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Former good article nomineeKhazars was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
April 17, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
June 10, 2005Peer reviewReviewed
January 24, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee


I modified this recent edit, but hastily wrote not fully RS- Vostok Oriens is. But the point is that we should go carefully because, peer-review in a journal is one thing, and waiting for scholarly response to an article just published, given the claim by the editor that this explains the 'real reason' for the eclipse of Khazaria, is important. Collapses and declines rarely, if ever, show themselves to be monocausal, as the edit suggested. Nishidani (talk) 10:52, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revert of recent addition about Khazar anti-Semitism[edit]

This revert[1] by @Nishidani I would like to discuss. I would like to find a reasonable compromise to add the material I added about the Khazar conspiracies in recent social media. Andre🚐 14:25, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why are these theories even being repeated in detail on this page when they have their own page and the prevailing view is that they are largely fringe? Iskandar323 (talk) 14:35, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The proposed additional sentence is "The idea has also been promoted by contemporary anti-Semitic groups on social media, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee." I don't see that this is amplifying the fringe idea. But people should be able to read on the Khazars page that it is associated with anti-Semitic theories even to today in modern discussions. There is already a section on this page called "Use in antisemitic polemic" which I was adding it to. Andre🚐 15:08, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My Q is why add anything to this section when it should really just be cut down? News-ish material on the Khazar hypothesis surely belong there. Iskandar323 (talk) 16:08, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure I agree it should be cut down. It's a notable aspect of this topic. And I don't think it's newsish simply to say the idea has been promoted by contemporary anti-Semitic groups. It happens to be a topic that's currently relevant due to the rise of anti-Semitism, the Ukraine war, Black Hebrew Israelites being in the news and so on. However that doesn't mean any treatment of it is necessarily recentism or newsism. If anything, the Khazar conspiracy theory is actually quite old and stale, it comes and goes in waves, but we can explain to our readers more about it. Andre🚐 18:18, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Remember that the conspiracy theories, which might be interesting in themselves, are not the topic of this article.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:43, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've added similar text to the Khazar hypothesis of Ashkenazi ancestry‎ article. Though I don't see why this section which was preexisting on this article, couldn't have that as well. Andre🚐 19:20, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's just unnecessary. Since the hypothesis has it's own article and is clearly linked, all we need on this page is a simplified summary. Iskandar323 (talk) 19:42, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Andrevan's edit continues a polemic with me, as if I had some hidden objection to the use of the ADL as a source. The simple matter is that there is an extensive literature on Soviet-Russian antisemitism and the use of the Khazar hypothesis. This passage is already in the text with two expansive footnotes.

It has also played some role in Soviet antisemitic chauvinism[note 114] and Slavic Eurasian historiography; particularly, in the works of scholars like Lev Gumilev,[247]

In an article that has endeavoured to cover and synthesize the essential facts about the Khazars, adding passing details of the recent blip in fringe sites that mention this is pointless precisely because we have already noted that it is widespread in Russian antisemiticv chauvinism. As such expanding this is a case of WP:Notnews. We should be focusing on adding recent research on the wider history of the Khazars, which is far more interesting that harping on recent prtedictable instances of a tendency already noted.Nishidani (talk) 21:07, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You say you don't object to it, but you removed the edit. If you have a different source that would be OK. Instead you reverted all of my changes, so that's why we are discussing it to try to come to an agreement: not a polemic. What I'm looking to add is some information of the contemporary usage of the Khazar conspiracy by anti-Semites such as the Black Hebrew Israelites or QAnon or Russian actors: which is not a blip, but in fact on the rise and increasingly common. I am not opposed to adding new research about the history either if there is such to add. Andre🚐 21:10, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm misread again, sigh. Please learn to read in context. The ADL piece on fringe lunatic Russophile antisemitic-Khazar outbursts in blogs after the Ukraine war began is useful, but not for this article, because it is something any reader here would be able to predict. I damn myself for not having shared what I said in conversation with a friend when the war exploded precisely to that end. We mention this silly Slavophile meme already and don't need to highlight it on the basis of passing areal tragedies by where it is predictably exhumed. If we entered QAnon, twitter twat, facebook crap on every topic touched on by those moronic outlets, wikipedia would not be an encyclopedic synthesis of scholarship illuminating the ignorant, but a terrible echo chamber of idiots screaming for attention. Nishidani (talk) 21:39, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand - you're not objecting to the source being reliable but you think it's too much weight and detail for this article - roughly per Iskandar as well - is that a fair paraphrase? Andre🚐 21:41, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brook 2022[edit]

