Khazar hypothesis of Ashkenazi ancestry

Page extended-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Khazar Khaganate, 650–850

The Khazar hypothesis of Ashkenazi ancestry, often called the Khazar myth by its critics,[1][2] is a largely abandoned historical hypothesis that postulated that Ashkenazi Jews were primarily, or to a large extent, descended from Khazars, a multi-ethnic conglomerate of mostly Turkic peoples who formed a semi-nomadic khanate in and around the northern and central Caucasus and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. The hypothesis also postulated that after collapse of the Khazar empire, the Khazars fled to Eastern Europe and made up a large part of the Jews there.[3] The hypothesis draws on medieval sources such as the Khazar Correspondence, according to which at some point in the 8th–9th centuries, a small number of Khazars were said by Judah Halevi and Abraham ibn Daud to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism.[4] The scope of the conversion within the Khazar Khanate remains uncertain, but the evidence used to tie the subsequent Ashkenazi communities to the Khazars is meager and subject to conflicting interpretations. [5]

Speculation that Europe's Jewish population originated among the Khazars has persisted for two centuries, from at least as early as 1808. In the late 19th century, Ernest Renan and other scholars speculated that the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe originated among refugees who had migrated from the collapsed Khazarian Khanate westward into Europe. Though intermittently evoked by several scholars since that time, the Khazar-Ashkenazi hypothesis came to the attention of a much wider public with the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe in 1976.[6][3] It has been revived recently by geneticist Eran Elhaik, who in 2013 conducted a study aiming to vindicate it.[7]

Genetic studies on Jews have found no substantive evidence of a Khazar origin among Ashkenazi Jews. Geneticists such as Doron Behar and others (2013) have concluded that such a link is unlikely, noting that it is difficult to test the Khazar hypothesis using genetics because there is lack of clear modern descendants of the Khazars that could provide a clear test of the contribution to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, but found no genetic markers in Ashkenazi Jews that would link them to peoples of the Caucasus/Khazar area.[8] Atzmon and others found evidence that the Ashkenazi have mixed Near Eastern and Southern European/Mediterranean origins, though some admixture with Khazar and Slavic populations after 100 CE was not excluded.[a][8] Xue and others note a wholly Khazar/Turkish/Middle eastern origin is out of the question, given the complexity of Ashkenazi admixtures.[b] Although the majority of contemporary geneticists who have published on the topic dismiss it, there are some who have defended its plausibility, or not excluded the possibility of some Khazar component in the formation of the Ashkenazi.

The hypothesis has been cited at times by anti-Zionists to challenge the idea that Jews have genetic ties to ancient Israel. It has also occasionally played some role in antisemitic theories propounded by fringe groups of American racists, Russian nationalists and adherents of the Christian identity movement.



Lawrence J. Epstein attributes to the Ukrainian Rabbi Isaac Baer Levinsohn (1788–1860) the first reference of a connection between the Ashkenazi Jews and the Khazars.[9] According to Jacob S. Raisin, Levinsohn expressed the opinion that Russian Jews hailed from the banks of the Volga.[c] Levinsohn wrote in 1828:

'Our elders told us that some generations earlier the Jews in these parts spoke only this Russian language, and this Ashkenazi Jewish language we speak now had not yet spread among all the Jews living in these regions.'[d]

The hypothesis was advanced nonetheless earlier, in 1808, by Johann Ewers in his Vom Ursprung des russischen Staats (On the origins of the Russian state' (1808) in the context of an early controversy over the foundations of the Russian state, which pitted scholars espousing a Norman origin for the Varangians against those who argued that these founders of the Kievan Rus' were Slavic and indigenous. Ewers proposed the idea that the Viking/Varangian founders were in fact Khazars.[11][12][13] The Russian historian Nikolay Karamzin advanced the claim, asserting that considerable numbers of Khazars had left Khazaria for Kievan Rus' in the time of Vladimir I (980–1015).[14] The German Orientalist Karl Neumann suggested as early as 1847 that the migration of Khazars might have contributed to the formation of the core population of the Jews of Eastern Europe, without however specifying whether he was referring to Judaizing Turks or ethnic Jewish residents of Khazaria.[e][15]

Subsequently, Abraham Eliyahu Harkavi suggested in 1869 that there might be a link between the Khazars and European Jews.[f] Three years later, however, in 1872, a Crimean Karaite, Abraham Firkovich, alternatively proclaimed that the members of his Turkic-speaking sect were descended from Turkic converts to Judaism.[16] This hypothesis, that the descendants of Khazar converts to Judaism formed a major proportion of Ashkenazim, was first proposed to a Western public by Ernest Renan in 1883.[17][18][19] In a lecture delivered in Paris before the Cercle du Saint-Simon on 27 January 1883, Renan argued that conversion played a significant role in the formation of the Jewish people, stating that:

This conversion of the kingdom of the Khazars has a considerable importance regarding the origin of those Jews who dwell in the countries along the Danube and southern Russia. These regions enclose great masses of Jewish populations which have in all probability nothing or almost nothing that is anthropologically Jewish in them.[g]

According to Mari Réthelyi, a Jewish studies teacher writing in the journal Hungarian Cultural Studies, many Hungarian Jews in the late nineteenth century, responding to Magyarization and to Hungarian antisemitism, took up the theory, proposed by Rabbi Samuel Kohn in 1884, that Hungarian Jews, like Hungarian Christians, shared a common ethnic descent from the intermarriage of Khazars and Magyars.[20]

Renan's thesis found an echo soon after, in 1885, when Isidore Loeb, a rabbi, historian and secretary of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, arguing for the cause of Jewish emancipation, challenged the notion that nations were based on races, and the Jews therefore, could be excluded as alien. To the contrary, he argued, they were no different from other peoples and nations, all of which arose from miscegenation: the Jews were no exception, and one could assume, he added, that many German and Russian Jews descended from the Khazars.[21][h] Similarly, in 1893, Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, a critic of antisemitism who drew on Renan, queried whether or not thousands of Polish and Russian Jews might have their origins traced back to the "old nomads of the steppes."[22][i][23]

Other scholars, such as Joseph Jacobs (1886), expressed scepticism.[j]

The Russian-Jewish physician and physical anthropologist Samuel Weissenberg (1867–1928), using physical measurements of 1,350 Jews in his home town of Elizavetgrad, challenged the idea that east European Jews originated, like German Jews, as migrants from medieval France. Jewish settlement in eastern Europe took place very early, and these rooted eastern communities readily accepted into their midst Khazars who had converted, absorbing many thousands into the Kievan empire. The theory implied Jewish culture predated the rise of Russia, an implication which led Stalin decades later to ban Khazar studies in the Soviet Union. Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), a pioneer of race science and physical anthropology, had argued earlier[when?] that the origins of the "European" race lay in the Caucasus. In this context, Weissenberg's formulation, in identifying Eastern Jews as descendants of an intermixture of Jews with the Caucasian Khazars, presented the eastern Jews, long thought inferior or less noble than Western Sephardic Jews, as the authentic, veritable heirs of a European Jewish tradition.[24] [k][25] In 1903, Maksymilian Ernest Gumplowicz (1864–1897), in his posthumous treatise entitled "The beginnings of Jewish religion in Poland examined traces of Khazar elements in early Polish history.[l]

In 1909 Hugo von Kutschera developed the notion into a book-length study,[26] arguing that Khazars formed the foundational core of the modern Ashkenazi.[27] Maurice Fishberg introduced the notion to an American audience in 1911 in his book, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.[28]

When at the Versailles Peace Conference, a Jewish Zionist called Palestine the land of the Jewish people's ancestors, Joseph Reinach, a French Jewish member of parliament who was opposed to Zionism, dismissed the idea, arguing that Jews descended from Israelites were a tiny minority. In his view, conversion had played a major role in the expansion of the Jewish people, and, in addition, he claimed, the majority of "Russian, Polish and Galician Jews descend from the Khazars, a Tatar people from the south of Russia who converted to Judaism en masse at the time of Charlemagne."[29]

