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April 27, 2010

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anduril

Holy Cow! Carbon Trading Has Barely Gotten Off The Ground, And There's Already A Huge Financial Scandal In Europe
from Clusterstock by Gus Lubin and Joe Weisenthal

The news out of Europe is that Deutsche Bank and several others have been raided in a C02 swapping tax evasion scheme.

This is amazing news because the carbon market -- a concept beloved by both banks and environmentalists -- is still nascent.

No, we don't yet know how this is going to play out but really the fact that a market that's barely gotten off the ground is already drawing suspicious of tax evasion is very damning, and suggests that banks can't be trusted if the market ever gets huge.

anduril

Without the charts:

The Profits Anomaly
from Inner Workings by David Goldman

Economics teaches us that output is a function of capital and labor inputs. The American corporate sector has managed something of a miracle during the past two quarters, namely profits without labor or capital. The collapse in capital investment and the increase in profits during the 4th Quarter of 2009 both are without precedent.

Capital investment was down by 20% year on year and profits were up more than 50% year on year. Employment, of course, was much lower and remains lower.

Brave new world!

Jane

BTW how embarrassing was it that Waxman and the no-thing aides on his staff got an expensive public lesson on corporate accounting and disclosure requirements?

I don't know how people like Paul Ryan can stand the company. What a bunch of morons we have running the show.

Mel,

I think Goldman is probably a pretty good buy - but I'm an amateur.

peter

This is just a hunch, but I bet those Cape Cod wind farm turbines are rusted junk in less than ten years from construction.

Melinda Romanoff

You don't want to trade the punching bag in a Chicago political ploy.

Clarice

Probably, peter/ What are the odds the construction will be by those same folks who built the Big Dig?

Pofarmer

Whoppee--Now the Kerrys and the Kennedys will have to live with it--AP:

Yeah, Whooppe, cancel 30,000 drilling leases, and approve one windfarm. That will fix things.

anduril

Amazing: Is sexual sadism a mitigating factor in a rape and murder case?

anduril

Brave new world.

Larry Sheldon

My list of "must read daily, or more often" is about to get a lot shorter.

I am startled that so many authors I used to think were important think that on this day, the most important thing is what Andi Sullivan or Charly Johnson babbled.

Network

It's so easy...........wo wo.....it's so easy............wo wo.....

The preferential treatment is just another game in that world.

Clarice

Well, there is THAT, Po/ But look at it--the contractors will be corrupt--the windfarm will harm those families that are leaders of the energy idiocy and then it will probably corrode or sink into the ocean.

Dave (in MA)
peter : This is just a hunch, but I bet those Cape Cod wind farm turbines are rusted junk in less than ten years from construction.
I figure it won't be very long before the project gets blocked because they "discover" that Nantucket Sound is home to some rare variety of sea life.
Jane

I bet those Cape Cod wind farm turbines are rusted junk in less than ten years from construction.

Just as long as there is a clear view from both Hyannis and the Nantucket sound, I'm fine with that.

daddy

Whats the over/under betting that the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf throws a new enviro/legal lawsuit kink in the Alaskan offshore drilling process?

Nk

It's New Orleans and Lousiana. They're going to want free money forever. BP is going out of business.

itsreallyjobs

O is going to nationalize the gulf oil. Venezuela just did.

nathan hale

What OCS drilling process. I see the incoming
speaker of the Florida house wants to renege
on the bill, fine, let them try to drive their
cars, run their air conditioned offices, fly their jets without gas, see how far it goes

MayBee

bunky- yes, I admit to being a tad confused. You asserted that conservatives believe the only option Palestinians have is to become pacifist.
I disputed this, in part by saying Palestine could raise a legitimate Army and fight.
Given that, I'm unsure why you are now asking me if I think Palestine has the right to defend itself.

To simplify, I'll just say I disagree that Palestine has to become pacifist, or that conservatives think that is their only option.

Pagar

After reading the Politico article saying that Obama has a hostile relationship with reporters, I tried to trace down an article that mentioned Obama that did not read like a love story in a romance novel.
I believe that the article written by Pamela Geller in the American Thinker today may Qualify.

"If you close your eyes and listen to Zarein Ahmedzay, the jihadist convicted Friday for his role in unleashing a bomb in the New York City subway system on the anniversary of the 9/11 Islamic jihad attacks on America, you would hear disturbing echoes of the policy of Barack Obama and his dhimmi administration:"

But I would bet you'll never see that published in the NYTs.

Jane

I'm interested in knowing where binkybusted thinks Palestinian rights come from, since he inquired whether they had any.

xet

bigoterie

I want apologies

nathan hale

I saw your AT piece on the Myers Clarice, but
conveniently, McClatchy doesn't track back to the original source

Pagar

"Palestinian rights come from, since he inquired whether they had any."

My guess is that all leftists believe that all Palestinian rights come from Obama.

nathan hale

Here's the LUN on it

Jane

My guess is that all leftists believe that all Palestinian rights come from Obama.

That's what it sounded like so I was confused. Libbies are always talking about "human rights", like the right to a McMansion or medical care but can never identify where those rights come from. So I'm doing a search.

Ignatz

--So I'm doing a search.--

Let me save you a little time Jane.
Progressives and the people of their pet causes (like the Palestinians) have inherent rights, which presumably come from Gaia or Eugene Debs or maybe Starbucks, no one really knows.
Those of us who are neither a progressive nor a cause are from time to time delegated certain rights by the progs but they are revocable at any time, including the right to even exist, as Israel is learning.

JM Hanes

anduril:

"Holy Cow! Carbon Trading Has Barely Gotten Off The Ground, And There's Already A Huge Financial Scandal In Europe"

Holy Cow, you're a little late to the party.

Dec. 1, 2009, just in time for COP15, Denmark rife with CO2 fraud:

Authorities in several countries investigate VAT tax fraud stemming from the Danish CO2 quota register

Denmark is the centre of a comprehensive tax scam involving CO2 quotas, in which the cheats exploit a so-called ‘VAT carrousel’, reports Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

Police and authorities in several European countries are investigating scams worth billions of kroner, which all originate in the Danish quota register. The CO2 quotas are traded in other EU countries.

Denmark’s quota register, which the Energy Agency within the Climate and Energy Ministry administers, is the largest in the world in terms of personal quota registrations. It is much easier to register here than in other countries, where it can take up to three months to be approved.

March 18th, 2010, European emission trading rocked by scandal over recycled carbon permits.

EUROPE'S emissions trading system was in uproar yesterday amid a mounting scandal over "recycled" carbon permits.

Two carbon exchanges were forced to suspend trading as panic hit investors fearful that they had bought invalid permits.

BlueNext and Nord Pool, the French and Nordic exchanges, suspended trading in certificates of emission reduction (CERs) when it emerged that some had been illegally reused.

scott

LUN Supreme Court upholds cross in the Mohave. I have been interested in this case. Roberts court TCB.

Janet

LUN is a Newsbuster article on wanting to ban the toys in happy meals at McDonalds.

What is it with leftists? If they don't want to buy their kids happy meals...then don't. Why ban it for the rest of us?
If they LOVE something (or are "into" it), they make it a law and we've all got to pay for it and participate. - anything green, abortion, nth degree safety laws,...
If they HATE something, they ban it so nobody can be tempted. - big cars, happy meals, the Bible, salt,...
Just a bunch of little dictator wannabees.

It is like they don't have any control over themselves or their kids.

Rob Crawford

Two carbon exchanges were forced to suspend trading as panic hit investors fearful that they had bought invalid permits.

*snort*

You mean they actually thought they were buying something meaningful?!

Clarice

My point, exactly--when you're selling nothing how can there not be fraud?


