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  1. "Confronted by the violence sweeping over Israel, it can be easy to overlook the things that Jews and Palestinians share: a deep attachment to the same sliver of contested land, ... a common tradition of descent from the patriarch Abraham, and, as scientific research shows - a common genetic ancestry, as well. Ostrer’s research on “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,” published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, sampled 652,000 gene variants from each of 237 unrelated individuals from seven Jewish populations: Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi. These sequences were then compared with reference samples from non-Jews drawn from The Human Genome Diversity Project, a global database of genetic information gathered from populations across the world. Each of the Jewish populations, they found, “formed its own distinctive cluster,” indicating their shared ancestry and “relative genetic isolation.” ... Ostrer’s team also identified two major groups of Jews: Middle Eastern Jews (Iranian and Iraqi) and European/Syrian Jews. The split between these two groups of Jews occurred some 2,500 years ago. ... In addition, a “compact cluster” of Yemenite Jews “overlaps primarily with Bedouins but also with Saudi individuals.” Ethiopian and Indian Jews are more closely related to their own neighboring, host populations. ... Are these genetic ties between Jews, Palestinians, Bedouin, and Druze important in a contemporary context? “It doesn’t matter to me personally,” Skorecki says, “since I think that global human identity supersedes all other considerations.” Source