Although many know about the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict, there is much misinformation and limited knowledge about what the average Israeli thinks about a variety of issues. Those on the margins of the political spectrum tend to capture the imagination of the media so the mainstream gets little attention. Here is an opportunity where anyone can ask Israelis any question and I will do my best to find a selection of Israelis to give their honest opinions.
Corey, Hi. I want to ask first YOU about Tsvi Misinai. Do you know what he is doing, and do you think the average Israeli knows?
The question I am hoping you will ask Israelis would be, what do they think of the news that Palestinians have about 80% to 85% genetics from the Jews of Bar Kochba's time, i.e., Palestinians are largely Jewish? The relevant genetic study was done by Ariella Oppenheim, of Hadassah Medical Center/Hebrew University joint study back in the early 2000s. I am still looking for a good citation. Are you familiar with it?
Please, let us know if you find any good references to this research.
Thank you, Sussan-
In 2009, a joint study by Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical Center, headed by Ariella Oppenheim, confirmed this hypothesis. The study showed that 80% to 85% of Palestinian haplotype groups were identical with that of ancient Jews. This discovery led to a television program in Israel that was predictably incendiary with its implications for the Law of Return.
Here is the blog story that put me onto this:
And here are snippets of the television program aired in Israel:
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
and another related film-
All are in Hebrew with English subtitles and a little Arabic.
Here's one in English:
And finally I am getting citations for some of the underlying research:
13. Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes
M. F. Hammer, A. J. Redd, E. T. Wood, M. R. Bonner, H. Jarjanazi, T. Karafet, S. Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. Oppenheim, M. A. Jobling, T. Jenkins, H. Ostrer, and B. Bonne-Tamir
PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA(, Volume 67, No. 12, pp 6769-6774, June 6, 2000.
13. High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arabs reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews
Almut Nebel • Dvora Filon • Deborah A. Weiss • Michael Weale • Marina Faerman • Ariella Oppenheim • Mark G. Thomas
Human Genetics, Volume 107, pp 630-641, 2000.
15. The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East
Almut Nebel, Dvora Filon, Bernd Brinkmann, Partha P. Majumder, Marina Faerman, and Ariella Oppenheim
American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 69, pp 1095-1112, 2001.
Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic...
Haplotypes constructed from Y-chromosome markers were used to trace the paternal... See More
There are so many studies that contradict so I dont see your point
Hi, Neri. I like your reply and I essentially agree with you, although of course now there is a Jewish state, its a fact, and millions of new people born there.
But to me it is ironic that this study shows that Palestinians and Jews, traced back 2000 years, are the same people, divided only by the Romans who took some to Europe and left some behind. To me this could be a basis for peace.
Some right wing Zionists in the U.S. who want Arabs expelled, claiming they are just "squatters" in the land, are upset when their claim is disproven by these genetic studies. I have been called all sorts of names for talking publicly about these studies.
But I also saw Corey's video where he asked Israelis "where do Palestinians come from?" and most did answer "from here." So to me that is hopeful. It always seemed to me American Zionists were a little less grounded in reality than Israelis are, so maybe Israelis do know about these studies, and I am wondering if Israelis (Jewish) think that this makes a difference to them in terms of their attitude toward the Arabs and their willingness to make peace with them in some way that involves sharing the land.
If Israelis are impressed by this idea, maybe it is worth putting effort into promoting knowledge of these studies among Zionists in the U.S. ... (and in Israel of course too, but that part wouldn't be my job!)
By the way, I do believe Palestinians know this but don't realize the possible significance for Israelis. WOULD it have significance?
And of course Palestinians will not want to simply become Israelis and assimilate. They are very happy being Arabized, most would not want to convert to Judaism, so this is an "as-in" proposition based on the simple idea that modern Palestinians have as good an historical claim to the land as modern Jews do.
So I feel I see an issue with Tsvi Misinai's thinking, but never mind, he is a force for good in my estimation.
Hi, I'm not sure I can answer the question implicit in your reply because I am not a geneticist.
The studies done jointly by Hebrew University/Hadassah Medical Center in the early 2000s have been accepted by the professional genetics community and written up in journals, and I don't think anyone has disproven this thesis.
I just looked at the articles you provided and to me (I am not a professional geneticist) they seem to be consistent with Dr. Oppenheim's earlier findings. If you are in Israel I would be grateful if you could speak to Dr. Oppenheim about this and get the latest. I am in touch with Tsvi Misinai and he is unaware of any contradiction to the study.
As I said, my interest in this is that it debunks claims that Palestinians are not indigenous to Palestine/Israel.