BTW No one seems to have mentioned in the disputatious discussion of the Arab-Israeli dispute that Obama as usual is decades behind the ball. Most of the Arab world wants Iran taken out right now and may well be working with the Israelis behind the scenes to accomplish that end.

BTW, how's that crack investigation of the murder of the murderous thug in Dubai going?

bgates

Israeli forces have killed hundreds of times more innocent civilians than the Palestinians have. That cannot be left out of the equation.

Says here there have been 4281 Palestinians killed by Israelis during the second intifada, of whom 2038 were civilians.

Says here there have been at least 420 Israeli civilians murdered by Palestinians.

If the first number I quoted is correct, then for your claim of "hundreds of times" to be right, the number of Israeli casualties could be no more than ten.

If the second number I quoted is correct, then for your claim to be right, the number of Palestinian deaths would have to be at least 84,000.

I'd ask how innumerate you were, but it would have to be a rhetorical question, because you're clearly not familiar enough with the concept of number to give an answer.

Pagar

"You mean they actually thought they were buying something meaningful?!"

The Value of nothing is increasing!


No. 1: ArcelorMittal -- World's largest steel company (Luxembourg)

CEO Lakshmi Mittal
Surplus permits in '08: 14,400,000

2008 value: $280 million

2012 est. value: $1,800 million

You have to scroll thru the top 10 BS owners (all of which claim their BS is worth much more than in 2008) to come to the Number one owner of BS, which shows the above figures. Nothing of value was added to the BS between 2008 and 2012. Every penny whatever the BS is worth, has to come from consumers and taxpayers. What will the consumer or taxpayer receive in return?
NOTHING-absolutely NOTHING

Carbon Credits are the biggest fraud in the world.


Jane says obamasucks

Progressives and the people of their pet causes (like the Palestinians) have inherent rights, which presumably come from Gaia or Eugene Debs or maybe Starbucks, no one really knows.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (lightbulb goes off)

JM Hanes

Clarice:

"Most of the Arab world wants Iran taken out right now and may well be working with the Israelis behind the scenes to accomplish that end."

There are a whole lot of folks wishing Israel would just do the dirty work for them, while they're keeping their togas and their blame shifting anti-Israel lesson plans clean. Then there's Obama's pilgrimage to the far east, where he tried to get a Chinese commitment on sanctions because otherwise, of course, who knew what those crazy Israelis might try?

Personally, any vestigial sympathy I might have had for the Palestinians, after Arafat's Intifada redux, vanished when the first thing they did upon Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza was to tear the working Israeli greenhouses to pieces.

The newly retooled Israeli/Palestinian conflict, however, is the sideshow:

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday that Hezbollah has more missiles than most governments in the world, during a joint press conference with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Washington.

"Syria and Iran are providing Hezbollah with so many rockets that they are at a point where they have more missiles than most governments in the world," said Gates.

.

Clarice

And probably all those missiles are sited in nursery schools and hospitals. It's such a nice gang of folks.

daddy

Yeah Clarice,

But don't forget to do the Moral Math.

The deliberate targeting and death of 6 million innocent Jew's is a statistic, but the faked death by the media of 1 Palestinian kid in Jenin is a tragedy.

Clarice

*palm to forehead* political math was never my long suit, daddy.

JM Hanes

I should have said sympathy for the Palestinian cause. There is certainly great suffering among the people, but that's because Israel's neighbors and Palestinian, not Israeli, leadership, want it that way. So far, it's been a much more effective weapon than their rockets.

Danube of Thought

but that's because Israel's neighbors and Palestinian, not Israeli, leadership, want it that way.

And the UN (with abundant US money) has perpetuated the thing indefinitely by the construction of the abominable settlements, without which the Palestinians would have moved on with their lives elsewhere.

laura

Whenever my better half has the opportunity to engage a Palestinian (and given his travels that is not a rare occurrence) who starts moaning about the poor plight of his people at the hands of the Israeli monsters (of course, they are generally now well off business men out of Detroit who curse the US at every breath as well) he simply asks them why do all the other Arab countries treat the Palestinians like dogs. This being a well understood state of affairs will cause the Palestinian to avert his eyes and terminate the gnashing and wailing.

MayBee

Good question, laura.

Captain Hate

the UN (with abundant US money) has perpetuated the thing indefinitely by the construction of the abominable settlements

Those wretched settlements have stood for decades and are a testimony to the graft of the deadbeats that have made off with the largest per capita donations of foreign aid worldwide. This is what the UN produces: Eternal dependency. This isn't Israel's doing, clusterfucker.

Why don't we elect anybody that will shut down the money supply to the Jordygyptians? Even Bush eventually acquiesced to sending it after the quislings in the State Dept filled Rice's head with sob-story mush.

laura

As JmH alluded, the situation of the Palestinian people is indeed
one that draws sympathy, but the blame lies with their corrupt leadership and the whims of the neighbors not the Israeli's.

anduril

Most of the Arab world wants Iran taken out right now and may well be working with the Israelis behind the scenes to accomplish that end.

Right. And Michael Ledeen has been promising us for how many years that the Iranian state will implode next week? LOL.

If Iran were taken out the Arab world would be totally under Israel's thumb--not exactly what most Arabs want.

Anybody care to play Guess That Author?

I flatly reject this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. ... We can talk as much as we want about our good intentions; but they understand as well as we what is not good for them. ... To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile. This childish fantasy ... comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble ready to be bribed in order to sell out their homeland...

It's this same sort of childish fantasy that believes (if this is truly a sincere belief rather than attempted manipulation) that Arabs are a rabble too stupid to understand that at this point in history their best aim is to keep Iran, Israel and the US occupied with each other--not to eliminate Iran from the scene.

 centralcal

Uh, folks, if you all check in on the other thread I have several links to some mighty scary things going on in our own little neck of the world - thanks to Obama.

anduril

"clusterfucker"

What a classy bunch you Zionists are!

nathan hale

Anduril, the Arabs are scare S#$%^$& as Carl Levin, might put it, that Iran could get the
bomb, and they aren't too terribly keen on Hamas and Hezbollah either

anduril

S#$%^$&

:-)

the Arabs are scare S#$%^$& as Carl Levin, might put it, that Iran could get the
bomb

Didn't you leave something out, nate? Shouldn't you have said that the Israelis are scared S#$%^$&, too? Except, maybe they're not really? And maybe the Arabs are just as scared of being dominated by the Israelis as they are of being dominated by the Iranians. Except that the US would protect them from the Iranians...

caro

Jane, AJStrata writes about what stimulus money has been spent here. It is from today.

Clarice

I suspect the notion of the Israelis dominating the Arabs is rather ludicrous..far more ludicrous than the lunatic Shiites in Tehran getting even with the Sunnis who've fought them forever and beset them whenever they could.

It's not Israelis who are bombing the Shiite mosques.

anduril

Clarice channeling narciso!

Cecil Turner

Frickin' stupid as usual. Any Arab who can count realizes he can't possibly be dominated by Zionists. And that if they can just get some sort of "right of return" thing goin', the Palestinians in Israel alone would outnumber the Jews.

(Unfortunately for them, the dirty rotten Zionists can count, too.)

bunkerbuster

Dot writes: ``As to motives, it should only be necessary to point out that (a) the lands in question are not illegally occupied, (b) they are not the Palestinians' lands, and (c) they never have been.''