Nishidani also reverted my removal of the statement that Brook 2022 offers support for the possible-Khazar connection to Ashkenazi Jews. I paged through Brook and it really doesn't seem that he did in fact say that. Can we discuss that? Andre🚐 20:42, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't consider Brook 2022 a reliable source. Reading it today strengthens this impression. Brook has zero background in molecular biology, he says much that is sheer nonsense and cites on crucial controversial points blog opinions expressed by Leo Raphael Cooper, a co-administrator of several Family Tree DNA projects. I can't see any research by Cooper published after peer-review. Brook can be cited gor the idea Ashkenazi have a major ME component, no, hang on, then he state s genetics establishes their links to the 'ancient Israelites', whoops!, actually he then affirms a 'Judean' connection. (We have bone DNA from Israel of unknown identity. Correct me if I am wrong in stating that there is no paper yet published claiming a genetic link between Ashkenazi and Judeans). As I said elsewhere. If Brook aside from his WP:Promo presence on the other page, touting his book, gets a positive analytic review from a molecular biologist, this can be reconsidered. One does not cite historians on the intricacies of quantum physics, esp. if the historians venture into their own assessments or develop their own theories on the science. We go directly to the relevant specialist literature. This is being violated here.Nishidani (talk) 21:22, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine, so can we just remove Brook then? Andre🚐 21:23, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On genetics yes. Brook's books symmarizing research on Khazar history are a different matter.Nishidani (talk) 21:28, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. I removed the part that I thought was the part to remove, but if I was overzealous you can put part of it back. Andre🚐 21:31, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Brook has been positively reviewed by the geneticist Karl Skorecki. I think that would probably qualify as a positive review by a relevant expert (along with the book having peer-reviewed). Skllagyook (talk) 21:54, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you link me to Skorecki's professional review? All I have seen so far is a blurblike boost from that source of one or two paragraphs, not properly a serious review.Nishidani (talk) 23:08, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to his bio he "pursued postgraduate clinical and research training in Internal Medicine, Nephrology, and Molecular Biology... He also served as Director of the Rappaport Research Institute between 2000-2015, launching major novel research programs in Stem Cell and Human Genetics Research" but, he sounds more like a kidney doctor than a DNA guy. Andre🚐 22:09, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He seems like a relevant expert (whether he's best described chiefly as a geneticist or a molecular biologist). He clearly has a background in genetics. And molecular biology is relevant also (as Nishidani points out above). And he's been a coauthor on several highly-cited population genetics papers with prominent geneticists, along with many on medical topics including molecular biology and medical genetics. See here: Skllagyook (talk) 22:35, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not challenging Skorecki to which you direct me, but Cooper, whom Brook takes as bible, and who had a medical background yes, but no academic standing since he appears to be engaged in the business of serving people who pay to have their identity tracked down, their DNA, something which has been criticized as problematical in terms of neutrality. Brook cites him mainly from where he blogs. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why Megiddo DNA is Israelite, or some other obscure sample Judean. Brook states things like that and I can find no independent academic source for these claims, which sound liuke blog speculation. Really, one does need some independent scholarly reflections on this for it to pass muster.Nishidani (talk) 23:04, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not saying he's a reliable expert but if we find him otherwise reliable but for the blog thing, WP:SELFPUBLISHED treats self-published blogs by qualified experts as reliable. I'm not sure that's what the issue is here. I think the issue is whether a minority view that's generally rejected is WP:DUE for this article. You keep coming back to the Israelite/Judea thing, which is really not what's being discussed at all. There are several historical polities in the Middle East, and we're not trying to prove anything about any connection to them here. If we're saying that Brook and Skorecki are fringe and partisan, then I get it. Andre🚐 23:15, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see in what way Skorecki can be considered fringe. The papers he has coauthored on population genetics do not appear to be fringe (some of which also include prominent mainstream scholars as coauthors), nor is his molecular biology work fringe as far as I am aware. There is some dispute here over whether Brooks 2022 is a reliable source (due to his non-expert status). But the opinion he expresses in his book does not appear to be fringe. Skllagyook (talk) 23:22, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Skorecki has nothing to do with this. He wrote a blurb. We are talking about Brook and his use of blogs by people with no academic expertise or published record in paleogenetics, Brook and Cooper. And it is crucially important to note that for Brook, ME, Israelite, Judea are used irresponsibly as if they were all synonyms. Nishidani (talk) 23:28, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let's suspend for the moment the idea that Brooks is automatically unreliable due to his apparent desire to equate ME with ancient Jewish states. Do we have any corroborating sources other than Skorecki, that either cite Brook and find him reliable, or have questioned his reliability or asserted lack thereof? If Skorecki is the only reviewer and he's a reliable population geneticist, is that sufficient for Brook to be reliable? A reliable prominent well-cited expert would have several positive reviews and cites, no? Andre🚐 23:44, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure. But I believe Brooks was only published this year a few months ago. So it doesnt seem too surprising that there are not more. Skllagyook (talk) 23:55, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is the quality of Brook's evidence from the very start