Interwar years, 1918–1939

The idea was also taken up by the Polish-Jewish economic historian and General Zionist Yitzhak Schipper in 1918,[30][31] by the Harvard anthropologist Roland B. Dixon (1923)[32] and writer H. G. Wells (1921), who used it to argue that "The main part of Jewry never was in Judea",[33][34] a thesis that was to have a political echo in later opinion.[35][36] In 1931 Sigmund Freud wrote to Max Eitingon that the sculptor Oscar Nemon, for whom he was sitting, showed the lineaments of a "Slavic Eastern Jew, Khazar or Kalmuck or something like that".[37]

In 1932, Samuel Krauss ventured the theory that the biblical Ashkenaz referred to northern Asia Minor, and he identified it with the Khazars, a position immediately disputed by Jacob Mann.[38]

This interwar period consolidated also a belief, originally developed by the Russian Orientalists V.V. Grigor’iev and V.D. Smirnov, that the East European congregations of the Karaite sect of Judaism were descendants of Turkic Khazars.[39] The idea of a Khazarian origin of the Karaites was then adopted as their official viewpoint.[40] Seraja Szapszal (1873–1961), from 1927, the ḥakham of the Polish-Lithuanian Karaite community had begun to implement a thorough-going reform policy of dejudaizing Karaite culture and traditions and transforming along Turkic lines. As a secular Jew and orientalist he was influenced by Atatürk's reforms, and his policy was dictated by several considerations: Jews were suffering from harassment in public and private in Eastern Europe; he wished to forestall the threat he had intuited was imminent in both Fascism and Nazism, which were beginning to gain a foothold; he was passionate about the Karaites' language, Karaim, and its Turkish tradition, and somewhat insouciant of the Judaic heritage of his people. In 1934 Corrado Gini, a distinguished statistician, interested also in demography and anthropology, with close ties to the fascist elite, led an expedition in August–October 1934 to survey the Karaites. He concluded that Karaites were ethnically mixed, predominantly Chuvash which he mistook to be Finno-Ugric descendants of the Tauro-Cimmerians who at one point had been absorbed into the Khazars who for Gini however were not Turkic. A further conclusion was that the Ashkenazi arose from ‘Turko-Tatar converts to Judaism.’[41][42] Though the Khazar-Karaite theory is unsubstantiated by any historical evidence, - the early Karaite literature speaks of Khazars as mamzerim, 'bastards' or 'strangers' within Judaism - this myth served a political purpose, of taking that community out of the stranglehold of antisemitic regulations and prejudices directed generally against Jews in Eastern Europe.[41]


In 1943, Abraham N. Polak (sometimes referred to as Poliak), later professor of the history of the Middle Ages at Tel Aviv University, published a Hebrew monograph in which he concluded that the East European Jews came from Khazaria.[m][n] First written as an article in 1941, then as a monograph (1943), it was twice revised in 1944, and then in 1951 with the title Khazaria: History of a Jewish Kingdom in Europe.[o]

In Nazi Germany, unlike most race theorists in Germany down to his time, Hans F. K. Günther argued that the Jews were not a pure race, although he nevertheless considered them to be highly inbred. He argued that the Ashkenazi were a mix of Near Eastern, Oriental, East Baltic, Eastern, Inner-Asian, Nordic, Hamite, and Negro peoples and separate from the Sephardim. Günther believed that the conversion of the Khazars, whom he took to have been a Near Eastern race, constituted a further external element in the racial makeup of the Ashkenazi Jews, strengthening its Near Eastern component.[43]: 32–33  Günther's theorizing about racial consequences flowing from the conversion of the Khazars was embraced by Gerhard Kittel.[43]: 175 

The Karaite claim not to be ethnic Jews, but descendants of the Khazars, was eventually accepted by the Nazis who exempted them, unlike the Crimean Krymchaks with whom they had historic ties, from the policy of genocidal extermination on these grounds.[44][45]


In debates leading up to the UN plan in 1947 to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, the British politicians John Hope Simpson and Edward Spears, intent on denying Zionism that part of its claim that drew on biblical arguments, asserted that Jewish immigrants to Mandatory Palestine were the descendants of pagan converts and not of the Israelites. The approach was one shared by both gentile and Jewish anti-Zionists. Rory Miller claims that their denial of lineal descent from Israelites drew on the Khazar theory.[46]: 128 

In anti-Zionist argumentation delivered at the UN in 1947 Faris al-Khoury and Jamal Al-Husseini used the theory to oppose the creation of a Jewish state on racial and historic grounds. Cecil Hourani claimed that the Arab leaders had been convinced of the value of the argument by Benjamin H. Freedman. Internal British documents seem to support the claim.[46]: 129  It would later play a role in Arab anti-Zionist polemics, taking on an antisemitic edge,[47] though Bernard Lewis, noted in 1987 that serious Arab scholars had dropped it, remarked that it only occasionally emerged in Arab political polemics.[48]: 48 


D.M. Dunlop, writing in 1954, thought very little evidence backed what he regarded as a mere assumption, and argued that the Ashkenazi-Khazar descent hypothesis went far beyond what "our imperfect records" permit. Dunlop 1954, pp. 261, 263

Léon Poliakov, while assuming the Jews of Western Europe resulted from a "panmixia" in the first millennium, on the basis of serology research showing their blood types overlapped with those of other European populations, asserted in 1955 that it was widely assumed that Europe's Eastern Jews descended from a mixture of Khazarian and German Jews.[49] Polak's work found some support from Salo Wittmayer Baron and Ben-Zion Dinur,[50][51] but was dismissed by Bernard Weinryb as a fiction (1962).[52]

In 1957 Salo Wittmayer Baron, called by his biographer an "architect of Jewish history",[53] devoted a large part of a chapter in his Social and Religious History of the Jews to the Khazarian Jewish state, and the impact he believed that community exercised on the formation of East European Jewries in his Social and Religious History of the Jews (1957).[54] The scarcity of direct Jewish testimonies did not disconcert Baron: this was to be expected since medieval Jews were "generally inarticulate outside their main centers of learning".[55] The Khazarian turn to Judaism was, he judged, the "largest and last mass conversion", involving both the royal house and large sectors of the population. Jews migrated there to flee the recurrent intolerance against Jews and the geopolitical upheavals of the region's chronic wars, which often proved devastating to northern Asia Minor, between Byzantium, Sassanid Persia, and the Abbasid and Umayyad Caliphates.[56]

For Baron, the fact of Jewish Khazaria played a lively role in stirring up among Western Jews an image of "red Jews", and among Jews in Islamic countries a beacon of hope. After the dissolution of Khazaria, Baron sees a diaspora drifting both north into Russia, Poland and Ukraine, and westwards into Pannonia and the Balkans,[57] where their cultivated presence both established Jewish communities and paved the way, ironically, for the Slavonic conversion to Christianity.[58] By the 11th and 12th centuries, these Eastern Jews make their first appearance in the Jewish literature of France and Germany. Maimonides, bemoaning the neglect of learning in the East, laid his hopes for the perpetuation of Jewish learning in the young struggling communities of Europe but would, Baron concludes, have been surprised to find that within centuries precisely in Eastern Europe would arise thriving communities that were to assume leadership of the Jewish people itself.[59]


Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe and contemporary views

The Khazar-Ashkenazi hypothesis came to the attention of a much wider public with the 1976 publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe, which made sweeping claims for a Khazar legacy among the Ashkenazi, including the argument that the Jews could not have reached 8 million in Eastern Europe without the contribution of the Khazars.[60][61] His book was both positively and negatively reviewed. Israel's ambassador to Britain branded it "an anti-Semitic action financed by the Palestinians", while Bernard Lewis claimed that the idea was not supported by any evidence whatsoever, and had been "abandoned by all serious scholars".[62][63] Raphael Patai, however, registered some support for the idea that Khazar remnants had played a role in the growth of Eastern European Jewish communities,[64] and several amateur researchers, such as Boris Altschüler (1994)[61] and Kevin Alan Brook, kept the thesis in the public eye. Brook's views evolved as new data became available: in the first edition of his book (1999), he contended that about one-fourth of Ashkenazic ancestry may trace back to the Khazars,[65] whereas in the second edition (2006) he regarded the Khazar contribution as "small"[66] and in the third edition (2018) he argued against any Khazar contribution.[67] Koestler argued that the Khazar theory would mitigate European racially based antisemitism.[68]

