Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why Shlomo Sand & Nazis Use the Khazar Theory

Professor Shlomo Sand's book, The Invention of the Jewish People, was published in 2010. In that book he uses the Khazar theory to back up his central argument - as the Internet magazine Science puts it - that most

modern Jews do not descend from the ancient Land of Israel but from groups that took on Jewish identities long afterward.” 
However, even though the genetic and historical evidence both for and against the Khazar theory will be covered (to a small extent) later on, my main point will be that, in a strong sense, none of that scholarship really matters.

What I mean by that is that National Socialists (Nazis) hate Jews simply because they are Jews; not because of theory X or theory Y. In other words, theory X or theory Y doesn't cause them to become Jew-haters. What usually happens is that the Nazi adopts theory X or theory Y because he's already a Jew-hater.

Similarly with International Socialists (Leftists) like Shlomo Sand (a self-described “communist”). They say what they say because they are already against capitalist democracy and the very idea of a “state for the Jews” (which, of course, both come together in the state of Israel). To Shlomo Sand himself, the Israelis - as well as many Jews worldwide - use their “ethnos” (as he puts it) to justify their “territorial ambitions”. In other words, Sand is using a classical Marxist/communist theory and applying it to today's Israelis and Jews. (Of course Marx, Stalin and other well-known Leftist Jew-haters, or “anti-Zionists”, had already done pretty much the same thing long before Shlomo Sand.)

To put this another way. Shlomo Sand's all-encompassing Leftist ideology - as well as his zealous hopes for a fully socialist Israel (which would amount to Israel's annihilation) - permeates just about every single word he utters. If his readers don't understand that, then they will have no idea about where this man is coming and what he is trying to achieve through his books and articles.

Biographically, Shlomo Sand's parents – as was the case with the parents/families of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein - passed on their Marxist ideology (or religion) to their son. And as you'd expect to follow from that, Sand has been active in Leftist politics/activism almost ever since. (For example, Sand, in the 1970s, was a member of the fanatical Maoist group Matzpen; a group which, rather fantastically, wanted to turn the entire Middle East into a socialist federation.)

History of the Khazar Theory

It's ironic that the man who popularised the Khazar theory, Arthur Koestler (in his 1976 book The History of the Jewish Khazars), did so in order to dissipate European Jew-hatred. The idea was to show his fellow Europeans that the Jews were just as European as anyone else (i.e., they not really 'Semites'). He thus attempted to show people that Jews could trace their heritage back to the Khazars in the 8th century. In fact Koestler himself once told French biologist Pierre Debray-Ritzen that he

"was convinced that if he could prove that the bulk of Eastern European Jews (the ancestors of today's Ashkenazim) were descended from the Khazars, the racial basis for anti-Semitism would be removed and anti-Semitism itself could disappear".

"In the Khazar kingdom, Koestler wanted to see the origin of the eastern European Jewry. Nevertheless, all the historical and linguistic facts contradicted his theories."

Nowadays Jew-haters are using Koestler's theory of a European heritage against – rather in favour of - European Jews. In addition, the theory is also used to support the cause of brown-skinned Palestinians; a group you wouldn't ordinarily think would stir the deep sympathetic emotions of the Nazis or racists who tend to dislike people who don't have a white skin.

In any case, Koestler was right about the European heritage of the Jews; though he was largely wrong when it came to his theories about Jewish Khazars. That is, Jews had indeed lived in Europe for centuries. Nonetheless, they had done so for roughly a thousand years before the Khazar kingdom came into being.

Although is was Arthur Koestler who made the Khazar theory popular (at least largely amongst Jew-haters), the theory did of course exist before that time. For example, Albert Yakovlevich Harkavy raised the possibility (in 1869) that there may be a link between the Khazars and European Jews. And it was Harkavy's theory which inspired Koestler's work on the very same subject.

This raises another point. Because some Jews have endorsed the Khazar theory (incidentally, almost all of the contemporary believers are either Leftists, Nazis or Islamists), you often get the following 'argument':

If even Jews think this theory is true, then it must be true.

This is, of course, exactly the same argument used about the Jewish critics of Israel such as Chomsky and Finkelstein.

Of course it's hardly a logical position. (In fact it is hardly anything at all.) You may as well say that because one black person once said that all black people are the sons and daughters of Satan, then that must indeed be true. In any case, for Harkavy the Khazar theory was really just a suggestion. In addition, it wasn't even a suggestion that all European Jews were descendents of the Khazars.

I mentioned Professor Shlomo Sand earlier. He argues that Jews and Israelis reject Koestler's theory simply because

[n]o one wants to go looking under stones when venomous scorpions might be lurking beneath them, waiting to attack the self-image of the existing ethnos and its territorial ambitions."

The National Socialists too have praised for Koestler's book. For example, the neo-Nazi magazine The Thunderbolt said it was "the political bombshell of the century".

