Are Jews White?


A Jewish convict in California has applied to the state’s courts to have the penal system reclassify him from “white” to “other”, for practical reasons of personal security: When the prison is locked down because of any clash among prisoners, prisoners are segregated on ethnic lines. That means in a moment of stress in the prison, he’d find himself sharing a cell with Aryan Nation thugs, for whom his yarmulke is an invitation to a pogrom. But while his purposes are prudent, Steven Liebb has raised an interesting question. Even more interesting, perhaps, is the extent to which that question makes many Jews uncomfortable.

Jews, historically, are no more “white” than Jesus was. Our roots are Semitic, not European. And the emergence of more typically “European” features among some of us – blond or red hair, blue eyes, for example, or even simply the pinkish skin that is misnamed “”white” (as Steve Biko pointed out when asked how people with brown skin could call themselves “”black”) – all of these are likely signs of our interaction with others in Europe, whether on fortuitous terms or unfortunate ones. (When Woody Allen wailed “My grandmother was too busy being raped by Cossacks,” he wasn’t speaking only for himself – and Jewish law had accomodated such realities hundreds of years previously, in the early centuries of the Diaspora, by making a Jewish mother the source of the faith’s genetic transfer.)

But the term “white” as Steven Liebb in his prison cell has recognized has little to do with features, or even with culture or ethnicity. As the South African experience taught all too well, “white” is simply a political boundary, a term of inclusion and exclusion.

I was also reminded of the odd relationship between Jewish identity and “whiteness” recently when a friend forwarded to me one of those bizarre emails that circulate among right-wing Zionists revealing supposedly “expert” arguments in defense of their most vile prejudices – this one ostensibly from a Spanish columnist in Europe crying crocodile tears for the Jews of Auschwitz — by destroying its Jews, the argument went, Europe had instead inherited “20 million Muslims who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty.” I responded angrily, in an email, that the Spanish had actually driven out their Jews, along with their Muslims, in 1492, almost 500 years before Auschwitz. And as for “stupidity and ignorance,” his column was evidence that those qualities had continued to flourish in the interim. But it was worth noting that the Muslims of Andalusia had, in fact, introduced in Europe everything from mathematics to toothpaste, deodorant and laundry detergent.

But then I got to thinking about why it was that feeble-minded Zionists would draw comfort and relief from the crocodile tears of a Spanish racist, suddenly willing to recognize the Jews as an ally against the “Muslim horde.” (That also overlooked the fact that it was for the most part in the lands of Islam that Spanish Jews took refuge from Christian persecution in Spain. And we shared with the Muslims a common victimization at the hands of the Inquisition and the Crusades. When Saladdin drove the Crusaders from Jerusalem, the first thing he did was invite the Jews to return — the great Rabbi and philosopher Maimonides was the personal physician to Saladdin, the most venerated Muslim warrior in history.) But something tells me the people who circulate these emails would be very uncomfortable with the knowledge that for hundreds of years, we were far more at home with the Muslims — even a militant jihadi like Saladdin — than we ever were among the Christians of the West. Nor would they, and probably many other Jews, be comfortable acknowledging that we might not be entirely “white.”

I was invited, growing up in apartheid South Africa, to imagine myself as “White.” I lived in neighborhoods reserved for white people, went to schools reserved for white people, where I was taught the brittle racist mythologies that undergirded minority rule; I was allowed the vote (although I never exercised it) and was expected to serve two years in the military, like other white men my age. (Another piece of South African “whiteness” I managed to avoid.) But at the same time, there was never any doubt that we Jews were accepted as “white” somewhat under sufferance.

Although a small number of British and German Jews had settled in the Cape in the 19th century, when the first Ostjuden arrived in the rough and tumble mining town that was Johannesburg towards the turn of that century, they were widely, if somewhat inexplicably, termed “Peruvians.” The “white” people of South Africa had also placed immigration quotas on Jews in the 1930s. Like Greek and Portuguese South Africans, we were labeled “see-kaffirs” (“ocean-niggers”) by some Afrikaners – politically unreliable; culturally alien; preferred soccer to rugby (that being, in the apartheid imagination, a “black” game over a “white” game); and, in the case of Jews, we bore the burden of the inherited stereotype that the “whites” of South Africa had brought from Christian Europe (stingy, conniving, untrustworthy, damned by the killing of Christ, that sort of thing…) as well as the latterday suspicion, grounded perhaps in the wildly disproportionate number of Jews among “white” people who had actively aligned themselves with the liberation movement, that we were all inclined to be “kaffir-boeties” (culturally translated as “nigger-lovers”).