In 2007, Peter Golden suggested that at least some of the Ashkenazi Jews of Hungary in particular (along with some Hungarians) might have inherited a minority of their ancestry from Khazar remnants that migrated west.[69]

The theory has been used to counter the concept of Jewish nationhood.[62][70] It has been revived recently in a variety of approaches, from linguistics (Paul Wexler)[71] to historiography (Shlomo Sand)[72] and population genetics (Eran Elhaik).[73] In broad academic perspective, both the idea that the Khazars converted en masse to Judaism, and the suggestion that they emigrated to form the core population of Ashkenazi Jewry, remain highly polemical issues.[74]

Writing in 2011, Simon Schama in his The Story of the Jews, endorsed the traditional narrative of a Khazar conversion under kings of distant Jewish descent who initiated judaising reforms among the population.[75] In June 2014, Shaul Stampfer published a paper challenging the Khazar hypothesis as ungrounded in sources contemporary with the Khazar period, stating: "Such a conversion, even though it’s a wonderful story, never happened".[5][76]

Genetics and the Khazar theory

Before modern DNA population genetics entered the field, Raphael Patai described the Khazars in racial terms as being a Turkic people with some Mongoloid admixture.[77] After major advances in DNA sequence analysis and computing technology in the late 20th and early 21st century, a plethora of genetic research on Jewish and other human populations has been conducted worldwide. Summing up the results in 2015, the Yiddish scholar Alexander Beider stated that genetic studies often resulted in contradictory outcomes, complicated at times by the political or religious views of some researchers.[p]

In 2000, science journalist Nicholas Wade interpreted a genetics paper on Ashkenazi Y-chromosome lineages[78] as refuting theories that the Ashkenazi were descendants of converts generally or of the Khazars specifically.[79]

The following year, in 2001, In 2001 Nebel et al., summarizing studies that reported a low-level European gene flow contributing to Ashkenazi paternal gene pool, suggested this influence might be reflected in the Eu 19 chromosomes common in Eastern Europe, or otherwise, that Ashkenazim with this component might descend from Khazars, an hypothesis the authors found "attractive".[80] [q]

In 2008, in a book entitled Jacob's Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History , David Goldstein stated that despite his initial skepticism regarding Koestler's thesis, the certainty underlying his dismissal had been undermined when he considered that a hypothetical Khazar connection struck him as no more far-fetched than what had emerged in genetics concerning the apparent 'spectacular continuity of the Cohen line' or the discovery of what seemed to be Jewish genetic signatures among the Bantu Lemba. In his view, the idea had a degree of plausibility, if not likely.[83][84]

In 2013 Martin B. Richards stated that presently available genetic studies shows that 50-80 percent of Ashkenazi Y chromosome DNA could be traced to the Near East, while his own study at the University of Huddersfield found that 80 percent of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA could be traced to Europe, but with virtually no lineages from the North Caucasus. This implied a trend of European women marrying Near Eastern men, but provided no evidence to support the Khazar hypothesis.[85] The claim that Ashkenazis as a whole take their origin from Khazars has been widely criticized as there is no direct evidence to support it.[86][87] Using four Jewish groups, one being Ashkenazi, Kopelman et al found no evidence for the Khazar theory.[88]

While the consensus in genetic research is that the world's Jewish populations (including the Ashkenazim) share substantial genetic ancestry derived from a common Ancient Middle Eastern founder population, and that Ashkenazi Jews have no genetic ancestry attributable to Khazars,[8]

Some evidence suggests a close relationship of Jewish patrilineages (including those of the Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Iraqi and Moroccan Jews) with those of the Samaritans, with some lineages sharing a common ancestry projected to the time of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel.[89]

Behar et al. studies

According to a 2010 study by Doron Behar et al., Ashkenazi Jews form a "tight cluster" overlying non-Jewish samples from the Levant with Sephardic, Middle Eastern and North African Jewish populations and Samaritans, results being ”consistent with an historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant”.[90] In 2013 Behar et al. published a genetic study that came up with the conclusion that there isn't genetic evidence for the Khazar origin of Ashkenazi Jews, and instead Ashkenazi Jews are genetically closest to other Jewish groups and non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations.[8]

Studies on Ashkenazi Levites

A 2003 study by Behar et al., found that Haplogroup R1a1a (R-M17) is present in over 50% of Ashkenazi Levites (who comprise 4% of the Ashkenazi Jewish population).[91][92] In 2008 David Goldstein asserted that based on the study a Khazar connection "now seems to me plausible, if not likely".[93] Faerman (2008) states that "External low-level gene flow of possible Eastern European origin has been shown in Ashkenazim but no evidence of a hypothetical Khazars' contribution to the Ashkenazi gene pool has ever been found.".[94]

However, Behar and others made two more genetic studies on Ashkenazi Levites ending up with a different conclusion. The results of these studies showed that the R1a haplogroup present in Ashkenazi Levites is R1a-M582/R1a-Y2619 rather than R1a1a and originated in the Near East instead of Eastern Europe and was "likely a minor haplogroup among the Hebrews".[95][96]

A 2013 study by Rootsi, Behar et al. of Ashkenazi Levites found a high frequency of haplogroup R1a-M582 among them (64.9% of Ashkenazi Levites) pointing to a founding event and paternal ancestor common to half of them. Since R1a shows high frequency in Eastern Europe generally, it was thought possible, that the evidence might indicate the founder was a non-Jewish European. Testing the 3 hypotheses of a European, a Near Eastern or a Khazarian origin, their data excluded both the European and Khazarian origin of a Levite founder since they found no evidence of R1a-M582 Y-chromosomes was found in either group, other than singletons, while it occurs with significant frequency in Near Eastern regions Iranian Kerman, Iranian Azeri, the Kurds from Cilician Anatolia and Kazakhstan, and among Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews. R1a-M582 was not detected among data from Iraqi, Bedouins, Druze and Palestinians sampled in Israel.[95]

A 2017 study by Behar, concentrating on the Ashkenazi Levites (themselves about where the proportion reaches 50%), while signalling that there's a "rich variation of haplogroup R1a outside of Europe which is phylogenetically separate from the typically European R1a branches", precises that the particular R1a-Y2619 sub-clade testifies for a local origin, and that the "Middle Eastern origin of the Ashkenazi Levite lineage based on what was previously a relatively limited number of reported samples, can now be considered firmly validated."[96]

Elhaik et al. studies

Eran Elhaik argued in 2012 that:

"Strong evidence for the Khazarian hypothesis is the clustering of European Jews with the populations that in his opinion resided on opposite ends of ancient Khazaria: Armenians, Georgians, and Azerbaijani Jews. Because Caucasus populations remained relatively isolated in the Caucasus region and because there are no records of Caucasus populations mass-migrating to Eastern and Central Europe prior to the fall of Khazaria (Balanovsky et al. 2011), these findings imply a shared origin for European Jews and Caucasus populations."[97]

In later publications, Elhaik and his team modified their theory, proposing simply that the Judaised Khazar kingdom was a core transit area for a federation of Jewish merchants of mixed Iranian, Turkish and Slavic origins who, when that empire collapsed, relocated to Europe.[98][99]

Furthermore, in the 2016 study Das, Elhaik, Wexler et al. argued that the first Ashkenazi populations to speak the Yiddish language came from areas near four villages in Eastern Turkey along the Silk Road whose names derived from the word "Ashkenaz," rather than from Germanic lands as is the general consensus in scholarship. They proposed that Iranians, Greeks, Turks, and Slavs converted to Judaism in Anatolia prior to migrating to Khazaria where a small-scale conversion had already occurred.[100][101] The historian Bernard Spolsky commenting on Elhaik's earlier study wrote. “Recently, Elhaik (2013) claims to have found evidence supporting the Khazarian origin of Ashkenazim, but the whole issue of genetic evidence remains uncertain.”[102]

In 2018, Elhaik stated that the Ashkenazi maternal line is European and that only 3% of Ashkenazi DNA shows links with the Eastern Mediterranean/Middle East, a 'minuscule' amount comparable to the proportion of Neanderthal genes in modern European populations. For Elhaik, the vehicle by which unique Asiatic variations on Ashkenazi Y-chromosomes occurred, with Haplogroup Q-L275,[103] was the Ashina ruling clan of the Göktürks, who converted to Judaism and established the Khazar empire.[104]

Criticism of the Elhaik studies

Elhaik's 2012 study proved highly controversial. Several noted geneticists, among them Marcus Feldman, Harry Ostrer, Doron Behar, and Michael Hammer have maintained—and the view has gained widespread support among scientists—that the worldwide Jewish population is related and shares common roots in the Middle East, Feldman stated Elhaik's statistical analysis would not pass muster with most scientists; Hammer affirmed it was an outlier minority view without scientific support. Elhaik in reply described the group as "liars" and "frauds", noting Ostrer would not share genetic data that might be used "to defame the Jewish people". Elhaik's PhD supervisor Dan Graur, likewise dismissed them as a "clique", and said Elhaik is "combative" which is what science itself is.[105]

Elhaik's 2012 study was criticized in a 2013 paper in Human Biology for its use of Armenians and Azerbaijani Jews as proxies for Khazars and for using Bedouin and Jordanian Hashemites as a proxy for the Ancient Israelites. The former decision was criticized because Armenians were assumed to have a monolithic Caucasian ancestry, when as an Anatolian people (rather than Turkic) they contain many genetically Middle Eastern elements. Azerbaijani Jews are also assumed for the purposes of the study to have Khazarian ancestry, when Mountain Jews are actually descended from Persian Jews. The decision to cast Bedouin/Hashemites as "proto-Jews" was especially seen as political in nature, considering that both have origins in Arab tribes from the Arabian Peninsula rather than from the Ancient Israelites, while the descent of the Jews from the Israelites is largely accepted.[106]

Geneticists conducting studies in Jewish genetics have challenged Elhaik's methods in his first paper. Michael Hammer called Elhaik's premise "unrealistic," calling Elhaik and other Khazarian hypothesis proponents "outlier folks … who have a minority view that's not supported scientifically. I think the arguments they make are pretty weak and stretching what we know." Marcus Feldman, director of Stanford University's Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies, echoes Hammer. "If you take all of the careful genetic population analysis that has been done over the last 15 years … there's no doubt about the common Middle Eastern origin," he said. He added that Elhaik's first paper "is sort of a one-off." Elhaik's statistical analysis would not pass muster with most contemporary scholars, Feldman said: "He appears to be applying the statistics in a way that gives him different results from what everybody else has obtained from essentially similar data."[105]

Das, Elhaik and Wexler's 2016 study was challenged by the historian of Soviet and East European Jewry Shaul Stampfer, who dismissed it as 'basically nonsense', and the demographer Sergio DellaPergola, who claimed it was a "falsification", whose methodology was defective in using a small population size and failing to factor in the genetic profiles of other Jews such as the Sephardic Jews to whom the Ashkenazi Jews are closely related. Elhaik replied that factoring in the DNA of non-Ashkenazic Jews would not alter the genetic profile of Ashkenazi Jews, and that his team remained the largest genomic study of the latter to date, and the first to target Yiddish speakers.[107] The Yiddish scholar Marion Aptroot states "Seen from the standpoint of the humanities, certain aspects of the article by Das et al. fall short of established standards."[108]

Recently, a study by a team of biologists and linguists, led by Pavel Flegontov, a specialist in genomics, published a response to Das, Elhaik and Wexler's 2016 study, criticizing their methodology and conclusions. They argue that GPS works to allow inferences for the origins of modern populations with an unadmixed genome, but not for tracing ancestries back 1,000 years ago. In their view, the paper tried to fit Wexler's 'marginal and unsupported interpretation' of Yiddish into a model that only permits valid deductions for recent unadmixed populations.[109] They also criticized the linguistic aspect of the study on the grounds that "all methods of historical linguistics concur that Yiddish is a Germanic language, with no reliable evidence for Slavic, Iranian, or Turkic substrata."[109] They further describe the purported "Slavo-Iranian confederation" as "a historically meaningless term invented by the authors under review."[109]

Alexander Beider also takes issue with Elhaik's findings on linguistic grounds, similarly arguing that Yiddish onomastics lacks traces of a Turkic component. He concludes that theories of a Khazar connection are either speculative or simply wrong and "cannot be taken seriously."[110]


United Kingdom and United States

Maurice Fishberg and Roland B. Dixon's works were later exploited in racist and religious polemical literature, by advocates of British Israelism, in both Britain and the United States.[111] Particularly after the publication of Burton J. Hendrick ‘s The Jews in America (1923)[112] it began to enjoy a vogue among advocates of immigration restrictions in the 1920s; racial theorists[113][114] like Lothrop Stoddard; antisemitic conspiracy theorists such as the Ku Klux Klan’s Hiram Wesley Evans; and anti-communist polemicists such as John O. Beaty[115]

In 1938, Ezra Pound, then strongly identifying with the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini, sent a query to fellow poet Louis Zukofsky concerning the Khazars after someone had written to him claiming that the ancient Jews had died out and that modern Jews were of Khazar descent. He returned to the issue in 1955, apparently influenced by a book called Facts are Facts, which pushed the Jewish-Khazar descent theory, and which for Pound had dug up "a few savoury morsels".[116] The booklet in question, by a Roman Catholic convert from Rabbinic Judaism, Benjamin H. Freedman,[117] was an antisemitic tirade written to David Goldstein after the latter had converted to Catholicism.[118]

John O. Beaty was an antisemitic, McCarthyite professor of Old English at SMU, author of The Iron Curtain over America (Dallas 1952). According to him, "the Khazar Jews were responsible for all of America's – and the world's ills," beginning with World War I. The book had little impact until the former Wall Street broker and oil tycoon J. Russell Maguire promoted it.[119] A similar position was adopted by Wilmot Robertson, whose views influenced David Duke.[120] The British author Douglas Reed has also been influential. In his work the Ashkenazi are false Jews, descendants of the Khazars.[121]: 355 

A number of different variants of the theory came to be exploited by the Christian Identity movement.[122] The Christian Identity movement, which took shape from the 1940s to the 1970s, had its roots in British Israelism which had been planted on American evangelical soil in the late 19th century.[123] By the 1960s the Khazar ancestry theory was an article of faith in the Christian Identity movement.[124] The Christian Identity movement has associated two verses from the New Testament, Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 with the Khazars. Jeffrey Kaplan calls these two passages the corner stone of Identity theology. He also reports that Christian Identity literature makes selective references to the Babylonian Talmud, while the works of Francis Parker Yockey and Arthur Koestler work are raised almost to the status of Holy Writ.[125]

The idea has also been promoted by contemporary antisemitic groups on social media, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.[126][127][128][129]

Soviet Union and Russia

The theory was prominent in Soviet antisemitism, gaining a place in Soviet historiography. The theory influenced Soviet historians including Boris Rybakov, Mikhail Artamonov and Lev Gumilyov and was used to support soviet political theory.[130]: Vii–Viii  Artamonov argued that the Khazars had played an important role in the development of Rus’. Rybakov disputed this view, instead regarding the Khazar state as parasitic.[131]: 260–261  Official Soviet views on the Khazars hardened after December 1951 when Pravda published a critical review of Artamonov's work under the pen name P. Ivanov.[132]: 313–314  Rybakov for his part denied that he was Ivanov.[131]: 261  (Sand has speculated that Ivanov was in fact Stalin.) According to Sand, in Ivanov's review the Khazars were regarded as parasites and enemies.[133]: 237  Ivanov's views became the certified Soviet position.[132]: 314 