  • Statement (a very large claim)

Approximately half, or a little more than half, of the genetic ancestry of Ashkenazic Jews from Eastern Europe traces back to the ancient Middle East. Ashkenazim have partial similarities to the autosomal DNA in ancient bones from Tel Megiddo (northern Israel)15 and other parts ofthe Middle East.'p.2

  • Source = n15 p.144 is a blog comment by a non-specialist.

In post #10690 in Anthrogenica thread

Levantine-admixture/page1069 dated March 10, 2021, accessed January 21, 2022, Leo R. Cooper presented the results of a model he worked on for Ashkenazim from Germany that showed them to be 42.4 percent like Middle/Late Bronze Age samples from Tel Megiddo.'

Look.That is prima facie shit/crap documentation (probably going back to an unpublished view by Bennett Greenspan) reflecting a total lack of comprehension of academic methodology. And that's just the second page.Nishidani (talk) 23:51, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do have to agree that citing a forum threads and familytreedna posts is not the quality of referencing we would expect. Leo R. Cooper is cited no less than 39 times in the book. Andre🚐 23:57, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With due respect, you folks have no idea what you're speaking of. Leo R. Cooper has made some important contributions to genetic research, beyond what professional scientists had done, and as a result he became a co-author of last month's finalized Erfurt Jewish study (Waldman 2022). Nishidani is also being somewhat dishonest because he ignored the other statement on page 3 that some Jewish ancestors had arrived from different parts of the Middle East, including Iran and the Arab lands, and that Brook 2022 does not treat Israelite/Israel/Judea and the Middle East as synonyms, yet a Israelite component is stated to be part of that mix, which is not a fringe view and is consistent with what is known of Jewish history. Moreover, your fixation on the fact that Cooper's research was incorporated and that Family Tree DNA's database was used led you to ignore the fact that Brook 2022 cites massive numbers of scientific journal articles. 2600:1000:B16B:933:607F:DF48:A5DB:D821 (talk) 04:57, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do see that Cooper is listed as a co-author on the Erfurt paper, as an "independent scholar, Kalamazoo, MI." I'm not sure that one co-author credit makes him a credentialed subject-matter expert. Andre🚐 05:11, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My comments above about Cooper also apply to Brook 2022's citations of Ariel Lomes. Admixture estimates by Lomes pertaining to the inclusion of a potential Greek ancestral element were used within Waldman 2022 and Lomes is also a co-author of that study. As for Andrevan's questioning whether Brook 2022 truly said anything that could be construed in support of a Khazar element, see page 140: "I previously thought that their haplogroups N9a3 and A12'23 also came from Chinese women but we need to reopen the possibility that one or both of those could have been Khazarian because of the close Bashkir, Chechen, and Ingush matches to the former and the close Uzbekistani Turkmen and ancient Central Asian matches to the latter." 2600:1000:B16B:933:607F:DF48:A5DB:D821 (talk) 05:05, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's very different than Brook saying that Ashkenazi Jews likely had a significant Khazar element. That a couple haplogroups in the data set could possibly match to a Khazar OR several other types of ethnic groups that could well be around in Eastern Europe, is not the same as Brook expressing new support for the hypothesis. Andre🚐 05:13, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So. While awaiting for our correspondent to reply to my query below, we have so far a new book by Kevin Brook. It proposes his personal hypothesis about Ashkenazi origins. It challenges an established research result by specialists as a 'myth' (Costa, Richard et al 2013)). Brook has no formal knowledge of molecular genetics. Nonetheless he claims to have discovered new details on Ashkenazi origins no scientist in the field has ever noted. The only endorsement comes from Karl Skorecki, an Israeli nephrologist with a background in genetics, i.e., a blurb. The book has yet to be reviewed by specialists in paleogenetics. Mr Brook appears to be using wikipedia to promote his work, which draws extensively on an 'independent researcher' and his blog posts, and also on commercial companies like My Family DNA which have a vested interest in promoting as a sales spin the notion that for a sum, they can provide you with info about your ancestors 2-3,000 years ago (as I noted, we all have a common ancestor if the date range goes back that far). Nishidani (talk) 13:27, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, I'm sure I am not telling y'all any new information here, but worth mentioning, on the DNA analysis service point, AFAIK most of the DNA companies like 23andme, myHeritage, Ancestry etc., simply indicate "95% Ashkenazi Jewish, 5% Northern European" and the like, and they don't have an ability to break down admixture within the Ashkenazi area to its European and ME component. Additionally, due to the population bottleneck[2] or endogamy, commercial DNA analysis will tend to think that all Ashkenazi Jews are related since all descend from the same group of fewer than 350-500 people around 1000-1750 years ago (YMMV on the exact numbers, have seen lower). There are a bunch of tools and websites and amateur forums and blogs like Eurogenes and whatnot where people have come up with what they think certain markers are based on original independent research. The DNA companies themselves will periodically update their estimates as well. For example, my girlfriend is from a Filipino background and considers her 98.3% Filipino, 1.1% Chinese, and 0.4% Spanish and Portuguese, but at one point it had a larger percentage for the Iberian that it has now decided to consider Filipino. These numbers aren't scientific enough for Wikipedia and curational studies like Brook that rely on FTDNA posts should be considered WP:PRIMARY. We should wait until reliable secondary sources or major scientific studies with secondary sourcing (such as Waldman which had front-page coverage in Cell and Science simultaneously last week) talk about this, and not rely on Brook alone and his speculations. Whether N9a3 and A12'23 came from an Asian source according to amateur genealogists and amateur population genetics researchers, isn't enough to say conclusively that it's evidence for or against the Khazar hypothesis unless secondary sources interpret it as such. Andre🚐 14:58, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nishidani is also being somewhat dishonest because he ignored the other statement on page 3 that some Jewish ancestors had arrived from different parts of the Middle East, including Iran and the Arab lands