Of course this new brand of Jew-hatred is primarily used as a gimmick - by both National Socialists and the International Socialists - to claim that Jews have no right to live in Israel and thus to “displace the indigenous Palestinians”.

Leftists propagate the Khazar theory for exactly the same reasons why they propagate the theory, or myth, of “Israeli apartheid” – to destroy Israel. (Both Nazis and Leftists want to destroy Israel because it is a capitalist and democratic state for Jews; which is a three-level heresy for any respectable Leftist or Nazi.)

All this clearly shows us how deeply both International Socialists and National Socialists fuse on the Jews and on so much more. (Here's a video in which Leftists, Nazis and Islamists quite literally joined together on the streets of Paris – in January, 2013 – to call for the Jews to be “kicked out” of France.)

History & Genetics

It’s is a simple fact that most scholars - such a historians and geneticists - reject the Khazar theory. Still, all of these scholars could of course be cynical “Zionists” (or Jews). Alternatively, they could - each and every one of them - simply be the victims of a false consciousness created by a platonic Media and an academia which are both also “run and controlled by Zionists” (or Jews).

The history in favour of the Khazar theory is very weak. In addition, the evidence from studies in genetics is strongly against the theory. So much so that the general consensus is that the Khazar “blood” in the Ashkenazi gene pool is insignificant. For example, there is no genetic evidence at all that shows that (all) Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Turkic tribes (as the Khazars were). In fact the genetics show that European Jews are closer to Levantine and Syrian Arabs than to central Asians like the Khazars.

Some people have of course argued to the contrary. Nevertheless, in science, as everywhere else, someone will always argue to the contrary. For example, an Eran Elhaik argued, in 2012, that there was a significant Khazar component amongst Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis; though not, it must be added, amongst French, German and other central Europeans. Despite that, one year later, in 2013, another study found that there is a large amount amount of evidence to show a prehistoric – i.e., pre-Khazar - European ancestry for Ashkenazi Jews.

All this shows that you should never rely on a single scientist, or historian, to give you the complete picture on - or of - anything. Nonetheless, if you are a hater of Jews, and therefore on a constant look out for scientists or historians to back-up what you already believe, then my bet is that you'll find such a person; even if that person is going against the scientific consensus.

Still, if your hatred of the Jews is based on “thinking with the blood”, then genetics, or science as a whole, will have little impact on such “thinking”.

In terms of history, it's quite incredible that it's generally recognised that the Khazars themselves left no documentary evidence. In fact most of the evidence comes from a later Arab historian by the name of Ahmad ibn Fadlan (whose work was also used by Jewish scholars). The thing is, he wrote about the Khazars some two hundred years after the Khazar conversation to Judaism.

Race Not Genetics

The very same racists who argued that the Jews were evil and conspiratorial because of their Semitic DNA (as it were), are now using another racial theory - which is a direct contradiction of the former one - to say pretty much the same thing.

Let's remember here that the Khazar theory was largely unknown until the 1970s. That means that Jew-hatred of the German Nazis and Hitler, for example, predated the large-scale adoption of the Khazar theory by some 50 or 60 years. Indeed Hitler and the Nazis would have been largely - or possibly completely - ignorant of all this talk about Jews being Khazars. After all, the Nazis were anti-Semites (the clue is in the word 'Semites'!).

In other words, Jew-haters may base their hatred, on Tuesday, on the Jews being of Semitic origin. However, their hatred on Wednesday may then be based on the Jews being of Khazar origin. That's just like the National Socialists who on Thursday claim that “all Jews are Marxists”. Yet who on Friday claim that “all Jews are capitalists”. When pressed, however, they may say that “Jews bat for both sides” because “their prime concern is to destroy the white race”. Yet when you also tell them about liberal/centrist or apolitical Jews, they simply stress the fact that “they are still Jews”. (Karl Popper called such ideas - or theories - 'unfalsifiable'.)

Finally, it's clearly a bizarre fact that for centuries Jew-hatred was primarily based on the supposed racial characteristics of the Semites. Then, all of a sudden (primarily because that prior theory was no longer paying political dividends), the Khazar theory was adopted.

Of course none of this will help dissipate Jew-hatred. A confirmed and professional hater of the Jews will simply find another reason to hate them. And that reason will no doubt also be racial in nature. For example, instead of the argument that all European Jews are Khazars, a Jew-hater may well effortlessly slip into stressing, yes, the Levantine (or Semitic) nature of the Jews (as the Nazis did). As I said, it doesn't matter what the theory or reason is (let alone if it is true or based on facts), as long as it backups an already-existing hatred of Jews.



1) Shlomo Sand is a self-described "communist". It can be said that he's using his anti-capitalism and other Marxist theories to legitimise his own - and others - pre-existing hatred of the Jews. In the case of Leftists since Marx himself, the Jews have been seen as closely connected to capitalism. (This is strange when you consider Jews like Sand himself, as well as Chomsky, Finkelstein, etc.).