Despite the resulting low-intensity social anti-semitism, the regime needed all the help it could get. Even though many of them had been active Nazi sympathizers, they had enough realpolitik to welcome the Jews into the system – even more so when they began a fruitful military collaboration with Israel, one of the few countries willing to ignore international sanctions against the apartheid regime.

But South Africa was also a good education in the meaning of “white.” It implied no singularity of identity, but rather an exclusion set, as captured in the traditional apartheid signs on all amenities reserving them either “For Whites Only” or for “Non-Whites Only.”

The meaning of “white” is best illustrated by a slang term I encountered at school: someone deemed to be trying to act above their station was accused of “getting white,” as in “don’t get white, hey!”(Of course this was used among people classified white, and the put down was in implying that someone else wasn’t, because to be other than white in apartheid South Africa was to be subordinate.) The apotheosis of this usage, for me, came in a documentary by Guy Spiller, in which he recorded a white working-class family watching TV footage of the release of Nelson Mandela. “Fuck it,” one of the sons clucks resignedly, “the kaffirs have been getting white lately, but now… now, they’re going to get whiter than white.”

And then of course there was the “flexibility” in the system driven by realpolitik. The B-List soul singer Percy Sledge came to Cape Town in 1970, and was put up at the President Hotel, which was reserved for “Whites Only.” It was good for the system to have Percy there, though, separately entertaining black and white audiences with “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Come Softly,” however, so an accommodation was made: Percy was housed in a separate suite, in which he was served his meals and held his parties, in the process pioneering a new category in apartheid legalese that allowed others to follow: He was the system’s first “honorary white.”)

So are Jews “white”?

Well, we’ve begun to establish that this is a political rather than “ethnic” question. We weren’t for a long time, although that began to change in Western Europe in the wake of the Reformation. And in the last century, many of us have been, uh, acting white. For various political, economic and moral reasons, we’ve been accepted into the mainstream “white” establishment in much of the West. The Zionist movement in its early discourse explicitly appealed to the European imperial powers on the basis that Jews emigrating to Palestine would help bear “the white man’s burden,” serving as an outpost of Western civilization against the native hordes. And it’s hardly surprising to me that once that outpost was established, the apartheid regime recognized it as a fellow traveler, an outpost of Western civilization defending itself against the brown-skinned hostiles.

Mensch-edik Bolshevik:
Joe Slovo

In South Africa, of course, the mainstream leadership of the Jewish community did its best to persuade the apartheid regime of its “whiteness,” and to distance itself from Jews (like Joe Slovo, Dennis Goldberg and Ruth First) had become leaders of the liberation movement. Rather than taking pride in the fact, they were acutely embarrassed by the preponderance of Jews among the white faces in the dock alongside Mandela, or in the ranks of the ANC more generally. I’ll never forget debating the head of the Jewish Board of Deputies at an annual Habonim camp on “The Role of Jews in South Africa.” After my pep talk about a Jew’s place being in the struggle, and how these idealistic young people would find a natural home there in a movement that has long idolized the likes of Dennis Goldberg (then a political prisoner jailed along with Mandela), Joe Slovo (then commander of the ANC’s armed wing), Ray Alexander, Rusty Bernstein and so on; the Board of Deputies guy stepped up and began “Jews are not radicals, Jews are not subversives…” Now he was talking to an audience of 17-year-old in their second week of a socialist summer camp, where the air was filled with raging teenage hormones, the occasional whiff of weed and rampant change-the-world idealism. And this while the townships were burning. Let’s just say it was no contest. After all, if Judaism is about values and ethics, rather than just a tribal identity, then anyone who wasn’t a subversive or a revolutionary in apartheid South Africa wasn’t a very good Jew. Trying to be “white” in South Africa wasn’t a very Jewish choice for Jews.

And between the collaborationist instinct of the Board of Deputies in the apartheid years, and the glee that right-wing Zionists appear to feel when they mail around diatribes by some Spanish fascist arguing that the big mistake of Europe’s “whites” was to rid themselves of their Jews, there is a link.

Let’s just say when Jews try too hard to be “white” they often end up in political spaces where no Jew should feel comfortable.

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94 Responses to Are Jews White?

  1. fred lapides says:

    A lot of what you say is sensible. However, what the Muslims were like in 1400s is not what they are like today! And they were ok back then with minorities so long as those minorities gave special rights to Muslims an dpaid taxes as requirted of them (additional) Further, there is no such thing as Race–black and Whites and yellows all evolved from an early African being.

    You belittle Zionists but those entitlted to homeland and granted this right by the UN have as much right to their nation as you and blacks to South Africa…take care of your own self, people, place and don’t mock those of your own religion.

  2. Frederick Bendell says:

    Why do you think all Zionists are right-wing? You are so very guilty, throughout your piece, of the kind of rigid categorization of individuals into blocs and identically-thinking groups. Allow Jews of all varieties to have their own singular opinions and ‘take’ on Zionism and on everything else.