To the extent that Dot’s representations do reflect the views of some of the most powerful Israelis, they demonstrate the fundamental intellectual dishonesty of many of Israel’s claims about its motives, its intentions, its status as a democracy and its legitimacy.
For decades, Israel has insisted that it only wants peace. Time and again it has used military power to expand territory under its control and, in every case, its government has insisted that the occupations are not attempts to gather ‘’lebensraum’’ or assemble a “Greater Israel’’ outside the only recognizable borders the nation has ever existed within. Each and every prime minister of Israel has sought to portray his nation not as an expansionist empire intent on grabbing land beyond that which it accepted at its creation but as a victim of aggression and a nation determined merely to defend itself.
Dot’s view negates this, declaring that the territories Israel occupies outside its borders in fact belong to (Greater) Israel. He’s not alone in that belief. Indeed an intransigent minority of Israelis share that view and that minority often finds its way into the highest levels of power within Israel – as is the current case. While Netanyahu publically declares that he’s willing to trade land for peace, his history of advocating for a Greater Israel and his political alliances with factions seeking the same give Palestinians very good reasons to at least suspect that he’s lying through his teeth and has no intention of ever relinquishing control of the occupied territories. In that case, it can be safely assumed that his ambition is merely to achieve the unilateral disbarment of Palestinians and, then, their extermination and removal from the territories, which, as Dot asserts, are the rightful property of the Jewish state alone.
Why don't the Israeli chauvinists who share Dot’s view simply declare that they intend to annex the West Bank, Sheba farms and areas of the Golan Heights that remain under Israeli control? Why lie and say all the torture, “targeted” assassinations, and human rights violations are intended only to maintain peace and security? Because they know their claims to the West Bank have no basis in history, international law or morality. They know they’d lose the argument before it even started. So instead, they lie about their intentions and leave it to dupes like Dot to retail their views anonymously and in forums where they think they won’t have to answer for it.
Much of the same goes for the claim that Israel has a right to occupy Palestinian land because they conquered the Palestinians in a “defensive” war. This view even more nakedly undermines Israel’s claim that it “only wants peace.’’ If Israeli leaders believe this, they don’t seek peace, they seek Palestinian subjugation and surrender in territory they believe they’ve “conquered.” Of course, the “defensive conquest” premise is irrational to begin with. Firstly, a defensive war isn’t fought over your neighbor’s territory. If Israel need only defend itself, it would surely make that stand along its border and, to any extent that it sought to prevent the establishment of an aggressive military posture by its neighbors, it could even maintain limited military outposts within the territories it occupies. But Israel doesn’t do that at all. It has created and continuously expanded Jewish-only residential enclaves within the occupied territories and has insisted, for example, that it cannot allow a non-Jewish representation in any part of Jerusalem, even though much of the city is not within Israel. Far from “defensive,’’ Israel’s strategy in the occupied territories is catastrophically offensive, in that it creates ever more vulnerable targets while expanding territory again and again. Secondly, how can any claim Israel has won a war that is so clearly ongoing. How irrational to suggest that one party in a war has no right to fight in it because the enemy has declared victory.

Ignatz

--Because they know their claims to the West Bank have no basis in history--

That is patently false, and since it's bb, probably through sheer ignorance.

--In that case, it can be safely assumed that his ambition is merely to achieve the unilateral disbarment of Palestinians and, then, their extermination and removal from the territories....--

What evidence do you have for the libelous, despicable assertion that the Israelis intend to exterminate the Palestinians? Is it the Israelis whose charter demands the extinction of their interlocutors? Is it the Israelis among whom none of their antagonists are allowed to live?
If Israel's intention is to grab and hold territory why did it give back the Sinai? Why did it withdraw from Gaza?
Perhaps if its neighbors truly quit their genocidal obsession with wiping Israel off the map they could completely decamp from the occupied territories, the strategic value of which has proven in the past to nearly have led to Israel's extinction on more than one occasion.
Only under the fevered brow of a loony leftist or some bonehead paleocon could Israel be seen as the impediment to peace, a tiny country beset on all sides by huge populations which have repeatedly attacked it in existential wars and which continue openly hellbent on its complete annihalation and a second Holocaust, some of which countries have actually expelled the sainted Palestinians and all of which have cynically perpetuated the Palestinians plight in order to use their fellow Arabs as human weapons against the Jews.
To hold that view is, to use one of bb's favorite inane phrases, intellectually dishonest.


Cecil Turner

If Israel need only defend itself, it would surely make that stand along its border . . .

Good grief. You do realize that many modern weapons systems will shoot all the way across Israel, right? I mean, I knew you were clueless after the "POW status as an inalienable right" discussion, but this is ridiculous.

Why not change the moniker to something like "nerf football"? Because the current one is surely a truth in advertising issue.

Captain Hate

a defensive war isn’t fought over your neighbor’s territory.

LOL, you're such a fucking moron. Shorter Rachel Corrie's boyfriend bunkerbuster: I hate Jews and wish they would all die quietly.

bunkerbuster

Cecil writes: ``many modern weapons systems will shoot all the way across Israel.''

Excellent point, Cecil. That's yet another reason it's silly to suggest that the additional territory Israel occupies gives it an significant measure of security. Modern weaponry can cross the West Bank in the time it takes Netanyahu to say, we only want your land.
In fact, the additional territory merely creates more fronts for Israel to defend and expands its vulnerability substantially -- not to mention that little detail about violating international law and UN resolutions.
It's telling as well that you would draw this equation without no consideration whatsoever for Palestinian security. If Israel requires a "buffer zone" because it happens to be a small country, why wouldn't Palestine require an even larger one within Israel?

bunkerbuster

Ig writes: ``If Israel's intention is to grab and hold territory...''

That's Dot's assertion, not mine. I happen to believe the polls that show most Israelis want out of the West Bank and all other occupied territories. Again, there are Israeli chauvinists, just like there are Palestinian chauvinists. And on both sides, the chauvinist minority is in charge at the moment.

bunkerbuster

Captain Bigot: I'm a huge fan both of Jews and their religion. The Jewish religion helped produce Einstein, Freud and Marx. If you can think of a threesome that had a more profound effect -- mostly for good -- on the 20th century, let me know.
Judaism values scholarship, fairness and the contemplative life. These are incredibly positive, essential values that contribute immeasurably to the well being of people all over the world. As an American, I'm especially appreciative of the massive achievements of Jews in my own country -- one of the few places they've for the most part been allowed to pursue their ambitions unpersecuted.
Jews are a great people and Judaism is a great, rich religion with much to offer and with a long tradition of making a positive contribution to the planet's well-being.
I'm sorry, Capt. Bigot, that your mind is so small.

nathan hale

They gave up Gaza, it became a forward operating base for Hamas, same for South Lebanon, no doubt the same would happen on the
West Bank. Jeff Goldberg, rather dimly realizes this, that the war is not for '67, but for '48. But he doesn't extrapolate for
the consequences of that statement.

Captain Hate

Abridged bunkerbuster: Some of my best friends are Jews.

Ignatz

--I happen to believe the polls that show most Israelis want out of the West Bank and all other occupied territories.--

Since you in turn believe the Israeli's should follow what 'most Israeli's want' I'm assuming you think that Obamacare should be repealed and a fence should be built from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, or do you only think the people should be heeded when they agree with you?

