The Times of Israel, an independent Israeli newspaper that counts among its staff a number of former reporters for the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, published a fascinating but largely overlooked story datelined Jerusalem and Zhitomir, Ukraine, March 16, 2014, and which was written by its respective Russian and Ukrainian correspondents, Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass, citing a secret report provided to the Israeli government. The report, written by a select panel of scholars of Jewish history drawn from academia and other research centers, concluded that that European Jews are in fact descended from Khazars, a war-like Mongol-Tatar group that ruled over Ukraine and southern Russia, which mass-converted to Judaism in the eighth century AD.
Zionists have long argued that the land claimed by Israel was the biblical birthright of the Jewish people who were forced from the land in a so-called «diaspora» after repeated conquests by various empires. Proof that Ashkenazi Jews, which make up a majority of the Israeli Jewish population, have no historical link to Palestine would call into question the entire premise of Israel as the historical «5,000-year old» homeland of the Jewish people.
The Israeli journalists noted that any conversation of the Khazars and modern Israel has always been met with disdain by Israeli leaders. They quote Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir as once saying, «Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars. In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speak». DNA proof that a migratory Khazar population from Europe is now claiming ancient roots in Palestine largely eliminates Zionist claims to the region.
The evidence that eastern and central European Jews have no historical claim to Palestine has resulted in a flurry of activity in Israel and abroad. The Israeli Knesset will soon vote on a bill passed by the Israeli Cabinet that legalizes Israel as a Jewish «national state». Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who read the secret report on the Khazars, has declared that «Israel is the Jewish, nationalist state for the Jewish people». With the Ashkenazi claims to Israel tenuous, at best, Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and his Jewish Orthodox and West Bank settler party allies have no other choice but to aggressively stake their nationalist claims to not only Israel but also to the West Bank – which the nationalists refer to as «Judea and Samaria».
However, some Israelis and Jews abroad are not taking any chances. One of the main reasons why Ukrainian Jewish billionaire tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Ukraine, Israel, and Cyprus, is spending tens of millions of dollars on the recruitment of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, is a fear that plans to turn Ukraine into a «second Israel» will be derailed. Russia’s protective measures for the Donbass, as well as its incorporation by referendum of Crimea, the latter prized by the resurgent Khazarian Jewish nationalists, threaten the transformation of Ukraine into a second homeland for Ashkenazi Jews who are finding their hold on Israel prime tenuous, at best.
The Times of Israel’s explosive story about the Khazarian roots of the Ashkenazis also revealed that Israel, knowing that a Palestinian state is inevitable considering the increasing pressure for it from Europe, is preparing to resettle Ashkenazi settlers in the West Bank to Ukraine. Israel’s advanced research in genetics resulted in a direct DNA line being established between Israel’s Ashkenazis and the Khazars who were dispersed across eastern and central Europe after Russia conquered the Khazarian Empire in the 11thcentury.
Israelis and their Zionist allies around the world have always accused proponents of the Khazarian-Ashkenazi genetic connection of deep-rooted anti-Semitism. However, the genetic research contained in the secret Israeli report confirms what Israeli historian Shlomo Sand revealed in his book, «The Invention of the Jewish People». The concept of the Khazarian bloodline was first broached by Hungarian historian Arthur Koestler in his 1976 «The Thirteenth Tribe».
The Times of Israel reporters quoted an unnamed aide to Netanyahu who revealed the plans for Israeli emigration to Ukraine: «We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas’s insistence that no Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly don’t want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the Gaza Hitnatkut[disengagement]».
Ostropoler and Grosser-Spass also quoted an anonymous Israeli intelligence source as saying: «We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorship».