    I’m a Zionist and I sometimes cringe at the acts of the Israeli govt, but I also wholeheartedly support other moves they make. I’m a bit more complicated than your reductionist model.

  3. Tony says:

    Fred — as you say, Israel was created by an act of the UN and has all the same rights as any other nation. And I wholeheartedly support those Jews who choose to live there exercising the righ to do so in peace and security. But Zionism is about more than that, it’s an ideology that has always been based on the premise that Jews don’t actually belong in the Diaspora, that Israel is there home. That’s what I object to, because that is the same conclusion as the anti-Semites. And frankly it’s no coincidence that the founder of modern Zionism, Theodore Herzl, spoke about anti-Semitism as natural and inevitable. I don’t agree with that. Israelis have a right to their own nationhood, but their nationhood does not include me, and they have no right to claim to speak for me.

    Frederick: I don’t think all Zionists are right-wing at all — I was a left-wing Zionist myself in my younger days — that’s why I used the phrase “right-wing Zionists” — when you used an adjective in that way it means you’re specifying a particular type of that noun, i.e. Zionists who are right-wing. If all Zionists were right-wing then the adjective would be redundant. It’s precisely because I’m very well acquainted with the different strands of Zionism that I used the phrase “right wing Zionists” — presumably you don’t identify with those. But that doesn’t mean they’re not Zionists.

    Not sure what my “reductionist model” is, but for me it boils down to whether you believe Israel is the “national home” of all Jews, or whether you believe it is the home of the Israelis. I believe it is the latter; therefore, I am not a Zionist.

  4. Jews Aren't White says:

    Jews most certainly ARE NOT White, that is, European. For instance, Jews don’t look or act like Scandinavians, who many would consider to be archetypal Whites.

    As you write in your post, Jews are ‘Orientals’ — however, some part of me thinks that Jews WISH that they were White.

    Jews have infiltrated White (European) culture more than any other, and have wielded tremendous influence in (White) Europe and White America. This was shattered during WWII, when Nazi Germany obiliterated European Jewry. However, Jews still ‘control’ another largely White nation, that being the USA.

    Part of the reason is that Jews cannot ‘fit in’ anywhere else in the World — Arabs have long since disowned Jews, and they could never infiltrate Africa or Asia due to obvious physical differences.

    In many ways, Jews should thank the ‘patience’ of White people — even though Jews have been expelled from over 80 countries over the past few thousand years, Whites are the ones that continue to accept them back.

  5. Tony says:

    I guess you can’t write an entry like this without attracting the occasional neo-Nazi. “Archetypal whites?” “Whie, that is, European”? “Obvious physical differences”. (Between Jews and Arabs?) Don’t make me laugh with your silly Nazi genetics and a historical crap about what European is — Jews have always been part of Europe, they didn’t “infiltrate” it, they were living in Rome for 200 years before Christianity even arrived there.

    You have a problem with people with “obvious physical differences”? Send a photo — I can only imagine. Those who uphold this drivel about Scandinavian-archetype master-race stuff are more likely to be ugly little runts like your Fuhrer and Goebbels who just want, so badly, to be tall and blond…. In your Barbie world…

  6. Clark Kent says:

    The responder “Jews Aren’t White” – You are one of the most stupid people i’ve ever known. You don’t have to look or to act (to act like a Scandinavian? what the hell?) like a Scandinavian in order to be white, but i will tell you, proudly, that many of the jews have this look. My father has Blue eyes and Blond hair, like many of my friends and 1/4 of this country ( I live in Israel). Are the Germans look like Scandinavians? No. Most of the Germans don’t fit the Nordic Theory, because they have no bright eyes/hair. so what? aren’t they white? if you have a white skin – then you are considered as “White”. Most of the jews are white people. Muslims are not white people.

  7. maroon1 says:

    This guys says that “Muslims are not white”, but he is completely wrong because Islam is not a race, it is a religion. So, Muslims can be white, Asian or African. It is not a race.

    Anyway, I a Muslim and I look like white people. My uncle has green eyes, white skin and blond hair and he is a Muslim

  8. Dave says:

    THere is no such thing as “white-ness.” It makes no sense. There is a definition of “European” and you are quite right; the non Ashkenazi have little European ancestry and the Ashkenazi have maybe 1/4 – 1/3 European ancestry (otherwise they are largely also from Middle-Eastern/Semitic ancestry). All “races” have interbred at some points in history — this almost all “whites” have some “black” ancestry.