Lev Gumilyov's theory of ethnogenesis draws heavily on the Khazars theory. For Gumilyov ethnicity was defined by stereotypical behavior which was linked to adaption to the terrain.[134]: 121–122  He regarded Jews as a parasitic, international urban class.[135] The Jews had dominated the Khazars creating a chimera, subjecting Rus’ to the "Khazar Yoke."[121]: 358–359, 368 

Since the 1970s the term Khazars has entered the Russian nationalist lexicon, it is used as a euphemism for Jews.[136] Vadim V. Kozhinov theorized that the Khazar Yoke was more dangerous to Rus´ than the Tatar Yoke.[137]: 90  The Khazars were imagined as a persistent danger to Rus’.[121]: 359  After the dissolution of the Soviet Union the theory maintained a role in Russian antisemitism. Contemporary Russian antisemites continue to perpetuate the Khazar myth.[121]: 355–356  Gumilyov's and his students' works remain popular in Russia.[121]: 356  "Khazars" and "ethnic chimera" have become preferred terms for antisemitic Russian chauvinists.[121]: 356 [138]


Aum Shinrikyo is a Japanese doomsday cult. The cult was active in Japan and Russia, with an estimated 10,000 and 30,000 followers respectively.[139] The group's Manual of Fear used the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in addition to other antisemitic material. The manual claimed that the Jews are really Khazars intent on world domination.[140][141] The Khazar theory has also become part of the Ascended Masters theology. Hatonn, an extraterrestrial, transmits messages including the complete text of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He identifies the authors of The Protocols as Khazars and speaks of false Zionist Jews who have usurped and controlled the true Jews.[142]

Black Hebrew Israelites

In the United States, Black Hebrew Israelites promote the antisemitic Khazar conspiracy theory about Jewish origins.[143] Black Hebrew Israelites believe that Jewish people are "imposters", who have "stolen" Black Americans' true racial and religious identity.[143]

See also


  1. ^ 'During Greco-Roman times, recorded mass conversions led to 6 million people practicing Judaism in Roman times or up to 10% of the population of the Roman Empire. Thus, the genetic proximity of these European/Syrian Jewish populations, including Ashkenazi Jews, to each other and to French, Northern Italian, and Sardinian populations favors the idea of non-Semitic Mediterranean ancestry in the formation of the European/Syrian Jewish groups and is incompatible with theories that Ashkenazi Jews are for the most part the direct lineal descendants of converted Khazars or Slavs. The genetic proximity of Ashkenazi Jews to southern European populations has been observed in several other recent studies. Admixture with local populations, including Khazars and Slavs, may have occurred subsequently during the 1000 year (2nd millennium) history of the European Jews.'(Atzmon & et al. 2010)
  2. ^ 'AJ genetics defies simple demographic theories. Hypotheses such as a wholly Khazar, Turkish, or Middle-Eastern origin have been disqualified but even a model of a single Middle-Eastern and European admixture event cannot account for all of our observations. The actual admixture history might have been highly complex, including multiple geographic sources and admixture events. Moreover, due to the genetic similarity and complex history of the European populations involved (particularly in Southern Europe, the multiple paths of AJ migration across Europe [10], and the strong genetic drift experienced by AJ in the late Middle Ages, there seems to be a limit on the resolution to which the AJ admixture history can be reconstructed.'(Xue et al. 2017)
  3. ^ '‘Levinsohn was the first to express the opinion that the Russian Jews hailed, not from Germany, as is commonly supposed, but from the banks of the Volga. . .Originally the vernacular of the Jews of Volhynia, Podolia and Kiev was Russian and Polish, or, rather, the two being closely allied, Palaeo-Slavonic.'(Raisin 1913, p. 18)
  4. ^ Direct citation from Levinsohn's Teudah beyisrael (Document in Israel);[10]'Wexler 1987 p.230 believes that the Jewish Slavic varieties were replaced by Yiddish starting in the fourteenth century, and in the southern Slavic area by Judezmo starting in the sixteenth century: the process was slow, with the last evidence of monolingual Slavic–speaking Jews, in the early nineteenth century in the Ukraine. The latest reference reports (Levinsohn 1928:35) “(O)ur elders have told us that several generations ago, the Jews in these parts spoke only the Russian language”.'(Spolsky 2014, p. 293, n.3)
  5. ^ Die Chasaren verschwinden nun als gebietende Horde aus der Geschichte, aber ihr Name hat sich, wie bekannt, in den Ländern und an den Meeren, wo sie ehemals herrschten, noch Jahrhunderte lang und zum Theil bis auf den heutigen Tag erhalten. Auch ist ja die Masse des Volkes von dem Jaik bis zur Donau immerdar dieselbe geblieben; es haben die Chasaren nur die Herrschaft verloren, welche auf andere Türken überging, auf Petschenegen, Usen und Komanen. Reste dieses Volkes, namentlich der zum Mosaismus sich bekennenden Abtheilung, sind die Karaim im südlichen Russland und den ehemaligen polnischen Ländern, welche türkisch sprechen undauch in Körpergestalt und Gesichtszügen den Türken gleichen. Von der Krim aus mögen auch zuerst die Juden, welche, wie wir wissen, so zahlreich waren im Reiche der Chasaren, nach Russland und Polen gewandert sein.(Neumann 1855, pp. 125–126)
  6. ^ Abraham Harkavy, O iazike evreev, zhivshikh v drevnee vremia na Rusi i o slavianskikh slovakh, vstrechaiuschikhsia u evreiskikh pisatelei. St. Petersburg. (Rossman 2002, p. 98)
  7. ^ 'Cette conversion du royaume des Khozars a une importance considérable dans la question de l’origine des juifs qui habitent les pays danubiens et le midi de la Russie. Ces régions renferment de grandes masses de populations juives qui n’ont probablement rien ou presque rien d’ethnographiquement juif.'(Renan 1992, p. 217)
  8. ^ Isidore Loeb, "Réflexions sur les Juifs". Revue des Études Juives, 27 (1893) pp.1-31. This was published posthumously
  9. ^ 'N’est il pas probable que, parmi les quatre millions de juifs russes, il y en a des milliers qui se rattachent aux anciens nomades de la steppe? L’étude des types israélites en Pologne et en Petite-Russie porte à le croire. 11 semble qu’il y ait souvent chez eux un alliage finno-turc.'(Leroy-Beaulieu 1893, pp. 124–5, 137–138, 138)
  10. ^ 'In South Russia the kingdom of the Cozars, situated midway between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Emirate of Bagdad, ingeniously evaded the necessity of acknowledging either of these powers by formally adopting Judaism, which both had to tolerate. The adhesion was scarcely more than formal, and there is little evidence of any great intermixture of pure Jews with these Cozars, except by the few learned Jews who taught them their creed.' These seem to have been of the Karaite sect, and we find still the headcentre of the Karaites in the Crimea, where the Cozars ultimately concentrated. All accounts represent the Karaites as perfectly un-Jewish in appearance, and I would venture to apply to them Napoleon's witticism, Grattez le Karaite et vous trouverez le Khazar. The Cozars were crushed in the ninth century, while the Polish Jews, who are supposed to show signs of intermixture with Cozars, came into that kingdom from Germany long afterwards.'(Jacobs 1886, pp. 42–43)
  11. ^ ‘The theory that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars was originally proposed by . .Samuel Weissenberg in an attempt to show that Jews were deeply rooted on Russian soil and that the cradle of Jewish civilization was the Caucasus’.Goldstein 2006, p. 131
  12. ^ Maksymilian Ernest Gumplowicz, Początki religii żydowskiej w Polsce, E. Wende, Warsaw 1903 pp.15-28.[citation needed]
  13. ^ 'Poliak sought the origins of Eastern European Jewry in Khazaria'.Golden 2007a, p. 29
  14. ^ This Israeli scholar asserted categorically that the great bulk of Eastern European Jewry originated in the territories of the Khazar empire'Sand 2010, p. 234
  15. ^ Kazariyah: Toldot mamlacha yehudit be'Eropa, Mosad Bialik, Tel Aviv, 1951
  16. ^ ’Unfortunately, genetic studies on Ashkenazi Jews, numerous since the 1990s, often provide contradictory information. Related methodological issues are huge: no access to the genetic pool of populations who lived centuries before us, the possibility of the genetic variation related to national selection, etc. To these objective problems one should add striking subjective elements: for certain authors, the way they proceed in their investigation and their interpretation of obtained results are clearly skewed by their political and/or religious feelings.'(Beider 2015, p. 553)
  17. ^ They hypothesized that these chromosomes could reflect low-level gene flow from surrounding Eastern European populations, or, alternatively, that both the Ashkenazi Jews with R1a1a (R-M17), and to a much greater extent Eastern European populations in general, might partly be descendants of Khazars. They concluded "However, if the R1a1a (R-M17) chromosomes in Ashkenazi Jews do indeed represent the vestiges of the mysterious Khazars then, according to our data, this contribution was limited to either a single founder or a few closely related men, and does not exceed ~12% of the present-day Ashkenazim.".[81][82]