The Israeli and Ukrainian Jewish plan is to resettle the Ashkenazis from the West Bank in the Russian autonomous republic of Crimea after what they see will be an eventual retrocession of the peninsula to Ukraine. The ultimate plans of Ukrainian Zionists such as Kolomoisky, in addition to such American allies as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, is to establish an autonomous Jewish region of Crimea and restore to the peninsula the original Khazarian name of Chazerai. Although the Tatars who live in Crimea and elsewhere today are largely Muslims, the plans to create a Khazar nation in Ukraine will also likely involve global proselytization by Israelis and Ukrainians who are bent on restoring Khazaria as an alternative to Israel. Current Jewish proselytization efforts among «crypto-Jewish» Catholic mestizos in Mexico; Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists in India; Russian Orthodox and Buddhists in Birobidzhan, Siberia; Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan; and Christians, Muslims, and animists in Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi; and among small pockets of alleged Jewish descendants in China, Sao Tome and Principe, Tahiti, Suriname, Vietnam, Brazil, and Peru point to an Israeli plan intent on increasing Jewish numbers for the purpose of settlement in a number of locations outside the illegally-occupied West Bank and the Golan Heights. In addition to Ukraine, northern Iraq, eastern Libya, Alexandria in Egypt, parts of Turkey, Patagonia in Argentina, and Uganda are all being considered for potential Jewish settlements to complement the West Bank or replace it. The so-called «Lost Tribe of Israel,» the Bnei Menashe of Mizoram and Manipur states of northeast India are viewed by many Indians as not actually Jewish but desperate economic migrants looking for better lives in Israel. So desperate are the Israeli expansionists to increase their numbers, dubious Jewish DNA studies have attempted to classify the Sorbs of eastern Germany; the Bantu Lemba people of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique; and certain groups of southern Italians, Armenians, and Greeks as «lost tribes» of Israel in order to increase Judaism’s numbers and geographical land claims.
In Ukraine, the so-called «second Israel,» Kolomoisky and Kiev have enlisted a number of ex-Israel Defense Force members in their volunteer battalions, including the Azov Battalion, One of the Israeli units is known as the «Blue Helmets of Maidan» and is commanded by an Israeli using the pseudonym «Delta». If Israel did not have a vested interest in expanding its influence in Ukraine it could easily prevent these units from going to Ukraine.
There are also Sephardic Jewish settlers in the West Bank who are descended from the Jewish Marranos of Moorish-ruled Spain who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions of the 15th century who have no ties to Ashkenazis or Khazaria. Recently, in a move similar to Ukraine’s invitation to the Ashkenazis from the West Bank to settle in Ukraine, Spain and Portugal have enacted legislation that would permit any Sephardic Jew anywhere in the world who can prove their descent from the Marranos expelled during the Inquisition to obtain citizenship in the two countries.
Some Russian speakers in the Donbass are wary of the intentions of pro-Israelis in the Kiev government. Oddly, Kolomoisky has recruited a number of neo-Nazis from western Ukraine and Europe to fight in his battalions whose right-wing organizations have always subscribed to the notion of a future «battle royale» between Russia and the remnants of Khazaria in Israel, Ukraine, Poland, and the Republic of Georgia to avenge Khazaria’s defeat in the 11th century by the Russian Empire.
Israel provided the Georgian government of President Mikheil Saaakashvili, which included a number of dual Israeli-Georgian nationals of Khazar descent, with military and intelligence assistance in its 2008 war against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Similarly, the Israelis have established close ties with Azerbaijan, a country, which like Georgia and Ukraine, has ancient links to Khazaria through an indigenous group of Azeri Jews known as Subbotniks.
The anonymous Netanyahu aide is also quoted by The Times of Israel journalists as revealing why the Israeli government in making a play for large Israeli settlements in Ukraine: «As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. It’s in all the history books. You can look it up».
The aide revealed to the two Israeli journalists that Netanyahu appreciates the strength of the ancient Khazars and quote Netanyahu as saying, «we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 years». But the aide added, «The same is true of the Khazars . . . in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’»
To the uninformed, which apparently includes President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the current Israeli desire to create a new nationalist Israeli identity is tied directly to the activities of the Ukrainian leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Kolomoisky, and their American supporters, Nuland and Pyatt, in creating a safe haven, temporary or not, for the Ashkenazi settlers of the West Bank. Thanks to the Times of Israel exposé of the secret Israeli report on the Khazars and modern-day Israel, the machinations behind the American and European Union destabilization of Ukraine becomes all the more apparent.
Jerusalem and Zhitomir, 16 March/Adar II 14
(Our Russian and Ukrainian correspondents Hirsh Ostropoler and I. Z. Grosser-Spass also contributed to this story, delayed due to the crisis over the Crimean referendum.)
Followers of Middle Eastern affairs know two things: always expect the unexpected, and never write off Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has more political lives than the proverbial cat.
Only yesterday came news that Syrian rebels plan to give Israel the Golan Heights in exchange for creation of a no-fly zone against the Assad regime. In an even bolder move, it is now revealed, Israel will withdraw its settlers from communities beyond the settlement blocs—and relocate them at least temporarily to Ukraine. Ukraine made this arrangement on the basis of historic ties and in exchange for desperately needed military assistance against Russia. This surprising turn of events had an even more surprising origin: genetics, a field in which Israeli scholars have long excelled.
A Warlike Turkic People—and a Mystery
It is well known that, sometime in the eighth to ninth centuries, the Khazars, a warlike Turkic people, converted to Judaism and ruled over a vast domain in what became southern Russia and Ukraine. What happened to them after the Russians destroyed that empire around the eleventh century has been a mystery. Many have speculated that the Khazars became the ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews.
Arabs have long cited the Khazar hypothesis in attempts to deny a Jewish historical claim to the land of Israel. During the UN debate over Palestine Partition, Chaim Weizmann responded, sarcastically: “lt is very strange. All my life I have been a Jew, felt like a Jew, and I now learn that I am a Khazar.” In a more folksy vein, Prime Minister Golda Meir famously said: “Khazar, Schmazar. There is no Khazar people. I knew no Khazars In Kiev. Or Milwaukee. Show me these Khazars of whom you speak.”
Contrarian Hungarian ex-communist and scientist Arthur Koestler brought the Khazar hypothesis to a wider audience with The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), in the hope that disproving a common Jewish “racial” identity would end antisemitism. Clearly, that hope has not been fulfilled. Most recently, left-wing Israeli historian Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People took Koestler’s thesis in a direction he had not intended, arguing that because Jews were a religious community descended from converts they do not constitute a nation or need a state of their own. Scientists, however, dismissed the Khazar hypothesis because the genetic evidence did not add up. Until now. In 2012, Israeli researcher Eran Elhaik published a study claiming to prove that Khazar ancestry is the single largest element in the Ashkenazi gene pool. Sand declared himself vindicated, and progressive organs such as Haaretzand The Forward trumpeted the results.
Israel seems finally to have thrown in the towel. A blue-ribbon team of scholars from leading research institutions and museums has just issued a secret report to the government, acknowledging that European Jews are in fact Khazars. (Whether this would result in yet another proposal to revise the words to “Hatikvah” remains to be seen.) At first sight, this would seem to be the worst possible news, given the Prime Minister’s relentless insistence on the need for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” and the stagnation of the peace talks. But others have underestimated him at their peril. An aide quipped, when life hands you an etrog, you build a sukkah.
Speaking off the record, he explained, “We first thought that admitting we are really Khazars was one way to get around Abbas’s insistence thatno Jew can remain in a Palestinian state. Maybe we were grasping at straws. But when he refused to accept that, it forced us to think about more creative solutions. The Ukrainian invitation for the Jews to return was a godsend. Relocating all the settlers within Israel in a short time would be difficult for reasons of logistics and economics. We certainly don’t want another fashlan like the expulsion of the settlers in the GazaHitnatkut [disengagement].
“We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical.
Speaking on deep background, a well-placed source in intelligence circles said: “We’re not talking about all the Ashkenazi Jews going back to Ukraine. Obviously that is not practical. The press as usual exaggerates and sensationalizes; this is why we need military censorship.”