No, Mr Brooks. I have never denied that some element in the Ashkenazi profile derives from some part of the Middle East, - calculations vary from 3% to 60%- indeed I have emphasized that several times, your remark is indicative of disattention. You are using blogs by people in the business of providing identity profiles in return for payment. I asked you how on earth is the claim you made on p.2 corroborated by the note (15) which you cite to validate your assertion. You dodged this, talking your way past the crux. Well, explain it here. Where is the Megiddo connection to contemporary Ashkenazi scientifically attested?Nishidani (talk) 10:29, 9 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Regarding Wexler, my understanding is that his theory that Yiddish has a Slavic or Iranian origin was rejected by Yiddish linguists. Andre🚐 21:50, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The consensus is against Wexler, yes. Wexler is nonetheless a distinguished and extremely erudite Yiddish linguist, who trained under one of the greatest scholars on that topic. But he, unlike most of his colleagues in that area, works within a wider linguistic continuum involving over 20 languages. It's so far a minority dissenting voice, and we note that everywhere.Nishidani (talk) 23:04, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the portion which I removed and you restored, could we add something about how his theory isn't considered reasonable by most Yiddish linguists? Andre🚐 23:09, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
'Reasonable?' It's contested in terms of phonological construction, not because his theory is 'unreasonable'. Unreasonable theories do not, as his recent magnum opus (2021, 1420 pages), which I've just cited at Kaifeng Jews, draw on such a vast and closely reasoned documentation to buttress their argument. As to adding that it's a minority view, one could add the adjective 'dissenting' or something like that, but since so many have, in this area, laboured intensely everytime Elhaik or Wexler comes up, to assure the readership, at every turn, that these scholars are rubbish, I think this kind of mechanical gloss overegging the pud, or trying to sway the readership. I prefer outlining a controversy neutrally without trying to spin it.Nishidani (talk) 23:23, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have added "Paul Wexler, dissenting from the majority of Yiddish linguists," per your comment Andre🚐 23:40, 8 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The meaning of Khazar[edit]

This is just a prediction, it would need further research, but I propose that the word Khazar came from the Persian word 'hezâr', or one of the variants, meaning one thousand. Therefore, I propose that it took the meaning of 'great' in Khazar, where the Khazar Khaganate simply means the Great Khaganate. 14:06, 1 February 2023 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by EmilePersaud (talkcontribs) Reply[reply]

You may be right but we need WP:RS Andre🚐 16:01, 1 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course and in the future I will see what I can find. My theory is backed up by the spread of that Persian root, from Hungarian [3] to Nepali [4]. I also checked the wikipedia topic article of Hazar, and it says that in Turkish, they call the Khazars as Hazar, strengthening my theory. 13:00, 6 February 2023 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by EmilePersaud (talkcontribs) Reply[reply]
"Róna-Tas connects qasar with Kesar, the Pahlavi transcription of the Roman title Caesar." I'm almost certain that this explanation is folk etymology, though. 13:18, 6 February 2023 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by EmilePersaud (talkcontribs) Reply[reply] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vurzibigjo (talkcontribs) 13:47, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]