'Jewish Gene' Theories Make Waves in Germany, Go Unnoticed in Israel

German politician Thilo Sarrazin and the Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai both believe in 'Jewish genes,' but only Sarrazin is castigated for his belief.

Yesterday's Hebrew edition of Haaretz reported a remark by a German politician that sparked a political and public furor. The foreign and defense ministers, among others, sharply criticized the remark made by Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the German Social Democratic party and a board member of the German central bank.

What is the nature of the comment that is causing a stir in Germany? Here is a quote from Sarrazin's interview with the paper, Welt am Sonntag: "All Jews share a particular gene that makes them different from other peoples."

hagee - Amos Biderman - August 31 2010
Amos Biderman

A Jewish gene? It is unbelievable that race theory continues to hold sway in Germany.

Now read the following pearl: "A convert, if he converts through the Orthodox, he has the Jewish gene. If he doesn't convert through the Orthodox, he doesn't have the Jewish gene. As simple as that." This quote is taken from an interview the interior minister of the Jewish State and the Shas party leader, Eli Yishai, gave to the editor of The Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz (August 8, 2010 ).

Basically, anyone who monitored Yishai's comments on foreign workers and their children need not fall off his chair. This is the place to note that Yishai, a member of the secret group of seven, refused on Sunday to say a thing about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's comments about the Palestinian people.

A week earlier, the "Jewish gene" was proudly cited by singer and actor Yehoram Gaon. On his weekly radio program on Reshet Bet, he told listeners about a scientific study that shows that the Palestinians have "a Jewish gene" and some of them were even graced with the "Cohen gene."

Biologist and Machsom Watch activist Michaela Bahat wrote to the station's manager, Arieh Shaked, that "Judaism is not a genetic trait and no one has ever heard of a genetic trait of cohanim (priests ) - although there is a school (that is controversial ) which maintains that among Jews there are shared DNA sequences, but the use of 'genetics' for the purpose of establishing social or political positions is dangerous, just as any doctrine that tries to link blood and race to human rights is."

A synopsis of Gaon's response: "Take things in proportion. It's just a radio show, not a cabinet session, or even a biology class."

Jewish genetics is apparently a hot topic now because it turns out that John Hagee, the Evangelist preacher whose name recently made headlines as the one who funded Im Tirtzu and decided to withdraw his support for the organization, is an expert on Jewish genetics. In his book, "Who is a Jew?" Hagee claims that Hitler was a half-Jew and a descendant of Esau. In May 2008, at the height of the U.S. election campaign, a tape was distributed in which Hagee claimed that Hitler fulfilled the will of the Lord to bring the Jews back to the Land of Israel, in accordance with the Biblical prophecy. The Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, decided to disassociate himself from Hagee's public support.

A few weeks earlier Hagee was the guest of honor of the city of Ariel. The pro-settler news outlet Arutz Sheva described the "tribute ceremony" by Hagee's supporters in the sports hall named in his honor. "Hundreds of Ariel residents, led by city officials and Mayor Ron Nachman, were moved by the outpouring of love from the Christian friends of Israel and responded in kind with warm applause and embraces, which reached a peak with the singing of the Israeli and U.S. anthems."

During the gathering, Pastor Hagee delivered an aggressive and patriotic address supportive of the State of Israel and decrying the U.S. government's policy of pushing Israel to make security concessions to the Arabs that threaten its existence. "The Land of Israel is the country and the land of the Jews," Hagee said fervently. He earned loud applause when he declared: "We believe that the Jews are the chosen people, God's beloved, and that Jerusalem will be united forever and not divided, under Jewish sovereignty."

Needless to say, the guest did not disclose to his fans what would happen to those of their offspring who will refuse to accept Christianity after all the Jews settle in the Greater Land of Israel.

Nachman told Haaretz yesterday that he is not the only one who benefits from Hagee's generosity. According to him, Jewish federations, Israeli universities and well-known rabbis have been seeking funding from the generous preacher's coffers. Even President Shimon Peres, says Nachman, shook his hand warmly.

Freeze, what freeze?

The stories of residents of the Palestinian village al-Ghaniya in the heart of the West Bank reveal some of the bluff behind the temporary construction freeze. On December 11, 2009, two weeks after the freeze went into effect, a plan to build 200 housing units in the unauthorized Givat Habreikha outpost, near the settlement of Talmon, took effect, completely cutting off al-Ghaniya residents from their lands. A petition submitted by the residents, together with the Bimkom association and the Yesh Din organization, stated that even though the freeze permits continued work only on homes whose foundations were laid before the freeze was issued, since January a dozen new structures have been added to the 64 existing ones.

After the Civil Administration did nothing to halt the illegal construction on their lands, the petitioners claim, they turned a few months ago to the High Court of Justice. Justice Neal Hendel refused to issue an injunction. He accepted the state's position whereby in any case there is a general freeze. The village residents were not amused. They know that even a Supreme Court order has no impact on their neighbors. A petition submitted against the construction of a school in Talmon without a permit won a temporary injunction, and the work there continued until the Civil Administration approved the building and the High Court canceled the injunction. The High Court will hear the petitions next week.