-- Again, there are Israeli chauvinists, just like there are Palestinian chauvinists. And on both sides, the chauvinist minority is in charge at the moment.--

I see. You were only claiming the governments the Israeli's elect have imperial ambitions not the people themselves.
It must be easy in bunkies world where one can always have it both ways.

nathan hale

You know his diatribe comes across better in the original Arabic or German or to be really old school Russian

bunkerbuster

Nathan: Hamas is nowhere to be found in Southern Lebanon. Maybe you mean Hezbollah. Moreover, Israel never "gave up" Gaza. It unilaterally removed the Jewish-only enclaves and continued to exert full-military control over the area, including roadblocks and sealing the border. The result was obvious to all parties beforehand, which is why no one outside Israel supported the move. Had Israel actually intended to allow peaceful Palestinian control of Gaza, it would have negotiated the departure of occupying forces with the Palestinian Authority and thereby obtain the full support of neighbors, the U.S. the U.N. and the international community in general.
Instead, Israel's withdrawal lead first to a civil war between the Palestinian Authority Israel had done its best to undermine and Hamas, which could claim to be free of the PA's appeasement of Israel.
This day, Israel maintains full military control of Gaza and routinely bombs buildings, including those in civilian areas, arrests residents and holds them secretly without trial and incommunicado and keeps the border sealed, preventing commerce of almost any sort.
Contrast that with Israel's surrender of the Sinai. In that case, Israel negotiated with its enemy and achieved a bilateral agreement that lasts to this day. They could have pursued a similar path in Gaza and deliberately chose not to. The results are for all to see...--well, Israel prohibits journalists from entering the territory to the extent that it can, so, I guess it's not really for the world to see...
If Israel was or is so innocent in its dealings in Gaza, why does it ban journalists, international observers and international peacekeepers? If Israel only wanted peace, it would be begging for UN troops to help secure the peace. It doesn't though, so it has to hide its actions from the world by banning journalists and international observers.

nathan hale

There is no credible negotiating partner, Arafat was a corrupt thug, Abbas is an enabler, Fayyad has no constituency. Hamas
indictrinates children with suicidal impulses, in their version of Sesame street,and you dare compare about Israel's
actions.

If you want a domestic parallel, Mexico under Santa Ana, continued to press on settler claims in Texas, over a twenty year period, or we could look at our counterpart to Sharon, Andrew Jackson, and the trail of tears, settler state to settler state

JM Hanes

bunkerbuster:

Israel withdrew from Gaza in order to foster a Palestinian civil war? Israelis seek a Palestinian genocide? How much more intellectually twisted can you get?

Israel should be begging for UN troops to "secure the peace?" It doesn't get more jaw dropping than that.

Rocco

I've always loved the way Krauthammer wrote this way back when in 98.

Israel is different. In Israel the great temptation of modernity-assimilation-simply does not exist. Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store.

From the JVL

Numerous legal authorities dispute the charge that settlements are “illegal.” Stephen Schwebel, formerly President of the International Court of Justice, notes that a country acting in self-defense may seize and occupy territory when necessary to protect itself. Schwebel also observes that a state may require, as a condition for its withdrawal, security measures designed to ensure its citizens are not menaced again from that territory.

According to Eugene Rostow, a former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson Administration, Resolution 242 gives Israel a legal right to be in the West Bank. The resolution, Rostow noted, “allows Israel to administer the territories” it won in 1967 “until ‘'a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’' is achieved.”

anduril

It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago.

Rocco, you and the other Zionists need to have Shlomo Sand's new book on your bedside stand--here's a good review: Israeli Scholar Disputes Founding Myth.

Here's how the review begins:

The founding narrative of the modern State of Israel was born from the words of Moses in the Old Testament, that God granted the land of Israel to the Jewish people and that it was to be theirs for all time.

Then, there was the story of the Diaspora – that after Jewish uprisings against the Romans in the First and Second centuries A.D., the Jews were exiled from the land of Israel and dispersed throughout the Western world. They often were isolated from European populations, suffered persecution, and ultimately were marked for extermination in the Nazi Holocaust.

Finally after centuries of praying for a return to Israel, the Jews achieved this goal by defeating the Arab armies in Palestine and establishing Israel in 1948. This narrative – spanning more than three millennia – is the singular, elemental and sustaining claim of the State of Israel as a Jewish nation.

But a new book by Israeli scholar Shlomo Sand challenges this narrative, claiming that – beyond the religious question of whether God really spoke to Moses – the Roman-era Diaspora did not happen at all or at least not as commonly understood.

In When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?, Dr. Sand, an expert on European history at the University of Tel Aviv, says the Diaspora was largely a myth – that the Jews were never exiled en masse from the Holy Land and that many European Jewish populations converted to the faith centuries later.

Thus, Sand argues, many of today’s Israelis who emigrated from Europe after World War II have little or no genealogical connection to the land. According to Sand’s historical analysis, they are descendants of European converts, principally from the Kingdom of the Khazars in eastern Russia, who embraced Judaism in the Eighth Century, A.D.

The descendants of the Khazars then were driven from their native lands by invasion and conquest and – through migration – created the Jewish populations of Eastern Europe, Sands writes. Similarly, he argues that the Jews of Spain came from the conversion of Berber tribes from northern Africa that later migrated into Europe.

Re Krauthammer:

If Sand’s thesis is correct, it would suggest that many of the Palestinian Arabs have a far more substantial claim to the lands of Israel than do many European Jews who arrived there asserting a God-given claim.

Indeed, Sand theorizes that many Jews, who remained in Judea after Roman legions crushed the last uprising in 136 A.D., eventually converted to Christianity or Islam, meaning that the Palestinians who have been crowded into Gaza or concentrated in the West Bank might be direct descendants of Jews from the Roman era.

Despite the political implications of Sand’s book, it has not faced what might be expected: a withering assault from right-wing Israelis. The criticism has focused mostly on Sand’s credentials as an expert on European history, not ancient Middle Eastern history, a point that Sand readily acknowledges.

One critic, Israel Bartal, dean of humanities at the Hebrew University, attacked Sand’s credentials and called Sand’s thesis “baseless,” but disagreed mostly over Sand’s assertion that the Diaspora story was created as an intentional myth by Zionists seeking to fabricate a direct genealogical connection between many of the world’s Jews and Israel.

“Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions,” Bartal wrote in the newspaper Haaretz.

This is good, too:

In January 2009, as the Israeli army bombarded Palestinians in Gaza in retaliation for rockets fired into southern Israel, the world got an ugly glimpse of what can result when historical myths are allowed to drive wedges between people who otherwise might have a great deal in common.

After the conflict ended – with some 1,400 Palestinians dead, including many children and other non-combatants – the Israeli government investigated alleged war crimes by its army and heard testimony from Israeli troops that extremist Rabbis had proclaimed the invasion a holy war.

The troops said the Rabbis brought them booklets and articles declaring: “We are the Jewish people. We came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

See, those Rabbis aren't dumb. They know, like Ben Gurion, that all the legal arguments are bogus and what's really going on is a conquest. N.B., "holy war" = jihad.

How about Genetic Evidence?

There has been no serious rebuttal to Sand’s book, which has been a bestseller in Israel and Europe – and which is expected to be released in the United States within the year. But there were earlier genetic studies attempting to demonstrate an unbroken line of descent among Ashkenazi Jews in Europe from the Hebrew tribes of Israel.

In a genetic study published by the United States National Academy of Sciences, the Y chromosomes of Ashkenazi, Roman, North African, Kurdish, Near Eastern, Yemenite, and Ethiopian Jews were compared with 16 non-Jewish groups from similar geographic locations. It found that despite long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level.

Although the study also demonstrated that 20 percent of the Ashkenazim carry Eastern European gene markers consistent with the Khazars, the results seemed to show that the Ashkenazim were descended from a common Mid-Eastern population and suggested that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.

However, a monumental genetic study entitled, “The Journey of Man,” undertaken in 2002 by Dr. Spencer Wells, a geneticist from Stanford University, demonstrated that virtually all Europeans males carry the same genetic markers found within the male population of the Middle East on the Y chromosomes.

That is simply because the migration of human beings began in Africa and coursed its way through the Middle East and onward, stretching over many thousands of years. In short, we are all pretty much the same.

Cecil Turner

In fact, the additional territory merely creates more fronts for Israel to defend and expands its vulnerability substantially . . .

Because everyone knows vulnerability is proportional to area, right? That makes about as much sense as "defense on the border."

Seriously, you need a new moniker. How 'bout "Agent Orange" (a la Eddie Murphy "Specialist Tactics Unit Battalion [. . .] Agent Orange, that was me")? Or, even better, "Karate Man"?

