Recent family health issues made me realise that Jewish bodies today bear the impact of genocidal antisemitism from hundreds of years ago.

My family has the BRCA2 gene mutation that impairs cancer suppression. This makes certain cancers much more common, breast, prostate etc.
In the general population roughly 1 in 400 people have this mutation but among Ashkenazi Jews this rises tenfold to 1 in 40 people, over 2% of the population. For women, this leads to a 50% risk of Breast Cancer by the age of 70.
Why has this happened? It is not principally down to Ashkenazis being close knit, or isolated from local populations. It is a direct consequence of a near extinction event for Ashkenazi Jews ending around 700 years ago. dnascience.plos.org/2018/11/08/the…
This is called a genetic bottleneck. By that point only 350 Ashkenazi Jews were left from whom all Ashkenazi Jews today are descended. The bottleneck concentrated genetic mutations in the population and we see the results today. nature.com/articles/ncomm…
That bottleneck was the direct result of repeated genocidal activity against Jews in Europe during the later Middle Ages, especially linked to the Crusades that often left massacres of Jews across European cities in its wake.
It is both amazing and profoundly tragic that my family carries the scars of those genocides in our DNA to this day.

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More from @ComiskeyNathan

29 Jul
Antisemitic ideas linked to Black Hebrew Israelite movements have come to the forefront through people like Wiley. The ideas appear so outlandish and ridiculous that it is easy to dismiss them. However, they are an expression of the most dangerous form of antisemitism. 1/x
The central idea is that Africans are the true Israelites, the descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel and that modern day Jews are evil imposters who have stolen their culture. areomagazine.com/2019/12/12/ant… 2/x
This idea didn’t come from nowhere and has equivalents on the Far Right, a religious ideology called Christian Identity. It the same idea but this time for white people: Scandinavian, Germanic, Anglo tribes are the true descendants of the Israelites. adl.org/resources/back… 3/x
Read 14 tweets
20 Feb 19
“J’accuse”

In resigning, @lucianaberger devastatingly laid bare the corruption of Labour under Corbyn. For Jews this whole episode has been like a nightmare but perhaps for others the racism has been hard to understand.

Here’s my attempt to explain. 1/
So much noise has been made about the Israel/Palestine conflict when it is largely irrelevant to the events of the last three years. Antisemites have been making the same accusations against Jews before Israel was even an idea. 2/
What are the key accusations? Jews are agents of a foreign power and are plotting against us.

Today a Labour MP accused @TheIndGroup of taking funds from Israel to set up a party opposed to Labour. We also have George Galloway accusing Luciana Berger of ‘a stab in the back’. 3/
Read 9 tweets
18 Feb 19
The upswing of antisemitism, especially within Labour, has been very strange to watch. When I joined Twitter, antisemitism was confined to the fringes - Scott Nelson chatting away with Holocaust deniers and hardcore antisemites.
Back then a small number of people catalogued them and tackled their lies: @Rattus2384 @SSilvUK @AntiNazisUnited. There were worrying signs of infiltration into the Left: Labour members regularly engaged with Neo-Nazis like Ian Millard and Chabloz but not the deluge of today
So how did it take over a political party? We have a Labour leadership that is rooted in conspiracy theory, that everywhere sees agents of capital lined up against it. They have either agreed with or accommodated antisemitic ideas for decades so they are simply reverting to type.
Read 5 tweets

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