prevailing genetic theory concerning the origin of eastern European “Ashkenazi” Jews -- roughly three quarters of Jews in the world today. In his groundbreaking article “The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses,” published in the prestigious scientific journal Genome Biology and Evolution, Elhaik reported the results of his first major study of Ashkenazim genetics. He said the genetic evidence indicates the roots of most “Jews” today are to be found in the east, in the ancient kingdom of Khazaria, converted to Judaism in the 8th century AD. So compelling is Elhaik’s research that the scientific community remains stunned.
It could be even more stunned in months to come. Elhaik told me by email: "My goals are to raise enough money to genotype the Khazar skeletons we found and deliver the final evidence to the origin of European Jews and publish the findings." This is explosive in its potential. If, indeed, he is able to determine through genetic tests that DNA within ancient Khazar bones generally corresponds to DNA within modern eastern European Jews, it will settle with finality that most "Jews" today are descended from an 8th century A.D. Eurasian nation of traders and warriors, not Abraham.
The prevailing “Rhineland Hypothesis” of Ashkenazim origins, led by geneticist Dr. Harry Ostrer of New York’s Yeshivah University, asserts that the large Ashkenazim populations of Poland and Russia got there primarily from Germany in the west beginning in about the 16th century A.D. Ostrer claims that genetic evidence indicates a Middle Eastern origin for Ashkenazi Jews. Elhaik has requested the genetic data upon which Ostrer makes this claim but says Ostrer will not share it with him. Such non-cooperation lends even more credibility to Elhaik’s thesis, which agrees with Arthur Koestler’s book, The Thirteenth Tribe, that perhaps a million Khazarians, fleeing the invading Mongols, migrated west from their home in the Caucasus to Poland beginning in the 13th century A.D. There, these Gentile converts to Judaism created what most people think of as “Jews” today.
In fact, Elhaik proposed a test, “The Jewish Genome Challenge” , to an audience including fellow Jewish geneticists and scientists worldwide to determine if the genes of an Ashkenazi Jew (or any Jew) possess evidence of being distinctly Jewish. This challenge was similar to a "randomized control test," the gold standard of science. Samples of Jewish and non-Jewish DNA would be hybridized several times and the results given to these scientists (who generally favor the Rhineland Hypothesis). Would Jewish DNA stand out as different from Gentile? He would let the geneticists decide. But most didn't seem confident enough that "Jewishness" would be apparent. As a result, only two cooperated with Elhaik, but analysis failed to identify Jewish DNA. Clearly, Elhaik, largely by default, was victorious in his wager that Jewish DNA and Gentile DNA can be very largely indistinguishable.
Does this mean there are no hereditary descendants of Abraham left in the world? No. In my article “The Jews Who Aren't Khazars” I document that as much as 24 percent of world Jewry, the “Sephardim” and the “Mizraim” from Spain and the Mid-East, are descended from Jews dispersed from Palestine and Babylonia millennia ago. Yet, while history documents the origins of such Jews in Palestine, Elhaik suggests it is difficult to genetically prove Mid-East origin. He does not exclude, however, the possibility that in some cases such ancestry could be traced. Thus, contrary to what some claim, he does not assert it is impossible to genetically determine that some Jews came from the Mid-East.
Elhaik's research thus does not destroy the Biblical claim that God has an unfinished destiny for a repentant, racially derived remnant of what Scripture describes as His chosen people. Rather, it confirms the Old Testament prediction that because of the continuing sin of the Hebrews God would curse them to be a very small nation (Deut. 28:62) that would come under the rulership of “aliens” (Deut. 28:33). This has been fulfilled by the Khazar infusion, which has very largely taken over Judaism, shrinking authentic Jews to a minority. In Israel these have been historically discriminated against by the "alien" Khazar ruling majority. Scripture predicts this tiny population of relatively authentic Jews, dominated by aliens, will continue to exist until a repentant remnant of such Jews and their Khazar converts turn to Christ at His second coming.
Dr. Elhaik urgently needs funds to continue his groundbreaking research. All who seek peace in the Middle East should support this work by Elhaik, who is now a faculty appointed lecturer at University of Sheffield in England. Final definitive evidence of the Khazar origins of Eastern European Jews could play a decisive role in helping bring peace between Israel and Palestinians. Here’s how:
Zionism and the state of Israel came into being because of energies of Khazar/Ashkenazim Jews of Germany, Poland and Russia. Convincing the world in 1948 that they were descendants of Abraham, they intended to drive out not just 800,000 Palestinians but all of them. The intervention of the Arab legions and the 1948 war prevented it.
However, to this hour the prevailing Khazar ruling majority and their Ultra-Orthodox settlers in the West Bank cling to the conviction that all of the Promised Land from Egypt to the Euphrates belongs to them. This mentality is not only a perennial cause of arbitrary land seizure and restriction of Palestinian rights but effectively stifles the peace process. The government of Israel simply cannot give up its dream of entire control of Palestine, which they believe is theirs by divine right.
I believe if Elhaik could prove beyond question that those who wrested Palestine from the Arabs were actually Gentiles it would restrain Israel's dream of further expansion. If the founders and present rulers, as well as most Israelis, became convinced they had no genetic connection with Abraham, it could help subdue overt Israeli rhetoric and ambition, thus paving, as almost nothing else, the road to peace.
Elhaik's research proceeds under auspices of Sheffield University, which does not receive donations from individuals, only investments from companies. Already, Prosapia Genetics, a genetic testing company, has supported Elhaik’s research. The donation page is available at http://prosapiagenetics.com/support-us.php. Yet much more funding is necessary, help that can invigorate discovery of much more truth. Elhaik informs me:
I too hope to be able to continue this research and sequence these genomes. It is an ambitious goal, but by no means the last one. After we'll achieve it, our next goal would be to either sequence genomes of ancient Judeans from the time period of Jesus or computationally simulate them (which we can do with enough ancient DNA samples from surrounding regions), allowing modern-day people to calculate their genetic relatedness to these ancient people.
Dr. Elhaik’s lab page is available at www.eranelhaiklab.org. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
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