    I’m an Ashkenazi Jew, and think all of these racial classifications should be abolished. If there were boxes for European American, Middle Eastern American, Asian American etc. I suppose I might put down Middle Eastern, although the most recent ancestors from there were ca. 400 CE. Then again our claim to Israel, and relation to the Arabs is strengthened when we acknowledge our Levantine ancestry.

  9. Kyle says:

    I am not Jewish but I have always considered Jews white based on physical appearance. Come on. Debra Messing – that’s a luscious white woman if I ever saw one. But as I went to college it surprised me how many Jewish academics are involved in stirring up anti-white racism. Fanning hatred of whites among blacks and hispanics seems kind of suicidal if you ask me. I think they get away with a lot of white-baiting because they know most people perceive them as white. They wouldn’t last two seconds with the “abolish the white race” rhetoric if they were dark skinned.

  10. Robby says:

    Debra Messing is about as representative of Jews as Nicole Richie is of Blacks. I can’t understand why Jews get so enraged unless classifed as whites. Most blacks of mixed ancestry will almost always identify themselves as black. Jews as a whole have very ethnic features and are not at all representative of white people. Christiane Amanpour’s reporting on Jewish, Muslim and Christian soldiers clearly shows that Jews are much closer in race to Muslims than Whites. The racial classifcations of Semitic and Middle Eastern should certainly be included when profiling demographically.

  11. Alex says:

    Once again, Muslims are not a race!! There are many more “white” muslims in the world than all Jews of all “colors” combined. Please, don’t be ignorant. And for the record, Arabs are a minority among Muslims.

  12. David says:

    A lot of you guys are missing the point of the author, that race is more of a political/social phenomenon, espcecially when it comes to “whiteness” and more recently “blackness”, rather than biological. It’s somewhat disheartening to see some of you guys have a view that “whiteness” or blondness is something that is important. Read any history book, there was no such thing as “whites” until colononial times. Any sort of racial ideology has no moral/ethical value whatsoever.

  13. Robby says:

    White Muslims? Commonly cited estimates of the Muslim population in 2007, range from 900 million to 1.3 billion. Approximately 85% are Sunni and 15% are Shi’a, with a small minority belonging to other sects. Some 30–40 countries are Muslim-majority, and Arabs account for around 20% of all Muslims worldwide. South Asia and Southeast Asia contain the most populous Muslim countries, with Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India having more than 100 million adherents each.[82] According to U.S. government figures, in 2006 there were 20 million Muslims in China. In the Middle East, the non-Arab countries of Turkey and Iran are the largest Muslim-majority countries; in Africa, Egypt and Nigeria have the most populous Muslim communities.

  14. JOEY says:



  15. Lorenzo Goodmanolli says:

    Are not Arabs white? Are not semites white?

  16. Mark Guttman says:

    I live in a town that is very non-Jewish, or should I say there are very few Jews living here. I have been thinking about my identity over the last year and have stumbled onto the concept of my Jewish identity. I naturaly wanted to understand how I am identified as a Jew by people who aren’t. It is my belief that many Jewish people want to become white or should I say “Not Jewish” as if being Jewish were a huge liability at succeeding in our world, unless you happen to live in Isreal. Having recalled as much as I can about my past with people who aren’t Jews I believe that uneducated, poor and /also religious people tend to have the greatest hostility towards Jews. There are plenty of these people and I hope that I’m never surprised again by someone’s desire to hurt me just because I happened to be born a Jew. On the positive side it seems that there are many white people that would love to embrace Jews as friends or even convert them into friends. Being Jewish can be seen as a weakness or a strength depending on who you are. It’s then more important to be all that you can be(but don’t join the army!) Then to feel superior or inferior based on any labels no matter what your background is. You should and shall be judged mostly by your actions. Still you only hurt yourself as a Jew if you hold any hatred of yourself because you are a Jew. Einstien was a Jew, and he was pretty cool, so was Bob Dylan. So stop slapping yourself in the face for something that is beyond your control.

  17. Jesse says:

    Am I white when my last 3 bosses use anti-jewish slurs directed at me? Was my mom white when she had to change her name to attend public school in Florida? Was my grandmother white when she watched her friends and their children die in concentration camps? Was my great-uncle white when he was stoned to death in the streets of New York?
    When I hear white-supremecy, I have no doubt in my mind that it does NOT refer to me.

  18. Paul M. says:

    This is interesting. As I understand my ancestry, my great great grandmother (on an entirely matriarcal line) was jewish. I am black.

    Were my great grandmother and her line to have exercised their claim to “jewry” I would be jewish. The law of averages therefore would have one believe that there should be blacks like me who could or have exercised their matriarcal “right” to be jews, so it then leads to the conclustion that some jews must be black too…hence, not all jews are white, or black, or semitic for that matter.

