(nablopomo day 4)
It turns out the Jews are not only a religion, but were a genetically-linked ethnic group all along, as reported in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Gil Atzmon, Li Hao, Itzik Pe-er, Edward Burns and others did the complex genetic analysis entitled Abraham's Children in the Genome Era at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
The purpose of the study was to find genetic markers for various diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. But the study also showed that all groups of Jews are related to each other, and--despite the Arabs' contention that Jews have and had no connection to the land of Israel, rather that they are European--that Jews have Middle Eastern origins, and that the two groups, Middle Eastern and European Jews, apparently split off from each other approximately 2,500 years ago.
Also read Aish's article about this discovery. It's interesting that the study shows that, despite some theories that Ashkenazic Jews descended from the Kuzars (or Khazars), a Turkish empire which converted to Judaism around the 8th century, there is no genetic connection to prove it:
The Ashkenazi paternal gene pool does not appear to be similar to that of present-day Turkish speakers. This finding opposes the suggestion that Ashkenazim are descended from the Kuzars, a Turkish-Asian empire that converted to Judaism en masse in or about the 8th century CEAs Aish puts it, the genetic study findings support Jewish tradition, both written, and oral:
Pay attention, people.And God shall scatter you among all the peoples from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth... (Deuteronomy 28:64)And God shall return your captivity and be merciful to you, and will return and gather you from all the nations whither God has scattered you. (Deuteronomy 30:3)As the natural laws are set before Me, so shall the seed of Israel never cease from being a nation before Me, forever. (Jeremiah 31:36)