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Koestler recounts the fascinating story of an almost forgotten ancient ...
on 2 June 2016
Koestler recounts the fascinating story of an almost forgotten ancient history of a tribe,the Khazaars,who lived in the 8thcent in an area which extended between the Caucasus and the Volga and who adopted Judaism as their religion in opposition toChristianity and Islam.This commitment has by various routes persisted to this day and Koestler sites this as evidence of the Jewish people's presence in later centuries throuout the world.During the Middle Ages the majority of those who professed the Jewish faith were Khazaars,and a substantial number of these went to Poland,Lithuania and Hungary,where the Eastern Jews were founded,and this in turn became the dominant majority of world Jewry for which there is strong evidence for Khazaar/Turkish derivation.In a chapter 'Race and Myth',it is explained that the Jews of today fall into two main categories:Sephardim and Ashkenazim.In the 1960s the number of Sephardic Jews was estimated at 500,000,whereas the Ashenazic was around eleven million,and so in common parlance 'jew' is almost synonymous with the Ashkenazic Jew.The question as to whether the Jews are a pure race or rather a religious sect is examined,historians whether Austrian,Israeli or Polish,have argued independently that the bulk of modern Jewry is not Palestinian but Caucasian in origin,and the findings of anthropology,contrary to popular view,show that there is no Jewish race,and this is the accepted view today.In summing up,Koestler recognises that there are unavoidable implications inherent in this account,but notes this may be misinterpreted.The State of Israel's right to exist is based on international law.It may be noted that this book,published American edition 1976,and given present history re the Israeli/Palestine conflict,seems to have increasing pertinence today.