All Jews who wish to return would be welcomed back without condition as citizens, the more so if they take part in the promised infusion of massive Israeli military assistance, including troops, equipment, and construction of new bases. If the initial transfer works, other West Bank settlers would be encouraged to relocate to Ukraine, as well. After Ukraine, bolstered by this support, reestablishes control over all its territory, the current Autonomous Republic of Crimea would once again become an autonomous Jewish domain. The small-scale successor to the medieval empire of Khazaria (as the peninsula, too, was once known) would be called, in Yiddish, Chazerai.
the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”
“As you know,” the spokesman continued, “the Prime Minister has said time and again: we are a proud and ancient people whose history here goes back 4,000 years. The same is true of the Khazars: just back in Europe and not quite as long. But look at the map: the Khazars did not have to live within ‘Auschwitz borders.’”
“As the Prime Minister has said, no one will tell Jews where they may or may not live on the historic territory of their existence as a sovereign people. He is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, even if that means giving up part of our biblical homeland in Judea and Samaria. But then you have to expect us to exercise our historical rights somewhere else. We decided this will be on the shores of the Black Sea, where we were an autochthonous people for more than 2000 years. Even the great non-Zionist historian Simon Dubnow said we had the right to colonize Crimea. It’s in all the history books. You can look it up.”
“We’d like to think of it as sort of a homeland-away-from-home,” added the anonymous intelligence source. “Or the original one,” he said with a wink. “After all, Herzl wrote about the Old-New Land, didn’t he? And the transition shouldn’t be too difficult for the settlers because, you know, they’ll still get to feel as if they are pioneers: experience danger, construct new housing, carry weapons. The women can continue to wear scarves on their heads, and the food won’t be very different from what they already eat.”
In retrospect, we should have seen this coming, said a venerable State Department Arabist, ticking off the signs on his fingers: a little-noticed report that Russia was cracking down on Israeli smuggling of Khazar artifacts, the decisions of both Spain and Portugal to give citizenship to descendants of their expelled Jews, as well as evidence that former IDF soldiers were already leading militias in support of the Ukrainian government. And now, also maybe the possibility that the missing Malaysian jet was diverted to Central Asia.
A veteran Middle East journalist said: “It’s problematic, but in a perverse way, brilliant. In one fell swoop, Bibi has managed to confound friend and foe alike. He’s put the ball back in the Palestinians’ court and relieved the pressure from the Americans without actually making any real concessions. Meanwhile, by lining up with the Syrian rebels and Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Azerbaijan, he compensates for the loss of the Turkish alliance and puts pressure on both Assad and Iran. And the new Cypriot-Israeli gas deal props up Ukraine and weakens the economic leverage of both the Russians and the Gulf oil states. Just brilliant.”
Reactions from around the world
Given the confluence of the weekend and the Purim and Saint Patrick’s Day holidays, reporters scrambled to get responses. Reactions from around the world trickled in.
• Members of the YESHA Council of settlers, some of them evidently the worse for wear after too much festival slivovitz, were caught completely off-guard. Always wary of Netanyahu, whom they regard as a slick opportunist rather than reliable ideological ally, they refused to comment until they had further assessed the situation.
Most of the hastily offered reactions fell into the predictable categories.
• Right-wing antisemitic groups pounced on the story as vindication of their conspiracy theories, claiming that this was the culmination of the Jews’ centuries-old plan to avenge the defeat of Khazaria by the Russians in the Middle Ages, a reprise of Israel’s support for Georgia in 2008. “Jews have memories as long as their noses,” one declared.
a continuum of conquest and cruelty?
• From Ramallah, a Fatah spokesman said the offer was a start but did not go nearly far enough toward satisfying Palestinian demands. Holding up an image of a Khazar warrior from an archaeological artifact, he explained:
There is a continuum of conquest and cruelty. It’s very simple, genetics does not lie. We see the results today: the Zionist regime and brutal Occupation Forces are descended from warlike barbarians. Palestinians are descended from peaceful pastoralists, in fact, from the ancient Israelites that you have falsely claimed as your ancestors. By the way, it is not true, however, that your ancestors ever had a temple in Jerusalem.
• The famously reliable unofficial intelligence website DAFTKAfile admitted:
Boy, are our faces red. We were caught flat-footed and thought that the return to Spain and Portugal was the real story. Obviously, that was an impeccably planned and clever feint to distract attention from the coming revolution in Ukraine. Nicely played, Mossad.
