View from the Lab: Who is a Jew? DNA can hold the key
(Telegraph) -- By Steve Jones --
Who is a Jew? As the recent passport row shows, that question can be murky, with elements of belief, values, descent and nationality mixed in.
It also has dark reminders of a terrible time in history when Jewish blood meant death; and science, or pseudo-science, claimed to be able to sniff it out.
Things have changed. A decade ago, I was passing through Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv carrying a box filled with small tubes. Alerted by the Syrian stamp in my passport, the security staff gave me a hard time. After emptying my case, she asked what was in the box. I replied, irritably: "Arab spit". "What?" she said. "I'm a geneticist, I explained, I have been sampling Palestinian DNA. At once, her face brightened – ah, DNA. Had I heard the then novel stuff on the shared male chromosomes of priestly Jewish families such as the Cohens? I had, and we parted on amicable terms.
The conversation gave me pause for thought. Joseph Mengele himself wrote his doctoral thesis on the relationship between jaw shape and racial identity. His ideas were pernicious rubbish and even 20 years later the thought of a genetic test for Jewish descent would have been treated with horror. Now, one has emerged and is not despised but hailed by many Jews themselves...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Of course, the problem vis-a-vis Jewish identity is not whether or not one has Jewish blood, but rather whether one identifies with Jewish Zionism and its open (right-wing version) or crypto (left-wing version) supremacist agenda and ideology.
For example, take Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, highlighted on the post below. He has a long left-liberal political record (which means he regularly spews politically correct platitudes) but he's also a warmongering Jewish Zionist, which means he has today embraced open Jewish supremacism.
True, his Jewish blood (since such a thing exists, according to the article above) may make him more prone to Jewish-supremacist warmongering, but until he actually crosses the line by embracing the Jewish-supremacist, Zionist ideology...so what? DNA is not destiny -- at least for those of us who are not racist, fatalistic or superstitious.
But Cohen crossed the line twice -- first, by embracing crypto-Jewish-supremacist, Marxist ideology (which is designed to provide the totalitarian "secular" government framework utilized to enforce Jewish supremacism, but under the guise of "pursuit of social and economic justice"), and again by embracing Zionism, which today has dropped all pretense of "justice" and is now openly Jewish supremacist.
His journey from crypto Jewish supremacist to open Jewish supremacist is one that plenty of Zionists before him have traveled, from the neocons and neoliberals that today inhabit the West to the Communist Jews that went straight from Soviet Russia to Israel.
The only thing that has changed, really, is the world's consciousness of both that journey itself, and of the prevalence of Jewish supremacism in both its naked and hidden forms.
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