Clarice

BB's continued ignorance revealed over and over again: "If Israel only wanted peace, it would be begging for UN troops to help secure the peace."

Read about the UN pledge in the Sinai and what happened when the UN troops left immediately upon egypt's demand they do so.

Rocco

FACT

A common misperception is that all the Jews were forced into the Diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and then, 1,800 years later, suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.

The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people; 3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and 4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.

Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem and Tiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, Gaza, Ashkelon, Jaffa and Caesarea. The Crusaders massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in Safed, Jerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years.

By the early 19th century — years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement — more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.1 The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in the reestablishment of the Jewish State.

Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel’s people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.

anduril
Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947

1. The "conquest" of Joshua has now been shown to be mythical by modern archeology.

2. The actions of Western nations were taken in complete disregard of the rights of the indigenous inhabitants (who, paradoxically, may have been genetically more Judean than the Ashkenazic Zionists who conquered them).

So where does that leave Israel's birth certificate?

JM Hanes

bunkerbuster:

Let's hear it for everybody's favorite honest broker, the United Nations!

When the US reverses course and rejoins the Human Rights Council in 2012, it will serve alongside such vaunted bastions of civil liberty as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Djibouti, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Jordan -- where I'm sure you'll be interested to know that, "According to AI, suspected Islamists and Palestinian-origin citizens were more likely to be tortured."

Looks like the ladies will be just covered up in UN defenders too:

Last week just as a senior Iranian cleric declared that women's un-Islamic garb - meaning a wisp of hair showing - is the root of men's immorality and the cause of earthquakes, the regime moved to secure a seat on the UN's Commission for the Status of Women (CSW). The CSW, comprising 45 countries, voted in by regional blocks, is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to the advancement of women. Its mandate is "to evaluate progress, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide."

I'll leave you to extract the list of UN successes in securing the peace from a veritable litany of peacekeeper corruptions.

Y.

There's so much crap in this thread. I'll take a whack in reverse order:

A) Sand is a Marxist professor of philosophy and has no expertise in Jewish history. Like most Marxists he wrote his "history" to make a political point, and damn the truth. It's like getting American history from Howard Zinn. To give one example, there's no evidence the Khazars converted to Judaism - the entire story is based on a second-hand tale by an 11th century Arab chronicler, while the direct neighbours of the Khuzers never mentioned them being Jews anywhere... Historian Moshe Gil has demolished this myth several times, e.g. [1]

2) The genetic evidence are inescapable, regardless of Sand's weak attempt at ad hominem in his book. The Askhenazi Jewish group is probably the most studied on Earth, and evidence for its relation to other Jewish population rely on much more than Y analysis. [2] And btw, the 2002 book didn't say that at all - since we see articles in professional pubmed using Y evidence (see links again). Allow me to suggest the book was misinterpreted. Btw, I find it hilarious how all the "non-racist" people ask for genetic purity...

[1] http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=1081517

[2]
http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/10/10-questions-for-jon-entine.php

"[b]The historical intermarriage rate of Jews (those who maintained their Jewish identity) remained at less than one half of one percent from biblical times until the mid twentieth century[/b]."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1685782/?tool=pubmed

"Typical questions discussed are as follows: These Jewish populations differ in certain morphological and anthropometric traits. Are there corresponding differences in biochemical genetic constitution? How can we assess the extent of heterogeneity between and within groupings? Which class of markers (blood typings or protein loci) discriminates better among the separate populations? The results are quite surprising. [b]For example, we found the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Iraqi Jewish populations to be consistently close in genetic constitution and distant from all the other populations, namely the Yemenite and Cochin Jews, the Arabs, and the non-Jewish German and Russian populations[/b]."

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/10/80/abstract

"[b]These results support the view that the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry[/b] and that over their history they have undergone varying degrees of admixture with non-Jewish populations of European descent."

http://www.ftdna.com/pdf/43026_Doron.pdf

etc. etc.

Y.

bunkerbuster, you (and many Leftists) have a very weird definition of "effective military occupation". Last I heard, this requires putting tanks and soldiers in the streets. This newfangled "definition" somehow lets Israel "occupy" the Gaza Strip without being there, and while the strip is controlled by Israel's sworn enemy...

Y.

Modern archeology tends to believe that the Israelites were an outgrowth of the local Canaanite population. The origins of the Yahweh cult remain unknown though.... One might expect Zionists to be actually happy with this - avoiding accusations of genocide, while maintaining supposed links to the land.

JM Hanes

Thanks for some serious pushback, Y.

As is his habit, anduril has packed up his polemics and moved on. You'll find him currently engaged in derailing the newer "Individual Mandate" thread, if you'd like to weigh in.

anduril

Btw, I find it hilarious how all the "non-racist" people ask for genetic purity...

Excuse me, it's not the non-racists who are asking for genetic purity. It's the Zionists who are desperate to demonstrate a very dubious genetic purity.

Jon Entine, author of the bestseller TABOO: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk about It, is an international columnist, adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and consultant on business and media ethics.

Oh, so Entine is a journalist, has no scientific credentials and writes Jewish apologetics? Why didn't you tell me?

Re the Khazar "myth" and your claim that "there's no evidence the Khazars converted to Judaism": Conversion to Judaism and relations with world Jewry

Please note the multiple sources: there seems to be little doubt of the conversion, so Sand seems to be a better historian than Y. What is debated is the extent of Khazar descent among Ashkenazim. The article I link goes into extensive discussion of the DNA evidence. Also please note that there is much more than "no" evidence. As the article notes:

Sand claims that Israeli historians have marginalized the thesis of Khazar ancestry, and points out that from 1951 to the present, not a single historical work on the Khazars has been published in Hebrew.

For ideological reasons--that is, in the interests of maintaining a spurious racial purity--many Jews are anxious to minimize the degree of non-Jewish elements in present day Jews. Thus the research by Jews trying to demonstrate genetic uniqueness as a race.

the Jewish populations largely share a common Middle Eastern ancestry

The problem, which you fail to address, is that journalist/apologist Entine relies on an older study but, inconveniently, massive new evidence links a major part of the human race to the Middle East:

Wells, a geneticist from Stanford University, demonstrated that virtually all Europeans males carry the same genetic markers found within the male population of the Middle East on the Y chromosomes.

That is simply because the migration of human beings began in Africa and coursed its way through the Middle East and onward, stretching over many thousands of years. In short, we are all pretty much the same.

Learn about Wells' very considerable credentials here: Spencer Wells.

bunkerbuster

Yet again this thread demonstrates the fundamental dishonesty of right-wing American Zionism.

Whatever Jews' tribal claims to a "Greater Israel" are, the Jewish nation in 1948 accepted borders that do not include the occupied territories.
Indeed, Israel's constant demand is that its enemies codify their recognition of it's "right to exist within secure borders.'' That alone eliminates the relevance of pottery shards and scripture.
Israel demands recognition within its legal borders and has never wavered from that.
It is a sad irony that right-wing American Zionism fulfills the chauvinist Arab stereotype of a militant, Machiavellian religious organization that says in public in wants peace while advocating in private that it is the rightful owner of land outside its borders and celebrates military conquest and subjugation of Arabs.
Indeed, right-wing American Zionism is the mirror image of Palestinian chauvinism. While the Palestinian leadership maintains in public that it only wants a state with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of refugees to return, in private it advocates for the destruction of the Jewish-led state.
I have no truck with either chauvinist position, but as an American, I'm more responsible for the actions of Israel than I am for what the Palestinians do. More important, I believe that because Israel has for decades maintained many of the institutions of democracy and has built an economically and militarily viable state, it is in a far better position to lead the way away from chauvinism.
The central military fact of this conflict is that Israel has so much security and stability to lose, while the Palestinians have almost zero security and zero stability at stake. Given that equation, I don't see how its meaningful for Israel to demand that Palestinians surrender what they don't really have before negotiations can even begin.
Many of the right-wingers on this thread make a mockery of rational debate, spewing strawmen, false dichotomies and false premises by the dozen.
A common theme is Israel's moral superiority. We could have an honest debate over that issue, though no honest person can argue that moral superiority justifies immoral acts. Moreover, Israel itself never bases its geopolitical claims or negotiating position on moral superiority. It claims merely to want peace and security within recognized borders. To the extent that wingnuts insist on arguing that moral superiority offers a kind of geopolitical entitlement, they merely undermine the credibility of Israel's own arguments and mirror the bankrupt chauvinism of Arabs who want Israel gone.

anduril

Modern archeology tends to believe that the Israelites were an outgrowth of the local Canaanite population. The origins of the Yahweh cult remain unknown though.... One might expect Zionists to be actually happy with this - avoiding accusations of genocide, while maintaining supposed links to the land.