• Prolific blogger Richard Sliverstein, whose knowledge of Jewish culture and uncanny ability to ferret out military secrets regularly provoke astonishment even among his critics, commented:
Frankly, I’m surprised that my Mossad sources did not get this story to me first. But I’ve been up against a deadline for an essay on the kabbalistic significance of sesame seeds, the main ingredient in hummus, so I haven’t caught up on my email. But, do I feel vindicated? Well, yes, but it’s scant satisfaction. I’ve been saying for years that the Jews are descended from Mongol-Tatar Khazars, but it has barely made a dent in the propaganda armor of these Zionist hasbaroid dolts.
• An official of a leading human-rights NGO said:
Evacuating illegal settlements must be a part of any peace deal, but first forcing settlers to leave Palestine and then resettling them in Ukraine may be a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We’ll see what the ICC has to say about this. And if they think they can be even more trigger-happy in Ukraine than the West Bank, they have another thing coming.
• Ultra-Ultra-Orthodox spokesman Menuchem Yontef (formerly of Inowraclaw) welcomed the news:
We reject the Zionist state, which is illegitimate until Mashiach comes. We don’t care where we live as long as we can study the Torah and obey its commandments in full. However, we refuse to serve in the military there as well as here. And—we also want subsidies. That is G-d’s will.
• The spokeswoman for a delegation of Episcopalian peace activists, reached after the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem, said, with tears in her eyes:
We applaud this consistency of principle. If only all Jews would think like Menuchem Yontef—in fact, I’d like to call them “Menuchem Yontef Jews”: “M. Y. Jews,” for short—then antisemitism would disappear and members of all three Abrahamic faiths would again live together peacefully here as they did before the advent of Zionism. The nation-state is a relic of the nineteenth century, which has caused untold suffering. The most urgent task for world peace is the immediate creation of a free and sovereign Palestine.
• Noted academic and theorist Judith Buntler mused:
It may seem like a paradox to establish alterity or ‘interruption’ at the heart of ethical relations. But to know that we have first to consider what such terms mean. One might argue that the distinctive trait of Khazarian identity is that it is interrupted by alterity, that the relation to the gentile defines not only its diasporic situation, but one of its most fundamental ethical relations. Although such a statement may well be true (meaning that it belongs to a set of statements that are true), it manages to reserve alterity as a predicate of a prior subject. The relation to alterity becomes one predicate of ‘being Khazarian.’ It is quite another thing to understand that very relationship as challenging the idea of ‘Khazarian’ as a static sort of being, one that is adequately described as a subject. . . . coexistence projects can only begin with the dismantling of political Zionism.
not the “two-state solution” they expected?
• Anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) leader Ali Abubinomial put it more simply. Pounding his desk, he fumed, “So, Israeland Khazaria? This is what the Zionists mean by a ‘two-state solution’?! Do the math! Has no one read my book?”
• Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) called an emergency meeting to establish ties with the Pecheneg Liberation Organization (PLO), saying, “Pechenegs should not pay the price for European antisemitism.” The new solidarity group, “Students for Pechenegs in Ukraine” (SPUK), proclaimed as its motto: “From the Black to the Caspian Sea, We’re Gonna Find Somebody to Free!”
• For his part, peace activist and former East Jerusalem administrator Myron Benvenuti responded with equanimity: “I’ve got nothing to worry about: I’m Sephardic and my family has lived here for centuries. Anyway, if I have to go somewhere else, it’s going to be Spain, not Ukraine: more sunshine, less gunfire.”
The consensus of the broad majority of “Middle Israel,” which feels that Netanyahu is not doing enough for peace but also questions the sincerity of the Palestinians, is skeptical and despairing. One woman said, in frustration: We all long for an agreement but just cannot see how to achieve it. For now, all we can see is this Chazerai.
* * *
Update March 17:
Latest reports, including Vladimir Putin’s recognition of Crimea as a “sovereign and independent state,” and the estimate that relocation of Israeli settlers in any peace agreement would cost $10 billion, confirm the details of the above story. Ed.
Jim Wald is a professor at Hampshire College, where he teaches modern European cultural history, including the history of antisemitism
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