    So it seems to me, that to try to classify “jewishness” in racial terms is a flawed proposition that only serves to promote greater division amongst jews and non-jews.

  19. Kevi'n says:

    Are Jews white or not? Though this question sounds shallow , I think it’s on the back of every white person’s mind. Us black people just know that if you look and act white , then you are white. However , I think that however much they deny it , Jews really like to be identified as part of the white race .Therefore , other races i.e black, brown, yellow etc. should respect their [Jewish] wishes and call them “whitey” .

  20. op says:

    i am of belgian jewish and estonian jewish ancestry and my experiance is that secular ashkenazi here in europe identfies themself as white, although it has been a non issue all of my life. in many ways i am more “white” (having blonde hair, pale skin and grey eyes) than most of my european christian friends. anyway, me and my mother seem to share more phenotypical traits with north-europeans than any arabs or middle easterners.

  21. ubong says:

    I know that you are whatever you think you are. If you are Jewish and you think you are white good for you. The truth is that whites like to think Jews are whites because our Lord Jesus was Jewish and they cannot imagine the son of God coming from a lesser race so to say. I also know this for a certainty, no matter your race we are all born the same way and we all DIE and no race gets to be immortal, so tell me, who is superior to whom? Think about this.

  22. Harold Kenner says:

    I thought Ashkenazi Jews were completely, or at least considerably, non-semitic in distinction to Sephardic Jews, having originally hailed from the defunct eastern empire of Khazaria and thereafter migrating into Poland.

    It doesn’t make sense that this Jewish prisoner would change his ethnic status for fear of “aryan” gangs, because each gentile ethnic group has it’s own anti-Jewish faction. So what’s going to happen? He’ll now be placed with followers of Farrakhan? Good luck!

    Tony, your “Woe is me!” attitude is very vain and lacking in any real substance or knowledge of real suffering. If you had ever suffered you would not have a tongue to speak with. I suggest you cease being a Jew, with all of its chauvinism and hypocrisy, and join the rest of us who aren’t what you project us to be.

  23. natan says:

    I am rather shocked by what some of you who are Jewish describe yourselves as.

    I am Israeli. My family has been in Israel continuosly since the Roman expulsion, meaning that it has the same appearance (basically) that the Jews had when they lived as one nation in Israel.

    I will tell you right now that I do not actually consider myself Arab. However, I have olive-toned skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes, all representative of a mix of Arab and Phoenician blood. That is basically what Jews are: a combination of the people who were to the East, the Arabs, and to the immediate West and North, the Phoenicians.

    So my appearance is a combination of the two. But I must tell all of you who have blond hair, blue eyes, and light skin: You are, unfortunately, not ancestrally Jewish, or not more than a small percentage. There is no way that anyone who lived in Israel as a Jew 2,000 years ago had blond hair or light skin (I don’t know about the eye color). So if you claim to be a Jew, it is through religion only, and it means many of your ancestors converted and married into Judaism.

    This is not a problem to me, I simply wanted to clear up the difference between being ancestrally Jewish, and thus looking it, and being descendant of Europeans who married into a Jewish family, eventually outnumbering the actual ethnic Jews and producing you: a fully accepted, practising Jew who has blond hair and light skin. I have no problem with this.

  24. John Monroe says:

    Well, I think calling oneself and others as white, black, brown or yellow is racism. I have light skin, blonde hair and blue eyes but I don’t call myself white. We are all human beings with different appearences. WE ALL BELONG TO THE ONE AND ONLY HUMAN RACE!!

    So stop arguing about this STUPID topic and LOVE ONEANOTHER!

  25. Tobias says:

    Sorry but it is my opinion that Jewish people are not white. Not in any shape or form. Deep down they know this to be the case but still there is a desire to pass themselves off as white for reasons known only to themselves. Their skin shade is more akin to that of Arabic people. You do not see Arabic people trying to pass themselves off as white do you!

  26. cohen says:

    im jewish i have a jewfro and a jew noise and eyes that change colors i dont think that looks like a white person to me and im only half my dad is a white boy

  27. cohen says:

    but people in california always think im mexican

  28. cohen says:

    tobias arabics are forced to check the white box as well look into it and you will find that the govenment has taken away are middle eastern idenity

  29. BLevi says:

    Conversion played a bigger role in Ashkenazi lineage than you may think. Many Jews share the same DNA markers as Kurds, non-semitic Hungarians, Sorbs and Slavs. Studies have also suggested that a portion of Jews descend from the Khazars. To suggest that the “white” features (fair skin, light eyes, blonde, red, or light brown hair) of Ashkenazi Jews orginated in the Middle East opposed to through conversion and intermarriage is asinine. Other semitic people (e.g. Arabs, Assyrians, and Mizrahi (Sabra) Jews) have maintained their Middle Eastern features. What happened to the Ashkenazi…did the cold weather make their color change?

