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“Ethiopian Jews are an ancient community that had relatively few, if any, Jewish founders from elsewhere…”

September 15, 2012

North African Jewish and Non Jewish Populations Form Distinctive Orthogonal Clusters

Ethiopian Jews fell outside of the main three Jewish genetic clusters with the highest average genetic differentiation compared with all other Jewish groups (FST = 0.047). They were most closely related to non-Jewish Libyans and South Moroccans (FST = 0.019) and then to the other North African and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations. Their closest (yet still quite distant) Jewish neighbors were Yemenite Jews (FST = 0.038). Likewise, they showed little IBD sharing with other Jewish populations (Fig. 3). By STRUCTURE analysis, their ancestry appeared to be of North African, Middle Eastern, and sub-Saharan origin with little European contribution (Fig. 4).
Despite forming a cluster on PCA and neighbor-joining tree that appeared intermediate to Jews and Middle Eastern non-Jews, the Yemenite Jews were genetically closest to Egyptians by FST (0.008), followed by Middle Eastern non-Jews, then Turkish and Greek Jews (FST = 0.010 and 0.012, respectively); however, their mean FST to all other Jewish populations was similar to that of all other Jewish populations with the exception of Ethiopian Jews (SI Appendix, Fig. S4). Their mean levels of IBD sharing with Jewish populations were comparable to the mean levels of IBD sharing of other Jewish populations, except Ethiopian Jews (SI Appendix, Fig. S4). By STRUCTURE analysis, their inferred ancestry was predominantly Middle Eastern and North African with little European contribution.


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  1. markos permalink

    This is totally non-logical approach. They based their study assuming the vast majority of the current Europians Jews are true Jews. The study didn’t rule out the possibility of the contrary, where actually many are Kazarians. It is rather most probable Ethiopian Jews are the only surviving authentic jews given their ancient contact to the biblical land

    • Mr. Markos, It is a very logical and scientific approach based on DNA studies of Jewish people groups. DNA does not lie. The evidence is what it is. We must be honest enough to except the truth where ever the evidence leads even if the evidence is contrary to our myths, traditions,and stories of what we once believed. Evidence is better than myth. Truth is better than fiction.

  2. God does not make mistakes on who to return to Israel, most Blake’s who claim to be Jewish are not, they want to move to Israel for economical reasons only.

  3. the smitic jew permalink

    in the ethiopian jewish group thers sub-group calld “baria” they are sub-sharan group,not like the ethiopian jews who see themself as semitic pepole frome the middle east and is forbbiden to marry them,to the “baria”.the testers of the DNA tests do not now about this,sorry,you have try again.

    • “The slaves, known as BARYA, 4 to this day constitute a separate, well-defined group. The term barya simultaneously denoted employment, status, and origin and was juxtaposed against the term chewa, which designated a free human being assumed to be educated and civilized. 5 Even after the official abolition of slavery in Ethiopia and the prohibition of the slave trade in 1924, and even after Emperor Haile Selassie’s anti-slavery proclamation in 1931, 6 the slaves remained a de facto part of family property and continued to be bequeathed from one generation to the next.

      BARYA SLAVES WERE INAUGURATED INTO THE BETA ISRAEL BY A CONVERSION PROCESS RENDERING them barya falasha, distinct from the barya of other groups.Despite their conversion, however, their separate origin is fastidiously maintained in the collective memory (Salamon 1994b, 1995, 1999). As a sub-group located both within and outside the boundaries of the Jewish group, the barya figure prominently in the Beta Israel consciousness, particularly in all that pertains to Jewish self-identity. I have documented this system of slavery as it existed among the Beta Israel in Ethiopia in previous publications (Salamon 1994b:72-88, 1995, 1999).

      Although the BETA ISRAEL’S SLAVES WERE CONVERTED TO JUDAISM AND IMMIGRATED WITH THEIR MASTERS TO ISRAEL, the chewa/barya hierarchy was not erased with immigration, and it continues to cast its shadow on the dynamic inherent in the encounter with “white” Israeli society. The racial constructs underlying and permeating this encounter are in constant flux, as racial boundaries are perpetually being redefined not only over time, but also in varying contexts.In the present paper, focusing on stories and story fragments selected from my ethnographic research with the Beta Israel, I listen for the actual and potential heterogeneity and nuances of these dynamic racial coordinates.

      Excerpted from: Blackness in Transition: Decoding Racial Constructs through Stories of Ethiopian Jews, by Hagar Salamon

      See also: Hagar Salamon, “Reflectiotrs of Ethiopian Cultural Patterns on the Beta Israel Absorption in Israel: The “Barya” case” in Steven Kaplan, Tudor Parfitt & Emnuela Trevisan Semi (Editors), Between Africa and Zion: Proceeding of the First International Congress of the Society for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry, Ben-Zvi Institute, 1995, ISBN 978-965-235-058-9, p.126-127

    • A 2002 study of mitochondrial DNA (which is passed through only maternal lineage to both men and women) by Thomas et al. showed that THE MOST COMMON MTDNA TYPE FOUND AMONG THE ETHIOPIAN JEWS SAMPLE WAS PRESENT ONLY IN SOMALIA. This further supported the view that all Ethiopian Beta Israel were of local or Ethiopian origin.[43]

      A 2009 study of autosomal DNA (which is inherited from both parents) by Tishkoff et al. observed that the BETA ISRAEL WERE PREDOMINANTLY OF THE CUSHITIC GENETIC CLUSTER, typically found in populations from East Africa.

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