Jew-hatred has to be updated. And Marx and Shlomo Sand have done that with their Marxist theories. So course Jew-hatred predates capitalism and the creation of democratic states. And I make that point about the morphing of Jew-hatred in the piece.

Shlomo Sand wants to make the West Bank Judenrein. (Gaza is already free of Jews.) This is strange when you consider the one million Arabs in Israel. It's also strange when you think about European and Western Leftists who otherwise agree with immigration and the mixing of communities - but not when it comes to the West Bank and Jews, it seems. (The UK imported up to five million immigrants between 2000 and 2010. How many Jews are there in the West Bank?)

Because Palestine has never been a state, and Jews have always lived in the West Bank area, it can hardly be said, though, that Jews are immigrating into the West Bank; but the general point still holds - Leftist hypocrisy.

Of course the Muslims and Islamists whom Western Leftists support want to make the entire Middle East Judenrein (and, to a lesser extent, free of Christians) - otherwise why else would they make such a fuss about a country that's about the size of Wales? Muslims have already nearly made the Middle East free of Jews and now they are getting to work on the West Bank - followed by Israel itself.

Millions of other Muslims also think that India, Andalusia (Spain), southern France, etc. "belong to Allah".

2) On the demo mentioned in the article, Muslims and Leftists aren't shouting "Zionists out!". They are shouting: "Jews! You have no home in France." And not, apparently, in Israel either! That is, the Leftists and Islamists who want Jews "out of France" are protesting against their presence in Israel too!

So what's the Leftist-Islamist solution to this? I may be being illogical and stupid here, but this sounds like they are arguing for another Final Solution: this time a Leftist-Islamist one. I know that not all Leftists think this way; but that minority who do so is growing every day.

3) Shlomo Sand himself has said, in a rather obvious example of self-contradiction, that the genetic tests which show that most Jews "are of Semitic or Levantine lineage would have been a godsend to Hitler" (to paraphrase). A classic case of someone believing both p and not-p. That is, he is arguing both that Jews who stress their blood line to Israel is a bad thing. And that their being Khazars is also a bad thing (i.e., this makes them have no right to live in Israel). He's against them because "they are all really Khazars". And he's also against the Jews who stress the genetic evidence which disputes that (which it does). It seems that Shlomo Sand is attempting to have it both ways!

Personally, it is a big problem because whatever Jews stress, it will be made to work against them.

Clearly not all Jews can trace their lineage back to Israel because of the many Jewish converts and other factors. (Though this has nothing to do with the Khazars or the Khazar theory.) However, if that's the case, then Leftists will say that Jews have no right to be in Israel. Again, Shlomo Sand, and no doubt other Leftists, would criticise the Jews who emphasise genetics as "racist". Yet this is the man who has also claimed that all European Jews, and by definition American Jews, are Khazars. 
i)So Jews being Khazars denies them a right to Israel. 
ii) Yet Jews stressing the genetic evidence which shows them to be from that part of the world also denies them a right to Israel (because it is "racist").

We have a classic case of a critic of Israeli Jews believing both p and not-p before breakfast. But believing contradictory things doesn't matter to a communist (like Sand) or a Nazi. What matters is destroying Israel. Indeed, in many Leftist and all Nazi cases, what matters is destroying Jews. And destroying Israel is just a roundabout way of destroying Jews.

4) I never argue that there was/is no Khazar ancestry for European Jews. The scholars I quote don't say that either. I'm pretty sure that some Jews do have some Khazar ancestry. However, the Khazar theory is far broader than that and is, indeed, almost entirely politically-driven (even for Koestler!).

5) I use the word "Jew-Hater" because "anti-Semitism" is clinical and it has lost its force. I hope I don't throw the word around either. I aim it at all Nazis, some Leftists (a growing number) and most Islamists. I only accuse one person, directly and by name, of being a "Jew-hater" in the post.

Many Leftists accuse just about everyone they disagree with of being a "racist", "fascist", etc. They rely on endless ad hominems. I don't accuse all people I disagree with of being Jew-haters or anything else for that matter. I'm fairly selective. For a start, Nazis wouldn't deny being against Jews. Most Muslims wouldn't (outside interfaith meetings). Leftists wouldn't deny being against "Zionists" and Israelis; though many would deny being against Jews as a whole. (Though, historically, many Leftists have talked about "Jews" rather than "Zionists" and this is becoming more the case nowadays.)

So what can I say? Some people just are what people claim them to be. And if you can offer arguments and evidence as to why you think someone is an X or a Y, that's fine in my book. Most Leftists rarely offer arguments and evidence. They state things because they assume that someone who believes the wrong thing, they simply must be an X or a Y.

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