  30. BLevi says:

    Conversion played a bigger role in Ashkenazi lineage than you may think. Many Jews share the same DNA markers as Kurds, non-semitic Hungarians, Sorbs and Slavs. Studies have also suggested that a portion of Jews descend from the Khazars. To suggest that the “white” features (fair skin, light eyes, blonde, red, or light brown hair) of Ashkenazi Jews orginated in the Middle East opposed to through conversion and intermarriage is asinine. Other semitic people (e.g. Arabs, Assyrians, and Mizrahi (Sabra) Jews) have maintained their Middle Eastern features. What happened to the Ashkenazi…did the cold weather make their color change?

  31. (Amir) Ishaq Al-Sulaimani says:

    Jewish is a religious classification that is comprised of
    many races and ethnicities. The majority of Jewish people living in Israel today are racially Arabs tracing their origins to Yemen,Morocco,Iraq ETC. As in the case of Muslims and Christians there
    are Jewish people represented in every Race,color and ethnicity.

    Even European Jews are comprised
    of different racial groups. There is the steroetypical German Jew who is thinly built with black curly hair and olive complexion. These are descendants of Ethiopians and often
    bear the last name Kush or Kushner
    meaning Ethiopian while others carry the name Kessler, a reference to the Ethiopian priests known as Kes.

    Then there is the sterotypical red haired European Jews known as White-Khazars who are the true descendants of Ashkenaz. A third group are those Eastern European Jews who are Asiatic in origin with prominent Mongoloid features.These are the descendants of Tatars who are Israelites from the Tribe of Dan. The name Tatar is correctly pronounced as DaDan meaning of the tribe of Dan.In the Americas they are known as the Native-American Dene tribes. According to Fishburg the Negroid type is also found in the midst of Eastern European Jews.

    The racial classification of a Jew,Christian or Muslim is something that must be determined independent of religion.

  32. ztech says:

    Europeans, Jews, most Arabs, Turks, Iranians, Syrians are all related to a cold adapted peoples who evolved in West Asia (iran/turkey) during the last ice age. Initially (at 10000bc), the vast majority of these peoples would have looked fairly similar to modern day Europeans. In Southern Arabia, however, there were pockets of proto-caucasoid (pre-white people) still around. They mixed in with the early ‘whites’ who spread (via farming) from the south of the iranian plateau. These people who were the mixed type, became the original arabs, Who later spread their genes throughout the middle east. Jews, Syrians, Iranians, and Turks, probably got the least of this Arab admixture. But while the Jewish Arab admixture probably involved sexual selection (Jews selectively mating with whiter looking Arabs, slowly over time), the Syrian, Iranian and Turkic women were forcibly raped. In addition to this, the mongols introduced their genes into the middle east.

    Despite all of this, certain regions of the middle east, are to this day ‘primary’ caucasoids. For example, the cavalli-sforza map, indicated most of the coastal middle east and the entire northern 1/4 and eastern half of Iran are still, at least, 92% Caucasoid. And these people, most Jews, and a majority of turks and Iranians, syrians share OVERALL genetic closeness with the earliset whites that existed. Perhaps, even more so than Europeans, who settled into Europe long after ‘whites’ were dominant in the middle east (assuming middle-easterners are actually not ‘white’ today – but who’s to decide).

  33. Nathan says:

    If you are still reading this thread I commend you. The direct answer to the question, “Are Jews white?” is “some are”. Allow me to explain. I’m a blond haired, blue eyed Jew with a primarily Scottish and Irish background. The cantor at my synogogue is a morrocan Jew who could probably be defined at “brown”. Most of the eastern European jews at my shul are definately more “white” than “brown”. Greece and Rome are the cradles of western (white, european)civilization. Greeks, portugese, spaniards, French, Romanians and Italians are the remants of these civilizations which are definately fathers of white culture and they are mediterranian. (brownish white? whitish brown?) Don’t believe me? check the architecture in washington and learn see that every philsophy student in the West starts with Plato and Aristotle. Most ashkenazim are as white as them at least. Some are whiter. I know ethiopian Jews who are black and Indian Jews who are dark brown. I’ve even met a few chinese Jews. Similary I’ve met muslims of every shade. What to see white muslims? – go to bosnia, kosovo, chechnya, albania etc… There’s tons of them there. The point is that in order to exclude Jews, Italians etc.. from white you have to expunge a huge amount of “western” cultural achievement so yeah – white jews are white. But not all Jews are white Jews. Not all christians are white not all muslims are dark. I’ve met blond and red haired Syrians and lebanese. They’re clearly semites, just fair semites. So if being “white” is restricted only to those of us who not only cannot tan, but have no recent ancestors that can tan, fine, but there goes George Cloony, John Wayne, Frank Senatra, Tom Jones, Elvis, and lots of other “whites”. Its an idea that has been evicerated by logic. As a fair complected, pink skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed, Scottish/Irish Jew, am I white? Most people who look at me would say “yes”. But then again, who cares. The real divisions aren’t based on complexion they are based on civilization. What civilization did your ancestors help build and what civilization do you want to see flourish? Jews are first and foremost “Jews”. Because they have to be since that’s how the world has and does treat them. Are they white? Some are. Some aren’t. So what? One thing is for sure – Canadian Jews I know are for the most part proud Canadians, and American Jews I know are proud americans.

