Jews and the Khazars Again
My research refutes 40 years of genetic studies, all of which have assumed that the Jews constitute a group that is genetically isolated from other nations…
The article in Haaretz goes on to say that:
His study is based on comprehensive genetic data published in other studies. In the absence of such data on the Khazars themselves, Elhaik – following a procedure commonly used by researchers in his field – relied on figures relating to populations that are genetically similar to the Khazars, such as Georgians, Armenians and Caucasians. Elhaik says “they have all emerged from the same genetic ‘soup.’” After conducting numerous analyses utilizing various techniques, some of which have never been employed before, the researcher discovered what he describes as the Khazar component of European Jewry. According to his findings, the dominant element in the genetic makeup of European Jews is Khazar. Among Central European and East European Jews, this component is the most dominant in their genome, accounting for 38 and 30 percent, respectively.
Elkhaik’s article can be found here. I can’t comment on the genetics component, although see this critique, but his information about research into Jewish history is not very strong. Most of the sources that he cites are outdated and he relies heavily on the linguistic work of Paul Wexler, whose research may not even fully support Elhaik’s claims.
While journal articles are often submitted a long time before their publication, it should be noted that Moshe Gil recently published both a newspaper (H) and a scholarly article about the legend that the Khazars converted to Judaism. Gil examined the origins of this legend and found it to be just that, legend. See this summary of Gil’s opinion. For more discussion of the question see here.