Y., sorry I forgot about this interesting issue. Yes, we're in agreement here. There is massive scholarship in agreement that "the Israelites were an outgrowth of the local Canaanite population," although interpretations differ somewhat as to reasons, causes, etc. As for the Yahweh cult, there is, or so it seems to me, good reason to believe that it can be traced to a sort of elite minority that came to Israel from Northwest Arabia: the Midianites. Frank Moore Cross is one who presents the evidence, which is considerable and which I won't attempt to summarize here, but the result is something like this:

The proper theoretical construct is not that of "serfs, clients, and slaves" being absorbed into "Israel" but rather of Israel being formed from two basic elements: 1) an indigenous Canaanite (but anti-feudal) settlement of the highlands by former serfs which brought and maintained its culturally Canaanite traditions, and 2) a small elite deriving from the southern areas of Midian which brought tribal traditions which was formative of the unique Israelite identity, but which did not simply suppress the Canaanite elements. Contrary to Cross' contention that the movement of this second grouping was one of conquest, it seems clear from all the traditions that are available that Israel's formative process was an essentially peaceful one. But here is Cross' bottom line:

[T]here is in the traditions we have been investigating historical evidence of a migration or incursion from Reuben of elements of Israel who came from the south, with ties to Midian, and whose original leader was Moses.

Archaic tradition of events in Reuben survived, as did those of Moses' Midianite connections.: traditions too old and too well known to suppress and yet which have become obscure and faded. (FEC 70)

I would add that there is evidence of Midianite priestly connections to cultic centers at several important sites in Israel, both in the North as well as in Judah.

bunkerbuster

JM Hanes writes: ``Israelis seek a Palestinian genocide? How much more intellectually twisted can you get?''

Read my comments again, JM. Israel formally seeks peace within its recognized borders. Right-wing American and Israeli Zionists, however, seek the establishment of a Greater Israel, which includes territory outside those borders.
Please explain what you think right-wing American and Israeli Zionists have in mind for the Palestinians. Since the Palestinians live on land these particular Zionists claim as their own, do you think they intend to "persuade" the Palestinians to leave their homes? Given that Palestinian birthrates are higher, how do you think Israeli chauvinists intend to deal with the reality that, unless something is done, Jews will continue to be a shrinking minority within "Greater Israel." If elimination of Palestinians is not what the chauvinists intend, what is?

Y.

anduril,

First, did you read your own link?

"The theory that the majority of Ashkenazic Jews are the descendants of the non-Semitic converted Khazars was advocated by various racial theorists[18][19] and antisemitic sources[19][20][21][22] in the 20th century, especially following the publication of Arthur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe. Despite recent genetic evidence to the contrary,[23] and a lack of any real mainstream scholarly support, this belief is still popular among groups such as the Christian Identity Movement, Black Hebrews, British Israelitists and others (particularly Arabs[24][25][26]) who claim that they, rather than Jews, are the true descendants of the Israelites, or who seek to downplay the connection between Ashkenazi Jews and Israel in favor of their own. For more detail on this controversy, see below."

Second, I have to repeat myself: There is no single contemporary source identifying the Khazar as Jews. Especially nothing from their Byzantine neighbours. No one ever found any contemporary synagogue in the areas controlled by Khazaria. Yet, people who use very strict standard with regards to the Bible's historical validity (and I don't oppose that), accept Khazaria without question....

Third, Sand is simply lying about other Israeli historians. You quoted Bartel's review earlier, and your quote happens to be actually the correct one - Israeli historians don't use the narratives he suggests they do. As I said, it's an horribly bad idea to trust Marxist "historians" on anything.

Fourth, I didn't dispute Wells' qualifications. I just don't see anywhere where he says what you believe he says - do you have a source for that? In any event, as I demonstrated (and you didn't seem to read), there's quite a lot of genome-wide analysis (not merely Y chromosome) showing the same thing...

Fifth, that one theory regarding the Yahweh cult, but it's far from the only one. e.g. There's the theory the suggests exiled priests which supported Akhanton's reforms were responsible (Frued wrote a century ago about it - finding for example most of the names of the original priests in the Bible are Egyptian ones). In any event, there are no archaeological evidence for any of these theories...

Y.

Btw, I think journalists summarizing the available evidence is a reasonable source to use. If not, then I wish everyone stop quoting from Tom Segev's books** and come to think of it, Sand's own book since he has no qualifications either...

** Israeli Haaretz journalists which wrote known several history works. These actually go far from "summarizing" to "ridiculous interpretations", but that's not relevant now.

nathan hale

He's not actually citing Segev, that's like using Fisk or Robert Scheer, and Consortium
the CIA cocaine and October surprise people, what Ben Menashe didn't get a byline

Y.

bunkerbuster, Israeli right wingers' ideas are known to people who are informed.

They range from outright annexation and giving citizenship (many don't accept the demographic projections basing this on Ettinger's work) which did happen in the Golan and in East Jerusalem (somehow you seem to not know Israel did that), to giving the Palestinians merely autonomy (which sounds silly to me, but this was one of Begin's main ideas), to annexing WB areas with a Jewish majority (and/or not too many Arabs) and giving the rest to a Palestinian state (PA people decry this plan and claim it will create "Bentustans").

nathan hale

You've done great research on that area, but bb doesn't care about any of this, scratch a bit and you'll probably find a 9/11 denialist, and other assorted idiocy.

Half of the entire Jewish population in all of Europe, was wiped out, more if the Continental invasion had failed. Israel has been remarkably circumspect considering everything that has happened since 1947, when Haj Amin Husseini launched one of the many wars to drive it into the sea. As the French proverb goes; "what a horrid animal, when attacked it defends itself"

Melinda Romanoff

BBbler-

Ah, You be a '67 'er, or is that a '47'er, so tough to tell now a days.

Melinda Romanoff

And what is it with leftists and "The Elders of Zion"?

Is it that important to believe it as true?

Is their need to be superior include jealousy of four thousand plus years of survivorship?

How shallow those needs are.


I won't go into that mirror thing...

Sheesh.

G'night all.

anduril

Y., yes I did read my sources, but I don't think you read what you wrote and what I addressed. Your statement is:

there's no evidence the Khazars converted to Judaism

and

There is no single contemporary source identifying the Khazar as Jews.

Here's what the article says:

According to the Schechter Letter, early Khazar Judaism was centered on a tabernacle similar to that mentioned in the Book of Exodus. Archaeologists at Rostov-on-Don have tentatively identified a folding altar unearthed at Khumar as part of such a construct.