  34. Trish says:

    I’m just sad anyone cares. I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day (Anchorage, Alaska) and I looked around and noticed there was a Samoan gentleman bagging groceries, the cashier was Chinese, the woman in front of me was Alaska Native, a black woman was in the line to my right being helped by a man of middle eastern descent. We were all laughing and talking about our local hockey team doing so well in the playoffs. And me, a white woman, thought that was the coolest thing ever. I’ll never forget that moment or all their smiling faces.

  35. Dorita says:

    Racists and gnorants arabs and jews are white/caucasian like a german so don’t say semitic people are not white because they have light skin and you never been there and you can’t know how is the poeple from middle east so shut up it’s like in latin america indians and blacks know they aren’t latin but when they go to USA americans call them latino and they children thinks they are latin even they are not they are indians or black some black muslim people thinks they are arabs because they speak arab but they’re not arabs,arabs are caucasin if you don’t wanna belive it it’s your problem

  36. La_latina-Bella says:

    Arab Americans in the United States are classified as White in the US Census because anthropological and genetic studies reveal that the Europeans,Arabs,Berbers,persians and Jews are caucasian, but you are North Americans and most of your people didn’t learn to read you are a racist and ignorant country you just know USA but you talk about other people even you never been in their country and you talk about 300.000.000 hahahahaha how much arrogance!!!!

  37. La_latina-Bella says:

    Look at me I am latina and I learn to read spanish and I’m trying to learn english i am white and latina and I proud of who I am and I don’t care what north americans thinks about me if I am white,black or green I know there are 4 races only and jews and arabs are caucasians

  38. I am an African American, My family line has been traced to Southeast Africa. My mother was black Ashkenazi. And so was the entire line of women on my mom’s side. Every now and then one of my dark skinned family members ends up with a pancake butt or blue, or hazel eyes. One or two even has nappy blond hair and fair skin, even though the parents are dark skinned. My grandmothers forgot that they were Jews because of the harsh treatment and restrictions placed on them in times past. If the African Jews by birth who got scattered among every nation in the world through slavery showed up at a synagogue somewhere claiming to be what we are, Jews, many of the WHITE stereotypical Jews particularly in the USA would try to choke on a matzah ball and drop dead rather than identify with us. The first thing they would start chanting is “You have to convert to be recognized as a Jew.” If this unlikely scenario came true, why would one convert so they could be who they already are? The last shall be first.

  39. BGLion says:

    I am Bulgarian with 1/4 Jewish ancestry, and I consider myself 100 %white. In high school in Bulgaria, I was taught the simple truth that Arabs and Jews, along with Europeans, were part of the White/Europeid/Caucasian race (whatever you wanna call it). There was none of this wishy washy ‘race is a cultural construct’ BS. Sounds old-school to you? Well, genetic studies show that Middle Eastern, North African and European populations are indeed a lot closer genetically than they are to other groups, and split fairly recently in human history. Most Bulgarians, myself included, have dark brown hair and eyes, convex noses and naturally light skin that tans easily (by the way, Bulgarian women are gorgeous – check them out!) In Bulgaria, this type is considered the whitest, not the North-European one (incidentally, Finns, who are mostly blond, blue-eyed and pointy-nosed, have 30% Mongoloid ancestry – go figure). The Jews in Bulgaria, who are Sephardic, are generally a shade lighter than ethnic Bulgarians (but practically indistinguishable from them), while US Ashkenazi Jews are a lot lighter. So, if Bulgarians and other Balkan peoples are to be considered white, so should Jews by all means!

  40. Bill says:

    So what? We’re all going to die. Where is your GOD now?

  41. Streca says:

    In a racial sense, Jews do not constitute a single people. They are one people only spiritually or culturally.

  42. The Ventriloquist's tale says:

    Interesting debate. Are Jews white? Are Jews a race or is it a religion, a practice or a culture?

    I think the real issue is that we are all sport tribal attitudes, a feeling a need to belong. Through the use of skin colour we shortcut to form connections to groups of people when the truth is we all belong to one race, one group know as human.