  1. ^ Shnirelman 2007, pp. 358, 369, 371.
  2. ^ Zhivkov 2015, p. viii.
  3. ^ a b Venton 2013, p. 75.
  4. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 149.
  5. ^ a b Aderet 2014.
  6. ^ Sand 2010, p. 240..
  7. ^ Elhaik 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Behar & et al. 2013.
  9. ^ Epstein 2015, p. 72.
  10. ^ Sand 2010, p. 243.
  11. ^ Vucinich 1963, p. 213.
  12. ^ Scholz 2000, pp. 13–14.
  13. ^ Thomsen 2015, p. 16.
  14. ^ van Straten 2011, pp. 2–3.
  15. ^ Kizilov 2014, p. 399.
  16. ^ Nathans 1999, p. 409.
  17. ^ Renan 1992, pp. 216–217.
  18. ^ Barkun 1997, p. 137.
  19. ^ Rossman 2002, p. 98.
  20. ^ Réthelyi 2021, pp. 52–64.
  21. ^ Loeb 2011, p. 17.
  22. ^ Singerman 1998, p. 347.
  23. ^ Singerman 2004, pp. 3–4.
  24. ^ Efron 2013, pp. 910, 913–914.
  25. ^ Weissenberg 1895, pp. 124–126.
  26. ^ von Kutschera 1909.
  27. ^ Koestler 1976, pp. 134, 150.
  28. ^ Goldstein 2006, p. 131. Maurice Fishberg, The Jews: A Study of Race and Environment.
  29. ^ Quigley, John (1990). Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice. Duke University Press, p.71.
  30. ^ Litman 1984, pp. 85–110, 109. Schipper’s first monograph on this was published in the Almanach Žydowski (Vienna) in 1918, While in the Warsaw ghetto before falling victim to the Holocaust at Majdanek, Schipper (1884-1943) was working on the Khazar hypothesis.
  31. ^ Brook 2009, p. 210.
  32. ^ Dixon 1923, pp. 37–38, 173–175.
  33. ^ Wells 1973, p. 2: "There were Arab tribes who were Jews in the time of Muhammad, and a Turkic people who were mainly Jews in South Russia in the ninth century. Judaism is indeed the reconstructed political ideal of many shattered peoples-mainly semitic. As a result of these coalescences and assimilations, almost everywhere in the towns throughout the Roman Empire, and far beyond it in the east, Jewish communities traded and flourished, and were kept in touch through the Bible, and through a religious and educational organization. The main part of Jewry never was in Judea and had never come out of Judea."
  34. ^ Singerman 2004, p. 4.
  35. ^ Morris 2003, p. 22: John Bagot Glubb held that Russian Jews ‘have considerably less Middle Eastern blood, consisting largely of pagan Slav proselytes or of Khazar Turks.’ For Glubb, they were not 'descendants of the Judeans . .The Arabs of Palestine are probably more closely related to the Judeans (genetically) than are modern Russian or German Jews'. . 'Of course, an anti-Zionist (as well as an anti-Semitic) point is being made here: The Palestinians have a greater political right to Palestine than the Jews do, as they, not the modern-day Jews, are the true descendants of the land's Jewish inhabitants/owners'.
  36. ^ Dixon, Roland Burrage (1923). The Racial History of Man.; H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (1921)
  37. ^ Gilman 1995, p. 30.
  38. ^ Malkiel 2008, p. 263, n.1.
  39. ^ Kizilov, Mikhail (2015). The Sons of Scripture: The Karaites in Poland and Lithuania in the Twentieth Century. Walter de Gruyter pp. 109ff., p.450.
  40. ^ Walfish, Barry Dov, ed. (2011). Библиография Караитика: Аннотированная Библиография Караимов И Караимизма. BRILL, p.146.
  41. ^ a b Kizilov, Mikhail (2009). The Karaites of Galicia: An Ethnoreligious Minority Among the Ashkenazim, the Turks, and the Slavs, 1772-1945. BRILL, pp. 266, 269-271, 277ff., 282, 335.
  42. ^ Calimani, Riccardo (2015). Storia degli ebrei italiani. vol. 3, Mondadori, p.583.
  43. ^ a b Steinweis, Alan E. (2006). Studying the Jew: Scholarly Antisemitism in Nazi Germany. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674043992.
  44. ^ Bayme, Steven (1997). Understanding Jewish History: Texts and Commentaries. KTAV Publishers p.148.
  45. ^ Hilberg, Raul, The Destruction of the European Jews (1961). New Viewpoints 1973 p.241.
  46. ^ a b Miller, Rory (2013). Divided Against Zion: Anti-Zionist Opposition to the Creation of a Jewish State in Palestine, 1945-1948. Routledge.
  47. ^ Harkabi 1987, p. 424: "Arab anti-Semitism might have been expected to be free from the idea of racial odium, since Jews and Arabs are both regarded by race theory as Semites, but the odium is directed, not against the Semitic race, but against the Jews as a historical group. The main idea is that the Jews, racially, are a mongrel community, most of them being not Semites, but of Khazar and European origin." This essay was translated from Harkabi Hebrew text 'Arab Antisemitism' in Shmuel Ettinger, Continuity and Discontinuity in Antisemitism (Hebrew), 1968, p.50.
  48. ^ Lewis, Bernard (1999). Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry Into Conflict and Prejudice. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 9780393318395.
  49. ^ Poliakov 2005, pp. 246, 285:'it is quite probable that during the first millennium of our era the first Jews to penetrate into the territories between the Oder and the Dnieper came from the southeast, from the Jewish kingdom of the Khazars, or even from the south, from Byzantium. We are not sure about the relative proportions of the two groups; what is important is that the superior culture of the German Jews permitted them rapidly to impose their language and customs as well as their extraordinarily sensitive historical consciousness. .As for the Jews of Eastern Europe (Poles, Russians, etc.), it has always been assumed that they descended from an amalgamation of Jews of Khazar stock from southern Russia and German Jews (the latter having imposed their superior culture).'
  50. ^ Sand 2010, pp. 241–2. Sand cites Salo Wittmayer Baron,Baron 1957, pp. 196–206, p.206:'before and after the Mongol upheaval the Khazars sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish center of Eastern Europe'; and Ben-Zion Dinur, Yisrael ba-gola 5 vols., 3rd ed. (1961-1966) Tel-Aviv: Jerusalem:Dvir;Bialik Institute, 1961. (OCLC:492532282) vol.1 p.2,5:'The Russian conquests did not destroy the Khazar kingdom entirely, but they broke it up and diminished it And this kingdom, which had absorbed Jewish immigration and refugees from many exiles, must itself have become a diaspora mother, the mother of one of the greatest of the diasporas (Em-galuyot, em akhat hagaluyot hagdolot)-of Israel in Russia, Lithuania and Poland.'
  51. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 55:’Salo Baron, who incorrectly viewed them as Finno-Ugrians, believed that the Khazars "sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish centers of eastern Europe’
  52. ^ Golden 2007a, p. 55: ’dismissed. . .rather airily’.
  53. ^ Liberles 1995.
  54. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 196–222.
  55. ^ Baron 1957, p. 196.
  56. ^ Baron 1957, p. 197.
  57. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 206–207
  58. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 208–210, 221.
  59. ^ Baron 1957, pp. 173, 222
  60. ^ Sand 2010, p. 240.
  61. ^ a b Golden 2007a, p. 9
  62. ^ a b Sand 2010, p. 240.
  63. ^ Lewis 1987, p. 48:'Some limit this denial to European Jews and make use of the theory that the Jews of Europe are not of Israelite descent at all but are the offspring of a tribe of Central Asian Turks converted to Judaism, called the Khazars. This theory, first put forward by an Austrian anthropologist in the early years of this century, is supported by no evidence whatsoever. It has long since been abandoned by all serious scholars in the field, including those in Arab countries, where Khazar theory is little used except in occasional political polemics.' Assertions of this kind has been challenged by Paul WexlerWexler 2007, pp. 538 who also notes that the arguments on this issue are riven by contrasting ideological investments: "Most writers who have supported the Ashkenazi-Khazar hypothesis have not argued their claims in a convincing manner ... The opponents of the Khazar-Ashkenazi nexus are no less guilty of empty polemics and unconvincing arguments."(p.537).