The Khazars enjoyed close relations with the Jews of the Levant and Persia. The Persian Jews, for example, hoped that the Khazars might succeed in conquering the Caliphate.[15] The high esteem in which the Khazars were held among the Jews of the Orient may be seen in the application to them, in an Arabic commentary on Isaiah ascribed by some to Saadia Gaon, and by others to Benjamin Nahawandi, of Isaiah 48:14: "The Lord hath loved him." "This," says the commentary, "refers to the Khazars, who will go and destroy Babel" (i.e., Babylonia), a name used to designate the country of the Arabs.[16] From the Khazar Correspondence it is apparent that two Spanish Jews, Judah ben Meir ben Nathan and Joseph Gagris, had succeeded in settling in the land of the Khazars. Saadia, who had a fair knowledge of the kingdom of the Khazars, mentions a certain Isaac ben Abraham who had removed from Sura to Khazaria.[17]

There are separate articles on both the Schechter Letter and the Khazar Correspondence. There's also this:

At least some Khazar rabbinical students appear to have studied in Spain. Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo, in his Book of Tradition (1161), writes:

"You will find the communities of Israel spread abroad... as far as Dailam and the river Itil where live Khazar peoples who became proselytes. The Khazar king Joseph sent a letter to Hasdai ibn-Shaprut and informed him that he and all his people followed the rabbinical faith. We have seen descendants of the Khazars in Toledo, students of the wise, and they have told us that the remnant of them is of the rabbinical belief."

What IS disputed, as I pointed out to you, is the role that the Khazars may have played in the formation of the Ashkenazim. This is from David Goldstein:

And findings by genetic researchers of significant Near Eastern ancestry among Ashkenazic Jews put to rest the notion that this population originated with or is predominantly descended from the Khazars. Be that as it may, there is one odd and tantalizing feature of Ashkenazic Jewish Y chromosomes that may lead us back to Khazaria. ... There is no Y chromosome link that unites Ashkenazic and Sephardic Levites. Among the Ashkenazic Levites, however, there is a particularly common Y chromosome type that is not often found in other Jewish groups. But it is found among people who now live where the Khazars once did. ... One way to answer this question might be to try to develop a fuller picture of the genetics of the Turkic-speaking peoples, particularly modern-day speakers of Chuvash, a Turkic language related to that spoken by the Khazars. Then we could compare their genes to the Ashkenazic genes we suspect may be of Khazar origin."

And here is another quote from Goldstein that gives his overview:

His [Goldstein's] own speculation, he said, is that most Jewish communities were formed by unions between Jewish men and local women, though he notes that the women's origins cannot be genetically determined.... Like the other Jewish communities in the study, the Ashkenazic community of Northern and Central Europe, from which most American Jews are descended, shows less diversity than expected in its mitochondrial DNA, perhaps reflecting the maternal definition of Jewishness. But unlike the other Jewish populations, it does not show signs of having had very few female founders. It is possible, Dr. Goldstein said, that the Ashkenazic community is a mosaic of separate populations formed the same way as the others.... 'The authors are correct in saying the historical origins of most Jewish communities are unknown,' Dr. [Shaye] Cohen [of Harvard University] said. 'Not only the little ones like in India, but even the mainstream Ashkenazic culture from which most American Jews descend.'.... If the founding mothers of most Jewish communities were local, that could explain why Jews in each country tend to resemble their host community physically while the origins of their Jewish founding fathers may explain the aspects the communities have in common, Dr. Cohen said.... The Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA's in today's Jewish communities reflect the ancestry of their male and female founders but say little about the rest of the genome... Noting that the Y chromosome points to a Middle Eastern origin of Jewish communities and the mitochondrial DNA to a possibly local origin, Dr. Goldstein said that the composition of ordinary chromosomes, which carry most of the genes, was impossible to assess. 'My guess,' Dr. Goldstein said, 'is that the rest of the genome will be a mixture of both.'"

http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/abstracts-jews.html

I freely admit, I don't know jack about genetics, but I've seen similar stuff and it does suggest a possible Khazar connection--but maybe more on the maternal side. It is known that Jews were active in the entire region surrounding Khazaria, so it would hardly be surprising that they acted as described above. The bottom line, however, is that Jews are a decidedly mixed group, contrary to the romantic myths that have been propagated. This does lend credence to Sand's overall thesis of an invented ethnicity--which most ethnicities are. That I think is Sand's principal target, the notion of a Jewish race.

I don't have time to go into the Yahweh cult in detail, however...

The well known fact that early Israelite priests had Egyptian names does not actually work against the Midianite thesis. There was a well known and heavily traveled trade route across Sinai from Egypt to Midian, which would explain the Egyptian influence in Midian. There was another heavily traveled route north from Midian along the eastern side of the Dead Sea. There is also archeological evidence from the Negev that suggests a pilgrimage route from Israel to Mount Paran in Midian--1 Kings 11:18 The .... Judges 5:4-5; "God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran." Plus, as I said, references to priests of Midians at shrines in Israel and the presence of the Kenites, too, another Midianite group who appear to have had some special religious function. Oh, also in Judges there's a reference indicating that there was some sort of alliance with Midian, before they became enemies.

anduril

Btw, I think journalists summarizing the available evidence is a reasonable source to use.

Granted. And Entine actually does support the idea of a very mixed background. That page I referred to has way to much information to easily summarize, partly because each Jewish group has a different history.

Y.

anduril,

The Khazars letter are either misinterpreted or imaginings of Jews wanting to have a powerful state of their own or a way out of being blamed as "Jesus-killers". Moshe Gil wrote about this at least from 1987, and the link[1] I gave earlier discussed the Jewish sources in detail, and found they all harken back to that unreliable Arabic source... Do you accept similar Christian legends about King Prester John (a legend which happened to date to the same time as the Khazar legend, and also included (forged) letters from the King)?

Again, why do none of Khazaria actual neighbours write anything about their supposed Jewishness? Won't this be of interest to the Byzantines or the Persians or anyone else? Also, I strongly doubt anyone made a tabernacle there - this would be illegal in Jewish law due to the "purity" requirements, so I suspect these "archeologists" don't know what they are talking about or are misrepresented.

[1] http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=1081517

Y.

anduril,

You missed my direct quote from Entine, talking about merely half-a-percent intermarriage rate.

Y.

Lastly, I already talked about the genetic studies - there are full spectrum analysis (not merely Y chromosome analysis) which have the same result. Here's one from Dec. 2009:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1685782/?tool=pubmed

"We find that the Jewish populations show a high level of genetic similarity to each other, clustering together in several types of analysis of population structure. Further, Bayesian clustering, neighbor-joining trees, and multidimensional scaling place the Jewish populations as intermediate between the non-Jewish Middle Eastern and European populations."

Neither Sand nor the Zionists which he attacks believe in a "Jewish race", and I doubt either of them cares about admixture. Sand's real target is trying to separate between the Askhenazim and the Sepharadim in order to help his anti-Zionist political agenda, so his attacks are based on the notion of a common origin (In a similar vein, his book argues most Sepharadim are Berber converts. However, Genetic studies again do not bare this out, except the small Libyan Jewish community which is likely to have a Berber origin).

bunkerbuster

Y: do you include Netanyahu as an "Israeli right-winger?''
You claim their "ideas are known to those who are informed.'' Tell us, then, what is Netanyahu's actual position on the occupied territories?

anduril

Y., you argue persuasively, but I still have some problems.

You state, on the basis of one historian, Moshe Gil, that

The Khazars letter are either misinterpreted or imaginings of Jews wanting to have a powerful state of their own...and the link I gave earlier discussed the Jewish sources in detail, and found they all harken back to that unreliable Arabic source... Do you accept similar Christian legends about King Prester John (a legend which happened to date to the same time as the Khazar legend, and also included (forged) letters from the King)?

Obviously, if I were an expert in this field I'd have written a book myself (you, too, I suspect). However, there seem to be flags that raise doubts about the strength of your case.