    My background – the shortcut answer would be black the real answer well that is long and complicated. A DNA breakdown analysis would conclude apart from being human I am made up of many tribes from around the world. From China and West African to Finland, Germany, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Spain, India, North and South Africa, South America and so on.

    And without my ancestry coming from these multiple tribes a question arises – would I exist or be who I am?

    So are Jews white? The shortcut answer – If Jews are defined as a race then some are and some are not. If Jews are defined as followers of Judaism? Then yes there are white Jews as well as brown, yellow and black.

    White Jews exist alongside every colour under the sun. Are some superior than others. Some would like to believe they are, but eventually they have to answer to God for daring to fly into the face of God and belittle his creation.

  43. anna says:

    I understand Jews are not white. But then, why did you so readily adopt the “white” experience? And did you take part in the murders of white S.Africans after apartheid? As that was the correct anti-white position? Also, after it ceased to be lucrative to pretend to be white (as you describe) in S. Africa, and after the real whites were dead, where did you flee to write things such as the above? U.S.? Israel? Are these “white countries” —when you consider the minority hegemony in them is really Israeli? And if they are not, then aren’t you exactly what you describe as happening in S. Africa? And certainly, the Israeli’s killing Palestinians are generally recognized as racists also. I mean, Israel lets in no “pretend whites,” not even to protect them, the way you were treated in S. Africa. You, in this, seem phenomenally racist.

  44. Jesse says:

    Anyone who talks about a WHITE race is a white-supremecist racist. They are not talking about JEWS. They are not talking about a white skinned muslim. They are not talking about a white skinned person who has a black grand-parent (Think Plessy vs. Fergeson). The same is true for most people who talk about a BLACK race. The truth is that race is a SOCIAL CONSTRUCT used to seperate people based on many different attributes, including BOTH SKIN COLOR AND RELIGION.

  45. White says:

    You Jews call us racist but would you let your children marry a non-Jew? The way you talk in your article the Jews look white because the whites raped them. You say this because to you (a Jew) no self-respecting Jew would breed with a goyim (a non-Jew). Yet you Jews push diversity on us whites. In Israel you have huge walls with armed guards separating the races but in white countries the Jews say segregation is wrong. JUDEN RAUS!!!!

  46. Laila says:

    I am a Jew, My great grandmother was a Moroccan Jew and the rest of the family are Russian Jews. I suppose I might look like a dark skinned, dark eyed, dark haired white, and several times asked if I am Italian or Latina, never considered myself white. Why the need to consider myself of any race when it doesn’t mean a thing?

  47. pretending to be a jew says:

    You Christians just don’t get it, do you? Most jews would rather be dead be a Christian. So, go back to being what you do best – inbreed with your siblings.

  48. My parentage is Russian/Polish depending on where the boarders were shifted to at that time also Rumanian and syrian. When I present my passport in Israel they always think that I am an arab, although my grandfather was born in Poland he looked like King Feisal of Iraq, My parents vacating in cannes one year were mistaken for Saudi Royalty.
    genetic testing has proven that while ahkenazik and Mizrahi jews especially from Iraq although separated for over two millenia tested positive, the same testing between non iraqi jews & iraqi gentiles proved negative. iraqi

  49. Sarge18 says:

    You are so very clever, #45. Who named you “White?” Was it your sister-wife? Nah, probably just you. I am also impressed with your ability to tell the Jews to get out in real German. How remarkable for someone who’s IQ is below 0 degrees Kelvin. The wall in Israel was built because terrorists (the types who enjoy blowing themselves up among civilians) were crossing the border and that had to be stopped. Of course, you don’t read, probably can’t, but would you @ least watch the non-Stormfront news? As for Jews and “non-Jews” and marriage: Dunce–look @ the US stats. The majority of American Jews marry so-called non-Jews and who except for your ilk even cares? Out, Swine. Get back to your sister-cousin-wife. Good Piggie.

  50. Sarge18 says:

    A request: Can someone from Deutschland teach inmate #45 how to speak German? S/he/it clearly feels that defiling your language with hateful statements may endear him upon you. Once s/he/it can finally string a few German words together, you’ll be able to impress upon s/he/it what you feel about those who enjoy resurrecting the legacy of the movement that raped your country. I know that the creature we’re currently examining is revolting, beyond disgusting, hiding as s/he/it is behind the anonymity of the computer. But as a US Army Staff Sergeant just back from the war, I’ve got a major issue w/ignorant, painfully stupid civvies w/big mouths. I know who “White” is. So before I do what I was trained to do to this arachnid, could you just try to transform it/s/he into a being worth crushing? Oh, hell yeah. Thank you.

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