  64. ^ Patai & Patai 1989, p. 71: "it is assumed by all historians that those Jewish Khazars who survived the last fateful decades sought and found refuge in the bosom of Jewish communities in the Christian countries to the west, and especially in Russia and Poland, on the one hand, and in the Muslim countries to the east and the south, on the other. Some historians and anthropologists go so far as to consider the modern Jews of East Europe, and more particularly of Poland, the descendants of the medieval Khazars."
  65. ^ Brook 1999, p. 281
  66. ^ Brook 2009, p. 226
  67. ^ Brook 2018, pp. 207–208
  68. ^ Scammell, Michael (2009). Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic. Random House Publishing Group. p. 546. ISBN 978-1-58836-901-7.: "Every prayer and ritual observance proclaims membership of an ancient race, which automatically separates the Jew from the racial and historic past of the people in whose midst he lives. It sets the Jew apart and invites his being set apart. It automatically creates physical and cultural ghettoes."
  69. ^ Golden 2007b, p. 150.
  70. ^ Toch 2012, p. 155, n.4.
  71. ^ Wexler 2007, pp. 387–398.
  72. ^ Sand 2010, pp. 190–249.
  73. ^ Elhaik 2013, pp. 61–74.
  74. ^ Golden 2007a, pp. 9–10.
  75. ^ Schama 2014, pp. 259–267.
  76. ^ Stampfer 2013.
  77. ^ Patai, Raphael; Patai, Jennifer (1989). The Myth of the Jewish Race. Wayne State University Press. p. 70.
  78. ^ Hammer MF, Redd AJ, Wood ET, Bonner MR, Jarjanazi H, Karafet T, Santachiara-Benerecetti S, Oppenheim A, Jobling MA, Jenkins T, Ostrer H, Bonne-Tamir B (June 2000). "Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 97 (12): 6769–74. Bibcode:2000PNAS...97.6769H. doi:10.1073/pnas.100115997. PMC 18733. PMID 10801975.
  79. ^ Wade, Nicholas (9 May 2000). "Y Chromosome Bears Witness to Story of the Jewish Diaspora". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  80. ^ Almut Nebel, Dvora Filon, Bernd Brinkmann, Partha P. Majumder, Marina Faerman, and Ariella Oppenheim. " 'The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East.' The American Journal of Human Genetics 69:5 (November 2001): 1095-1112.
  81. ^ Nebel A, Filon D, Brinkmann B, Majumder PP, Faerman M, Oppenheim A (November 2001). "The Y chromosome pool of Jews as part of the genetic landscape of the Middle East". American Journal of Human Genetics. 69 (5): 1095–112. doi:10.1086/324070. PMC 1274378. PMID 11573163.
  82. ^ Nebel A, Filon D, Faerman M, Soodyall H, Oppenheim A (March 2005). "Y chromosome evidence for a founder effect in Ashkenazi Jews". European Journal of Human Genetics. 13 (3): 388–91. doi:10.1038/sj.ejhg.5201319. PMID 15523495. S2CID 1466556.
  83. ^ , Goldstein, David (2008). Jacob's Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History. Yale University Press, pp.71ff. pp.73-74: 'I was initially quite dismissive of Koestler's identification of the Khazars as the “thirteenth tribe” and the origin of the Ashkenazi Jewry. Was this not just another self-aggrandizing Lost Tribe narrative bereft of evidence? I am no longer so sure. The Khazar connection seems no more far-fetched than the spectacular continuity of the Cohen line or the apparent presence of Jewish genetic signatures in a South African Bantu people. [&] I cannot claim the evidence proves a Khazari connection. But it does raise the possibility, and I confess that, although I cannot prove it yet the idea does now seem to me plausible, if not likely .
  84. ^ Falk, Raphael (2014). "Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish descent". Frontiers in Genetics; 5: 462, online 21 January 2015
  85. ^ Gershowitz, Martin (16 October 2013). "New Study Finds Most Ashkenazi Jews Genetically Linked to Europe". Jewish Voice. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016.
  86. ^ Melissa Hogenboom, "European link to Jewish maternal ancestry" BBC News, 9 October 2013.
  87. ^ "No indication of Khazar genetic ancestry among Ashkenazi Jews". ASHG. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  88. ^ Kopelman NM, Stone L, Wang C, Gefel D, Feldman MW, Hillel J, Rosenberg NA (December 2009). "Genomic microsatellites identify shared Jewish ancestry intermediate between Middle Eastern and European populations". BMC Genetics. 10: 80. doi:10.1186/1471-2156-10-80. PMC 2797531. PMID 19995433.
  89. ^ "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation" (PDF). (855 KB), Hum Mutat 24:248–260, 2004.
  90. ^ Behar, Doron M.; et al.: "The genome-wide structure of the Jewish people". Nature, 2010.
  91. ^ Behar DM, Thomas MG, Skorecki K, Hammer MF, Bulygina E, Rosengarten D, Jones AL, Held K, Moses V, Goldstein D, Bradman N, Weale ME (October 2003). "Multiple origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y chromosome evidence for both Near Eastern and European ancestries". American Journal of Human Genetics. 73 (4): 768–79. doi:10.1086/378506. PMC 1180600. PMID 13680527.
  92. ^ Goldstein, David B. (2008). "3". Jacob's legacy: A genetic view of Jewish history. Yale University Press. pp. location 873 (Kindle for PC). ISBN 978-0-300-12583-2.
  93. ^ Goldstein, David B. (2008). "3". Jacob's legacy: A genetic view of Jewish history. Yale University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-300-12583-2.
  94. ^ Gladstein, Ariella; Hammer, Michael F (2016). "Population Genetics of the Ashkenazim". Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. pp. 1–8. doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0020818.pub2. ISBN 978-0-470-01590-2.
  95. ^ a b Rootsi, Behar et al., 'Phylogenetic applications of whole Y-chromosome sequences and the Near Eastern origin of Ashkenazi Levites,' Natures Communications 17 December 2013
  96. ^ a b Behar DM, Saag L, Karmin M, Gover MG, Wexler JD, Sanchez LF, Greenspan E, Kushniarevich A, Davydenko O, Sahakyan H, Yepiskoposyan L, Boattini A, Sarno S, Pagani L, Carmi S, Tzur S, Metspalu E, Bormans C, Skorecki K, Metspalu M, Rootsi S, Villems R (November 2017). "The genetic variation in the R1a clade among the Ashkenazi Levites' Y chromosome". Scientific Reports. 7 (1): 14969. Bibcode:2017NatSR...714969B. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-14761-7. PMC 5668307. PMID 29097670.
  97. ^ Elhaik, Eran. "The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses". In Genome Biology and Evolution, Volume 5 Issue 1 pp. 61-74.
  98. ^ Das, Ranajit; Wexler, Paul; Pirooznia, Mehdi; Elhaik, Eran (2016). "Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to primeval villages in the ancient Iranian lands of Ashkenaz". Genome Biology and Evolution 2016, vol.8, pp.1132–1149.
  99. ^ Das, Ranajit; Wexler, Paul; Pirooznia, Mehdi; Elhaik, Eran. "The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish". Frontiers in Genetics 8:87 pp.1-8 21 June 2017
  100. ^ Burgess, Matt (20 April 2016). "Yiddish may have originated in Turkey, not Germany". Wired UK.
  101. ^ Das R, Wexler P, Pirooznia M, Elhaik E (April 2016). "Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to Primeval Villages in the Ancient Iranian Lands of Ashkenaz". Genome Biology and Evolution. 8 (4): 1132–49. doi:10.1093/gbe/evw046. PMC 4860683. PMID 26941229.
