The debate continues

Well! I have certainly got a range of responses to my recent posts about Jews. There were of course plenty of antisemitic raves which I promptly deleted but the responses from my Jewish readers were generally well informed and well reasoned -- with one exception. I got a series of emails from a New York Ashkenazi man who would not for one minute concede that modern-day Jews are racially mixed. To him Jews are a single race. To quote him: "All Jews are descendents of Jacob". I found it rather hard to argue with someone who seemed to me a nutty Jewish racist but I did my best -- to no avail. He had a farrago of scientific bits and pieces in support of his view which reminded me of nothing so much as the farrago of scientific bits and pieces that you find on antisemitic sites. Predictable I suppose.

Since I am rather surprised to find ANY Jewish racists about, perhaps I should take this opportunity to say a little about his arguments. As readers of my previous writings on the subject will be aware, I did briefly look at whether Jews can be considered as a race and made the point that there are rather a lot of blue eyes among the Ashkenazim and that that betokened a genetic contribution from Northern Europe, well away from Israel.

Our racist friend answered that by saying, quite correctly, that races tend to move about over time and appeared to believe that there must once have been blue eyes in the Israel of Biblical times. He supported that view by pointing to a recent conclusion by geneticists to the effect that blue eyes are a mutation that originally arose in prehistoric times in the Black Sea area -- which is indeed somewhat closer to Israel than Northern Europe is. Where something arose and where it ends up are however two different stories and there is no doubt that blue eyes originally survived only in Northern Europe. What caused that is still a matter of some debate but it is in fact remarkable how dark eyes seem never to have made the grade in Northern Europe nor blue eyes further South. The further North you go, the more frequent blue eyes become -- until they are almost universal in native-born Scandinavians. So for as far back as we can see, blue eyes are clearly a Northern European phenomenon.

In the last 2,000 years, of course, there have been various invasions of Southern lands by Northern Europeans and that has left a small legacy of blue eyes in Mediterranean lands too. But the overwhelming rule remains blue in the North and dark in the South, with some regions being intermediate. But however you look at it, blue eyes in a predominantly dark-eyed population are a sign of racial admixture.

But the speculation that blue eyes in Jews has an ancient origin is ignoring the obvious. Many Jews strongly resemble the populations from which they emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. All the Lithuanian Jews I have met, for instance, looked like Lithuanians: Fair skin, blue eyes and fair hair. Whereas Jews who have come from Arab lands tend to look like Arabs: darker skin, dark eyes and black hair. So it is clear that for one reason or another Jews have tended to interbreed heavily with the people among whom they found themselves. They do it in New York to this day, much to the ire of many a Yiddisher Momma. But I think I have already spent too much time on the nonsense argument to the contrary.

Tomorrow I am going to put up an email from a Jewish man who knows a lot about British history. That should put me on my mettle! I have no idea why but my racist interlocutor did forward me a rather pleasant picture in one of his emails. I reproduce it below:

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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