October 29, 2012

Whatever happened to the Khazars?

This is strange.  I was looking for an article about the Khazars I thought I remembered being on the World Zionist Organisation's website under the title, An experiment in Jewish statehood.  I googled the title in quotes and all I could find was a comment by me on someone or other's blog.  Eventually I found another reference to and a quote from the article on the Palestine Remembered site:

Posted on April 3, 2002
According to an article published at the World Zionist Organization's (WZO) website:
"REMARKABLY, the Khazars, a people of Turkic origin, converted to the Jewish religion sometime in the 9th century, beginning with the royal house and spreading gradually among the general populace. Judaism is now known to have been more widespread among the Khazar inhabitants of the Khazar kingdom than was previously thought. In 1999, Russian archaeologists announced that they had successfully reconstructed a Khazarian vessel from the Don River region, revealing 4 inscriptions of the word "Israel" in Hebrew lettering. It is now the accepted opinion among most scholars in the field that the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism was widespread, and not limited merely to the royal house and nobility. Ibn al-Faqih, in fact, wrote "All of the Khazars are Jews." Christian of Stavelot wrote in 864 that "all of them profess the Jewish faith in its entirety." Click here to view the full article and links to the original source.
Where it says "click here" there is a link to the WZO's website but the article is gone, the link is broken. I eventually found the full article on the Africa Speaks website and it turns out that the title was/is A European Experiment in Jewish Statecraft and it goes into a surprising amount of detail regarding dates, people and places.  It doesn't name the author of the piece but I believe it is someone from the WZO.  I wonder what made the WZO get rid of the piece.

UPDATE: Many thanks to Asa Winstanley in the comments below for directing me to the Web Archive's own copy of the Khazars article which originally appeared at http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=140 but now, for some reason, has been taken down.  At least it shows that the piece was originally hosted by the World Zionist Organisation and that the author was a Kevin Brook who appears to have written extensively on the history of the Khazars.

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