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THE ISRAEL IDENTITY HAPLOGROUP ISSUE

Modern genetic findings are providing some very interesting information about the populations settled in different parts of the world. There are claims that these findings are inconsistent with British-Israel teaching but this article contests them and puts forward the following evidence.

This is an introduction to the topic for those new to the subject and does not pretend to be an exhaustive study. Recombination is the process by which each parent contributes half of an offspring's DNA, creating a new genetic identity. Inside the nucleus of each cell of each individual there are the chromosomes in which there are long strands of DNA. Each human cell has 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs. One chromosome of each pair is inherited from the mother, the other from the father. The X and Y chromosomes determine the sex of the person. Females have two X chromosomes while males have one X and one Y. So if the male contributes an X the offspring will be female, if a Y then the offspring will be male. The male Y chromosome is passed on from father to son virtually unchanged other than the very rare possibility of a mutation occurring. A mutation is a structural alteration in the DNA.

Haplogroups are a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation:

"SNPs are a change in a single nucleotide in a chromosome and occur infrequently; once they occur they are stable and typically define a whole chromosome and become its signature." 1

A haplotype is a set of closely linked genetic markers present on one chromosome which tend to be inherited together. The haplogroups are like genetic branches on the family tree of Homo Sapiens. These branches characterize the early migrations of population groups and therefore haplogroups are associated with geographic regions. A Y DNA haplogroup is all of the male descendants of a male who first showed a particular SNP mutation in his Y chromosome. The Y Haplogroups the World 2005 research map by J D McDonald 2 shows the distribution of the different groups throughout the world.

The large variety of haplogroup markers in the Middle East as illustrated in this map corroborates the biblical account of Assyrian invasions that removed almost the entire population of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and a very large proportion of Judah into Assyria, and replaced them with peoples from various conquered provinces (see II Kings 17:24).

The Anglo-Saxon-Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles and white Caucasian related peoples are predominantly in haplogroup R:

"Y-DNA haplogroup R may be the most numerous Y-DNA in the world today. 11 is the most prominent haplogroup in Europe at ~50% and the United States at ~42% The origin of haplogroup R is located in Central to West Asia, although a precise region has not yet been determined ... The R1b branch is the most abundant European haplogroup and is notoriously prominent in West Europe (levels around 90% in British Isles) R1a is more prevalent occupying East Europe and neighboring West Asia. The complementing pattern of R1b in the west and R1a in the east covers all of Europe and much of Asia. The overall trend for haplogroup R is highest frequencies in Northwest Europe and decreasing in a Southwestern direction." 3

According to Josephus (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11 ch.1) and Esdras (II Esdras 13:39-45) these lost tribes of Israel migrated out of Assyria, and were last recorded beyond the narrow passages of the River Euphrates which rise from the highlands of Armenia in the Black Sea region south of the Caucasus.

Dr. Anne Kristensen, a Danish linguistics scholar, states:

"There is scarcely reason, any longer, to doubt the exciting and verily astonishing assertion propounded by the students of the Ten Tribes that the Israelites deported from Bit Humria. of the House of Omri, are identical with the Gimitrraja (Cimmerians) of the Assyrian sources." 4

The antiquarian Samuel Lysons regards the Cimmerians as Gauls or Celts:

"The Cimmerians seeming to be" Gauls or Celts under a different name. It is observable that the Welsh (a Celtic people) still call themselves 'Cymri ." (Lysons S., Our British Ancestors. 1~65, p.23)

The Jewish Encyclopedia volume 12 outlines several theories as to the fate of the lost tribes of Israel, but under the heading Anglo Israelism makes the following observation:

"The identification of the Sacae, or Scythians, with the Ten Tribes because they appear in history at the same time. and very nearly in the same place, as the Israelites removed by Shalmaneser. is one of the chief supports of the theory which identifies the English people. and indeed the Whole Teutonic race. with the Ten Tribes."

This would allow for an R haplogroup identity of the Northern Kingdom lost tribes of Israel, similar to that of Western Europeans, many of whom according to Milton (History Of Britain, 1670, Book 3, para. 41-43) and Turner (The History of the Anglo Saxons. 1852, volume I, p.82) are known to have originated as Scythians in the Black Sea region of the Middle East.

Moreover it is significant that the:

"Y-DNA Haplogroup R is perhaps the most prominent Y-DNA lineage on Earth today." 5

This observation corresponds with the biblical promise to Ephraim and Manasseh, the birthright tribes of the Israel nation:

"... he (Manasseh) also shalt be great: but truly his younger brother (Ephraim) ... shall become a multitude of nations" (Genesis 48: 19).

The haplogroups JI & J2 which are largely associated with Jews could have developed from R simply by loss of the DNA information that distinguishes J from R. Observed mutations are always the result of lost DNA information. The Jews who are from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi (Ezra I:5) have been separated for some 3,000 years from the Ten Tribes. The Jews were in the Middle East for much longer than the deported Northern Kingdom tribes. The male DNA (Y chromosome) of Jews is close to that of groups who have dwelt in the Middle East for an extended period such as the Kurds, Turks, Armenians and to a lesser degree Arabs.

This length of separation together with inevitable foreign infusion, environmental influences, genetic drift, and so on, is more than enough to explain any differences that may exist between the two peoples.

Furthermore, some combination does occur between the Y and X chromosomes. The Stanford School of Medicine 6 suggests that the Y chromosome not only recombines with up to 5% of the X, it also recombines with its own Y duplicate DNA. There is a need to find evidence that the progression from one haplogroup to another is most likely to have gone from a 'developed' haplogroup (such as R or N) by losing DNA information. This does accord with decades of scientific research into both observed and artificially induced mutations which demonstrate that mutations involve a loss of DNA information.

Finally, Israel identity researchers have continually contended that the Anglo Saxon / Cymri-Celtic / Norman peoples are largely of common stock. This is now demonstrated by current haplogroup data as seen on J D McDonald's (2005) research map.

MARTIN LIGHTFOOT
Martin Lightfoot is to chair a working party to address this important issue. Preliminary discussion has already taken place with other organizations and we are grateful to Yair Davidiy for his input.

  1. http://www.genebase.com/tutorial/item.php?tuld=11
  2. http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~mcdonald/WorldHaplogroupsMap
  3. http://www.genebase.com/tutorial/item. php?tuld= 11
  4. Kristensen. A., Who were the Cimmerians and where did they come from? : 1988
  5. http://www.genebase.com/tutorial/item.php?tuld=11
  6. http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=295

Latest research provides more evidence
Most Britons are direct descendants of farmers who moved west from the Near East 10,000 years ago, a study claims. After analyzing the DNA of more than 2,000 men, researchers at Leicester University say they have compelling evidence that four out of five white Europeans can trace their roots to lands that form part of modem-day Iraq and Syria.

Daily Mail, London, January 20,2010

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