DNA Suggests Widespread Jewish Ancestry among Latin Americans

Dec. 26 2018

When Spain expelled its Jewish population in 1492, tens of thousands opted to convert to Catholicism rather than leave. Yet these conversos and their descendants faced legal discrimination, social prejudice, and sometimes-justified suspicion that they remained secretly faithful to Judaism—suspicion that could lead to torture and execution. Untold numbers therefore left Iberia for the Americas, where it was easier to disguise their ancestry and where they hoped to get away from the long arm of the Inquisition. In recent decades, many Latin Americans, from Colorado to Argentina, have reported family legends, customs that may be vestiges of crypto-Jewish practice, and other claims of Jewish descent. Now there is some science to back up these claims, writes Sarah Zhang:

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Conversos, Genetics, History & Ideas, Latin America, Spanish Expulsion

 

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank