Many surprised by genetic and cultural links between Palestinians and Jews

Chromosome for the Cohen, “priestly” line, shows up in Palestinians

 In some of the dry and dusty Palestinian and Bedouin villages they still circumcise their boys after the seventh day. Hidden away in some Palestinian homes are Jewish mezuzahs and tefillin. Some older residents can recall lighting candles on the Sabbath.

Israeli and Palestinian boys

“Many of the Palestinians know it, but it’s not politically correct to acknowledge this publicly among Muslims,” says Steve Hagerman, founder of Turkish World Outreach. “There are two houses of Israel in the Holy Land: one aligned with the West and primarily secular or Jewish and the other aligned with the East and primarily Islam.”

When the northern kingdom of Israel was deported by the Assyrians in 745-702 B.C., most were sent to the east, Hagerman notes. After the Roman conquest, many Jews were carried away as slaves or fled to the west. “Many of the people in southern and central Italy are of Jewish origin, because so many slaves were carried away by the Romans to big estates in southern Italy.”

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