Calmeyer Lawyer 1s

Calmeyer’s Legacy

Hans Calmeyer Righteous Gentile 1903-1972

“The Dutch Schindler”

 Lawyer for Life

Jews

 OOPS there goes another anti-Jewish claim

 By  Thomas H. Maugh II

Genetic study scientifically disproves bizarre notion gaining ground in pro-jihadist circles

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com |(MCT) Jews of European descent living on opposite sides of the globe are more  closely related to each other than they are to their fellow countrymen,  according to the largest study ever conducted of what it means  genetically to be Jewish. Ashkenazim, the primary group descended from  European Jews, are all as closely related as fourth or fifth cousins  would be, the study found.

"Jews really are different from  their non-Jewish neighbors," said Dr. Harry Ostrer, a geneticist at the  New York University Langone Medical Center, senior author of the new  study appearing in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

They are not different enough to  be considered a separate race as some experts have argued, he added, but definitely are a "distinct population"  the result, presumably, of  cultural separation during thousands of years.

The study, which was conducted  primarily to further medical knowledge of genetic diseases, rejected a  highly controversial idea that Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars in eastern Europe who converted to Judaism ” an idea that has recently  been used in an attempt to discredit the idea that Jews belong in Israel because it is their historic homeland.

The study shows that there is  "clearly a shared genetic common ancestry among geographically diverse  populations consistent with oral tradition and culture ... and that  traces back to the Middle East," said geneticist Sarah A. Tishkoff of  the University of Pennsylvania. "Jews have assimilated to some extent,  but they clearly retain their common ancestry."

Added Joe Berkofsky, a spokesman  for the Jewish Federations of North America, "This finding in a way  underscores what Jewish Federations believe and act upon through our  central mission, which is to care for and protect Jews around the world, no matter where they are."

Although the study sheds light on Jewish history ” providing new information about the separation between North African and European Jews 2,500 years ago and the near extinction of European Jews in the Middle Ages ” its major goal is to identify  genes for many diseases that are more common in Jewish groups, such as  breast cancer, Gaucher disease and Tay-Sachs.

The higher incidence of those  diseases among "Abraham's children" will allow scientists to more  readily find genes that cause the illnesses and then extend that  knowledge to the general population, said geneticist Gil Atzmon of  Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, first author  of the paper.

The study examined 237 Jewish  individuals from seven regions of the world, comparing them to 418  non-Jewish people from the same regions. All the Jewish subjects had all four grandparents from the same population.

The researchers studied about  160,000 sites across the entire genome, providing a great deal more  information about the population than has ever been available.

Previous studies had found  similar results by looking at smaller numbers of people and considering  only blood groups, mitochondrial DNA (a type of DNA passed down by  mothers) or Y chromosomes (passed down by fathers).

The Jewish people, according to  archaeologists, originated in Babylon and Persia between the fourth and  sixth centuries before the Common Era. The modern-day Jews most closely  related to that original population are the Jews in Iran, Iraq and  Syria, whose closest non-Jewish relatives are the Druze, Bedouins and  Arabs of Gaza, the study found.

Sometime in that period, the  Middle Eastern and European Jews diverged and the European branch began  actively proselytizing for converts.

At the height of the Roman  Empire, about 10 percent of the empire's population was Jewish, although the bulk of them were converts. Some Khazar were also incorporated  during this period.

"That explains why so many  European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blond hair," Ostrer says. It also explains another of the team's findings ” that the population most closely related genetically to European Jews are Italians.

The data also show what the  researchers call a "bottleneck" in the Jewish population during the  Middle Ages. The population of European Jews shrunk below 50,000 during  that period because of disease, prejudice, anti-Semitic edicts and the  Crusades, Atzmon said.

Afterwards, however, an easing of restrictions led to what is known as the "demographic miracle," in  which the Jewish population rose twice as fast as that of other  Europeans, reaching more than 5 million by the 19th century.

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