1. The method of pleading in the alternative

The Khazars letter are either misinterpreted or imaginings of Jews wanting to have a powerful state of their own

is suspicious. The two alternatives are quite different, so their presentation argues rather that the person making the argument is determined to find some reason, any reason, to reject the authenticity of the letters.

2. The Khazar letters appear to me to be different on their face from the Christian myths/legends of Prester John, which you characterize as

dat[ing] to the same time as the Khazar legend, and also includ[ing] (forged) letters from the King

Here are my problems with that line of argument:

a) The Khazar letters do not appear as parts of a Khazar legend--as you suggest in order to link them somehow with the Prester John legend. They purport to simply be letters and do not present any overall "legend." The Prester John letters are described in Wikipedia as "epistolary wonder tales," which is quite different from the prosaic tone of the Khazar letters.

b) Historians other than Gil, both Jewish and Gentile, do appear to take the Schechter Letter seriously. Here is the Wikipedia article Schechter Letter, which mentions no doubts, and here is what looks to me like a term paper for a Jewish Medieval History course taught by Benjamin Gempel: Khazar Self-Perception: A Study of the Schechter Text. For our purposes, what matters is this statement:

The Schechter Text-An Anonymous Khazar’s Epistle to Hasdai Ibn Shaprut," was first published by Solomon Schechter in 1912. Although the manuscript contains the name of neither the writer nor the recipient, it is found in a codex of letters to Hasdai Ibn Shaprut, and scholars consider the Letter, as I will call it, to be addressed to him. The author of the Letter relates information about the history of the Khazar conversion to Judaism and the recent political-military history of Khazaria.

Although its authenticity was at first greatly controversial, Omeljan Pritsak concludes that the Letter is a primary historical source. Schechter dated the copied manuscript to the late eleventh century, about a hundred years after the events it describes. The authenticity of the other letters in the codex is accepted, which lends authenticity to the Letter.

It happens that Pritsak has the requisite background for this issue: "Pritsak was a medievalist who specialized in the use of oriental, especially Turkic, sources for the history of Kievan Rus', early modern Ukraine, and the European Steppe region." (Wiki)

In addition, the essay writer notes:

Using his test of the use of the waw conversive, D.M. Dunlop affirms that the Letter and the Reply of Joseph are from a different source, and concludes, like Constantine Zuckerman, that it is an alternative reply to the request for information from Hasdai of Spain. Zuckerman identifies the writer as a Khazar living during the reign of Joseph, and dates the Letter to 949 CE, five or seven years before the Reply of Joseph.

That dating puts the letter well before the Prester John material.

Therefore, your attempts to portray this issue as settled in the negative, based on Gil's article in Haaretz, seems greatly overdone.

Note the references to other historians in the cited materials. I don't have time to address the other material--which you seem to lump together--but your other arguments are analytic in nature, arguments from silence, etc.

Here is a source I looked at but didn't use:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/judaism/FAQ/07-Jews-As-Nation/section-5.html

2. Genetics

Again, I'm no expert, however...

You still don't address the possibility of Khazar mixture, which Goldstein and others point out as a definite possibility, based on cited evidence.

However, the article you cite is, indeed, very interesting. Let me highlight what appears to be a summary overview, since I can't do justice to the wide range of data that the author covers, nor to its complexity (including many still problematic areas):

Consistent with our results is the thesis that the progenitors of the present-day Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews were the remnants of several small Jewish populations of the 14th and 15th centuries. Actually, the current Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews appear to represent a significant expansion of smaller populations that survived the tribulations of the 14th to late 15th century. Some later population declines in the 16th and 17th centuries in Eastern Europe may also be relevant. The biological relationship of these groups to the "original" (Biblical) Jews, if such a group can be defined, is tenuous at best. Since the Christian reconquest at the end of the Middle Ages, the contribution of non-Jews to the Jewish gene pool has been extremely small. The flow has been largely in the other direction...

Y.

anduril,

When I'm talking about "Khazar letters" I'm talking about a certain range of Jewish letters, not just schnelter etc. Some of it is definitely authentic but possibly misinterpreted e.g. the Keivian Letter[1]. A letter either to or from Kiev Jews' which Gil dates to the early 13th century while Pritsak dates it to early 10th century (Gil is basing this on the term for coins in the letter, a word which he says wasn't in use in the 10th century. Gil is arguing the letter might have been written to rather than from Kiev Jews while Pritsak argues it was definitely written from them). Unfortunately, Haaretz archive doesn't cooperate with my attempts to find a version of his article in English - maybe they didn't translate it? Bastards.

Now, the dating and authenticity of various letters is in question. What is known, is that the most famous source of the Khazar tale among Jews is "Kitab al Khazari" written by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi in 1140 (which is intended as a philosophical argument for Judaism, not as an history. Nonetheless, it was influential in regards to publicizing the Khazar). The main spread of the Prester John legend is a forged letter written in 1165 (though the legend has slightly earlier antecedents). That's why I compared the dates.

Now, I don't have anywhere enough sources to rule out Khazaria (negative proof is difficult to impossible). I'm merely asking people to have the same scepticism they justifiably have of Bibilical tales to Khazaria too. An analogue "minimalist" faction would have denied all the letters (as I have shown earlier, this is quite supportable), and demanded archeological support. Or at least some mentioning of Jewish Khazaria from their neighbours.

For example, Constantine VII (Byzantine emperor from 913-958) wrote "De Administrando Imperio"[2], per wiki it contains:

"The work describes the Pechenegs, Kievan Rus', Hungarians (under the name Tourkoi), Bulgarians, Tatars, and Khazars to the north; the Arabs to the east and south and their expansion as far as Spain; and the Germans, Lombards, Venetians, Dalmatians, Croats, Serbs, and Moravians to the west. Constantine VII also mentions Bosnia, as a small state located in the valley of river Bosna, which is the first notion of this Balkan state in history. As well as historical and geographical information, which is often confusing and filled with legends[citation needed][who?], Constantine gives information on how to manipulate each nation against each other, rather than use imperial money and resources to wage war against them directly."

He says the Khazar are warlike, but doesn't mention their supposed Jewishness at all... Isn't that very odd if one believes they converted?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievian_Letter

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Administrando_Imperio

Y.

anduril,

As for genetics, no one knows what was the exact genetic DNA of ancient Israelites, or even if such a group can be defined genetically. Maybe ancient graves can be used for the DNA sampling. I don't know if that's technically possible. I suspect though even if it's possible not many experts want to do this politically explosive work... No one did this yet as far as I know.

Therefor, the only thing that can be scientifically checked right now is whether the various parties which declare themselves Jews have a common origin, and whether they are related to the other Semitic peoples. Both of these are confirmed by studies.

A similar note can be said for the Khazars. The big difference here is that any Khazarian print would be a foreign marker compared to the Semitic group. This makes it both easier and more difficult. On the one hand, we can check what stands out. A big Turkish print amongest Askhenazi would have definitely been attributed to the Khazar. On the other hand, there must be many small foreign markers, and these can be anything. Any bottleneck event or small conversion somewhere or even rape can create these...

Therefor, the sample cannot be used to conclude Khazar ancestry from the sample, but merely to reject significant genetic influence of the alleged Khazar converts on Askhenazi population.

anduril

He says the Khazar are warlike, but doesn't mention their supposed Jewishness at all... Isn't that very odd if one believes they converted?

Not necessarily.

1. While Khazaria was a reality--whether Jewish or not--we really don't have much information about it from any source, not compared to some of the surrounding areas.

2. It was definitely a very mixed ethnic area and one area of dispute is how seriously to take the claims that they "all" converted. Atain this is an argument from silence, and we just don't know the variables that would have led to silence on the subject--ignorance, chance, etc.

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