White Supremacists find it convenient to consider Jews a single race that's entirely distinct from European races. Recently, some Jews have also adopted this view, albeit for different reasons. The reality is that Jews are composed of many different subracial elements, generally reflecting those found in surrounding non-Jewish populations. Hence, both phenotypically and genetically, the Ashkenazim show affinities with Europeans, while the Sephardim are more similar to the original Hebrews and other populations of the Middle East.
"The Jews have been left to the end because they do not as a whole fit into any single racial classification heretofore outlined. Historically the Jews of the Biblical period in Palestine were a Semitic-speaking people composed of various Mediterranean strains which had blended together at the time of the formation of the Jewish nation. These Mediterranean strains must have included a small Mediterranean type comparable to the present Yemeni Arabs; a taller, longer-faced strain with a tendency to nasal convexity, as is found among Irano-Afghan peoples today; and a straight-nosed, presumably Atlanto-Mediterranean element contributed by the Philistines.
"The Jews began their expansion from Palestine as early as the time of the Babylonian Captivity; at this time they settled Mesopotamia in large numbers, and from there began an expansion into central Asia of which colonies still remain. In the Hellenistic period they migrated into Asia Minor and the Black Sea region, as well as into Egypt; these emigrants became Hellenistic Jews. Under the Romans they settled in Italy, France, and Spain, with especial concentrations in Spain and in the cities of the Rhineland. The Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 and during previous expulsions became the Sephardim, whose descendants are to be found in various countries bordering on the Mediterranean, especially Morocco, the Salonika region of what is now Greece, and Turkey.
"The Rhineland Jews, persecuted at the time of the First Crusade, moved eastward into Poland, the Ukraine and other central European countries, and met there and absorbed a group of Hellenistic Jews moving westward, among whom were some who had lived among the Turkish Khazars in the Crimea and elsewhere. The two groups blended and the Germanic speech of the more numerous western element prevailed. The modern Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazim are the descendants of this amalgamated body. Racially they preserve to a large measure their Mediterranean character, altered partly by Alpine admixture which has in many cases produced Dinaricization. This Alpine, as well as some Nordic, admixture was probably obtained largely in France and Germany before their departure eastward. The most persistent Palestinian Mediterranean traits which the Jews preserve is a narrowness of the face. The Jewish facial expression, by which many Jews may be distinguished, is a cultural and not a genetic character."
"Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European samples differentiate along the second axis of the multivariate analysis. The Sephardim Jews, the Ashkenazim Jews, the Turks, and the Lebanese samples are genetically located at the intersection of these two linguistic groups, the Ashkenazim samples being somewhat closer to Indo-Europeans...."
* * *
"A sample of 526 Y chromosomes representing six Middle Eastern populations...was analyzed for 13 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. The investigation of the genetic relationship among three Jewish communities revealed that Kurdish and Sephardic Jews were indistinguishable from one another, whereas both differed slightly, yet significantly, from Ashkenazi Jews. The differences among Ashkenazim may be a result of low-level gene flow from European populations and/or genetic drift during isolation. ... In our sample, this low-level gene flow may be reflected in the Eu 19 chromosomes, which are found at elevated frequency (12.7%) in Ashkenazi Jews and which are very frequent in Eastern Europeans (54%-60%) (Semino et al. 2000). Alternatively, it is attractive to hypothesize that Ashkenazim with Eu 19 chromosomes represent descendants of the Khazars, originally a Turkic tribe from Central Asia, who settled in southern Russia and eastern Ukraine and converted en masse to Judaism in the ninth century of the present era, as described by Yehuda Ha-Levi in 1140 A.D. (Dunlop 1954)."
* * *"Ashkenazim are quite distinct from their Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern co-religionists in the incidence of the disease and in the mutations responsible... The genetic family tree of Jews from different parts of Europe shows that they are not a unique group, biologically distinct from other peoples around them. There is, though, evidence of common ancestry that gives Jews at least a partial identity of their own. In most places, there is overlap between the genes of the Jewish population and those of local non-Jews. There has been interchange; sometimes through recent marriage, but more often as a result of mating long ago.... The Y chromosomes of Jews are—unsurprisingly—not all the same; the idea of the sons of Abraham is a symbolic one. They do show that many males, some only distantly related to each other, have contributed to the genes of European Jewry. On the average, most Jewish populations contain more diversity for male lineages than for female (whose history is recorded in mitochondrial DNA). This means that there has been more invasion of the Jewish gene pool by the genes of non-Jewish men than of women. The Y chromosomes of Jewish men from the Balkans are rather unlike those of other European Jews, perhaps because there was more admixture in this unstable part of the world."
Central Jewish Type
Dinaric (Central Asia)
Sephardic Mediterranean (Turkey)
Palestinian Mediterraneans (Yemen)
Jewish Genetics: Collection of genetic research carried out on Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.
Jewish Origins: Breakdown of ancestral components of Jews based on all available data.
European Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews: A more recent study on Ashkenazi Jewish genetics.