  102. ^ Spolsky 2014, p. 297 n.12.
  103. ^ Balanovsky, Oleg; Gurianov, Vladimir; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; et al., "Phylogeography of human Y-chromosome haplogroup Q3-L275 from an academic/citizen science collaboration". BMC Evolutionary Biology 2017 17 (Suppl 1):18: "One of these branches, Haplogroup Q-L275, was acquired by a population ancestral to Ashkenazi Jews and grew within this population during the 1st millennium AD, reaching up to 5% in present day Ashkenazi. . . In Europe there are at least two branches: one in Dutch and Germans, and another in Ashkenazi Jews. These branches split from a common root 3000+/-700 years ago (Table 2, Additional file 2: Table S1): before the Jewish migration into Europe in Roman times [46]. Further screening in both Europe and the Levant is needed to determine whether the ancestors of the Ashkenazi acquired this lineage from the Levantine homeland or from the European host populations."
  104. ^ "Ashkenazic Jews’ mysterious origins unravelled by scientists thanks to ancient DNA". The Conversation, 5 September 2018
  105. ^ a b Rubin, Rita. "Jews a Race' Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert". The Forward, 7 May 2013.
  106. ^ "No Evidence of Genome Wide Khazar Origin of Modern Jews".
  107. ^ "Prominent scholars blast theory tracing Ashkenazi Jews to Turkey". JTA, 3 May 2016
  108. ^ Aptroot M (July 2016). "Yiddish Language and Ashkenazic Jews: A Perspective from Culture, Language, and Literature". Genome Biology and Evolution. 8 (6): 1948–9. doi:10.1093/gbe/evw131. PMC 4943202. PMID 27289098.
  109. ^ a b c Flegontov P, Kassian A, Thomas MG, Fedchenko V, Changmai P, Starostin G (August 2016). "Pitfalls of the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) Approach Applied to Human Genetic History: A Case Study of Ashkenazi Jews". Genome Biology and Evolution. 8 (7): 2259–65. doi:10.1093/gbe/evw162. PMC 4987117. PMID 27389685.
  110. ^ Beider, Alexander (2017). "Ashkenazi Jews Are Not Khazars. Here's The Proof". Forward. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  111. ^ Goldstein 2006, p. 131.
  112. ^ Singerman 2004, pp. 4–5.
  113. ^ Barkun 2012, p. 165:'Although the Khazar theory gets surprisingly little attention in scholarly histories of anti-Semitism, it has been an influential theme among American anti-Semites since the immigration restrictionists of the 1920s,'.
  114. ^ Goodrick-Clarke 2003, p. 237.
  115. ^ Boller 2013, pp. 2, 6–7; Barkun 1997, pp. 141–2.
  116. ^ Pound & Zukofsky 1987, p. xxi, citing letters of 10 July 1938 and 24/25 September 1955. Ahearn speculates that Pound may have thought:'If there were no such people as Jews, then the problem of indiscriminate anti-Semitism would disappear. On could focus one’s attention on usurers of whatever description.'
  117. ^ Freedman 1954
  118. ^ Kaplan 1997, p. 191 n.3.
  119. ^ Boller 2013, p. 14
  120. ^ Barkun 1997, pp. 140–141. His Dispossessed Majority (1972)
  121. ^ a b c d e f Golden, Peter; Ben-Shammai, Haggai; Roná-Tas, András, eds. (2007). The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives. Selected Papers from the Jerusalem 1999 International Khazar Colloquium. BRILL. ISBN 9789047421450.
  122. ^ Barkun 1997, pp. 140–144.
  123. ^ Gardell 2002, p. 165.'The formative period of Christian Identity could roughly be said to be the three decades between 1940 and 1970. Through missionaries like Wesley Swift, Bertrand Comparet and William Potter Gale, it took on a white racialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Communist and far-right conservative political outlook. Combined with the teachings of early disciples Richard G. Butler, Colonel Jack Mohr and James K. Warner, a distinctly racist theology was gradually formed. Whites were said to be the Adamic people, created in His likeness. A notion of a pre-earthly existence is found in an important substratum, teaching that whites either had a spiritual or extraterrestrial pre-existence. Blacks were either pre-Adamic soulless creatures or represented fallen, evil spirits, but they were not the chief target of fear and hatred. This position was reserved for Jews. The latent anti-Semitism found in British-Israelism rose to prominence. Jews were, at best, reduced to mongrelized imposters, not infrequently identified with Eurasian Khazars without any legitimate claim to a closeness with God, and at worst denounced as the offspring of Satan.'
  124. ^ Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (2003). Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity. NYU Press. p. 237. ISBN 9780814731550.
  125. ^ Kaplan, Jeffrey (1997). Radical Religion in America: Millenarian Movements from the Far Right to the Children of Noah. Syracuse University Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 9780815603962. identity.
  126. ^ "One of the Jersey City Shooting Suspects Believed anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory, ADL Says". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  127. ^ "Antisemitic Conspiracy Theories Abound Around Russian Assault on Ukraine | ADL". Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  128. ^ "Khazars | #TranslateHate | AJC". 30 March 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  129. ^ "Khazars | Center on Extremism". Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  130. ^ Zhivkov, Boris (2015). Khazaria in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. BRILL. ISBN 9789004294486.
  131. ^ a b Klejn, Leo S. (2012). Soviet Archaeology: Trends, Schools, and History. OUP Oxford.
  132. ^ a b Tillett, Lowell (1969). The great friendship: Soviet historians on the non-Russian nationalities. University of North Carolina Press.
  133. ^ Sand, Shlomo (2010). The Invention of the Jewish People. Verso. ISBN 9781844676231.
  134. ^ Shlapentokh, Dmitry, ed. (2007). Russia Between East and West: Scholarly Debates on Eurasianism. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004154155.
  135. ^ Zubok, Vladislav (2009). Zhivago's Children. Harvard University Press. p. 308. ISBN 9780674033443.
  136. ^ Shnirelman 2007, p. 369.
  137. ^ Rossman, Vadim Joseph (2002). Russian Intellectual Antisemitism in the Post-Communist Era. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803239483.
  138. ^ Shnirelman, Victor. "Stigmatized by History or by Historians? The Peoples of Russia in School History Textbooks". History and Memory, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2009, pp. 110-149: "despite its obscure nature, the Khazar episode plays an important role in contemporary historical discourse in Russia and nourishes intensive anti-Semitic discourse as well. Hence, the way it is presented in the textbooks is very telling." (pp.120-121)
  139. ^ Knox, Zoe (2004). Russian Society and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia After Communism. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 9781134360826.
  140. ^ Goodman & Miyazawa 2000, pp. 263–264
  141. ^ Dikötter, Frank, ed. (1997). The Construction of Racial Identities in China and Japan: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. University of Hawaii Press. p. 196. ISBN 9780824819194.
  142. ^ Landes, Richard; Katz, Steven T., eds. (2012). The Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred-Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. NYU Press. pp. 163–165. ISBN 9780814748923.
  143. ^ a b "Simon Wiesenthal Center Special Report: Extreme Black Hebrew Israelites" (PDF). The Simon Wiesenthal Center. Retrieved 4 January 2023.


External links