September 2019, Week 1
09.01.2019 DNA testing to ‘Prove’ Jewishness is spine chilling Haaretz editorial. Those rascally rabbis are at it again. In Israel, to protect racial purity, Jews cannot legally marry non-Jews. Also, being Jewish positively affects status, prospects for housing, business, education, where you can travel-or not, etc. AND SO, the Rabbinical Courts are pushing DNA testing for the 4,000 or more Israelis (mostly from the former Soviet Union) who are required to prove their Jewishness to the rabbis each year.
Under the Nuremburg Laws the Nazis prohibited Jews from marrying Aryan Germans. As you may expect the comments section full of remarks like, “The Nazis would have loved DNA testing.” Also in the comments are questions about exactly how DNA testing is supposed to work given all the factions, converts to Judaism from other religions, different races, and so on.
[Israelis take the whole Jewish purity thing very seriously and have contentious debates about who is Jewish, or most Jewish, or not really Jewish at all. Generally speaking the two large, distinct Jewish groups in Israel are Ashkenazi Jews who come from European stock (Netanyahu’s grandfather was named Milekowski when he emigrated from Poland), and Mizrahi Jews who are of Middle Eastern stock.) I am guessing this whole DNA screening applies to Ashkenazi Jews only. Why? Because in 2001 The Guardian ran a story on a genetics research team who found that mitochondrial DNA from Mizrahi Jews, and mDNA from Palestinians is virtually identical. The research was published in the scientific journal Human Immunology and generated such a shit-storm among apparently influential people who were incensed that Jews were not genetically special, that they successfully pressured the journal which took the paper off its website, fired the lead researcher from its editorial board, and even took an unheard of step of asking libraries and Universities who’d received hard copies of the journal to tear out that article.]
09.01.2019 Harvard-bound Ismail Ajjawi an inspiration to fellow students. An outstanding student, this 17-year-old Palestinian refugee won a scholarship to Harvard only to have his visa revoked on landing at Logan International Airport in Boston. More to come on this one, no doubt.
09.01.2019 Israeli settlers assault farmer near Bethlehem. Extremist Jewish colonists raiding Palestinian farms attacked a Palestinian farmer who tried to stop them. He was treated for injuries to his face and eye.
09.03.2019 Palestinian student to start classes at Harvard days after being barred from US. The Guardian. That 17-year-old student who some influential people clearly did not want to attend Harvard, is in. He and his family thank all who helped him clear diplomatic hurdles.