Institute for Historical Review
Nathan M. Pollock has a beef with the Israeli government.
His elaborate plans to celebrate this September the 1,000th anniversary of the Jewish-Khazar alliance were summarily rejected.
An elderly, meek-looking man who migrated to Israel from Russia 43 years ago, Pollock ekes out a living as a translator of scientific texts and proofreader in a publishing firm.
But his great passion, hobby and avocation is historic research.
He has devoted 40 of his 64 years to trying to prove that six out of 10 Israelis and nine out of 10 Jews in the Western Hemisphere are not real Jews' Jews, but descendents of fierce Khazar tribes which roamed the steppes of southern Russia many centuries ago.
For obvious reasons the Israeli authorities are not at all eager to give the official stamp of approval to Pollock's theories.
"For all we know, he may be 100 per cent right," said a senior government official. "In fact, he is not the first one to discover the connection between Jews and Khazars. Many famous scholars, Jews and non-Jews, stressed these links in their historical research works.
"But who can tell today what percentage of Khazar blood flows in our veins, if at all? And who can declare with any degree of scientific accuracy which Jews are Jews and which are descendants of this Tartar-Mongol race?
"As a matter of fact, our alleged descent from the Khazars is the central theme of Arab propaganda," he added. "The Arabs claim most European Jews have no right to be in Israel in the first place because they are not descended from Biblical Hebrews, but from Tartar-Mongol nomad tribes, including the Khazars who were converted to Judaism en masse 1,000 years ago,"
Scientific opinion in Israel is divided on the subject. No one argues the basic premise: that a group of 12,000 Jews, fleeing from persecution and wars in the Holy Land, in the wake of Byzantine and Moslem conquests, made the long overland trek to Persia, crossed the territory of today's Turkestan in Central Asia and found asylum in the Khazar Kingdom, which occupied a vast area between the Caspian Sea, Volga River, Ural Mountains, Black Sea and the Polish borderlands.
In the year 965 the Khazars were defeated for the first time in 500 years, by Prince Sviatoslav of Kiev. King Bulan III of Khazaria concluded that Prince Sviatoslav emerged victorious from the war because his troops and mercenaries were Christians, while h i s nomads were pagan worshippers. The king and his nobles embraced Judaism in 965, and in 966 a royal edict was passed enforcing Judaism as the only legal religion in the Khazar Kingdom. Tribesmen had to undergo circumcision, learn Hebrew prayers and recognize Jewish rabbis as their spiritual leaders on pain of death.
As other Jews who were persecuted in the Middle East, medieval Europe and Spain at that time, heard of the new Jewish-Khazar kingdom, rumors spread that the Messiah had arrived at long last. There were several consecutive migration waves to Khazaria, via Persia, Greece and Poland.
Pollock believes the traditional Russian anti-Semitism probably stems from that epoch when Hebrew-speaking Khazar raiders attacked Russian villages, killed the men folk, abducted women, forcibly converted them to Judaism and married them in full-fledged religious ceremonies. This also would explain why so many European Jews are blond and blue-eyed, with a slight Mongol slant to their eyes, as well as the total absence of Semitic features among many Israelis of European descent.
The flourishing Jewish-Khazar Kingdom was destroyed in 1239 by the Mongol invasion of Batu Khan.
Following the Mongol invasion and conquest, surviving members of Jewish-Khazar tribes trekked west and settled in Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, Austria, Romania and the Ukraine.
How can one find out if he is a "Khazar Jew" or a "Hebrew Jew?"
According to Pollock, whose parents came from Poland, if your name is Halperin, Alpert, Halpern, Galpern, etc., you are a 100 per cent Khazar. "Alper" means "brave knight" in the Khazar tongue, and the name was granted by the king to the most distinguished warriors. Names like Kaplan, Caplon, Koppel and the like are positive proof of Khazar descent, according to the scholar. "Kaplan" means "fierce hawk" in the Khazar language. Kogan, Kangan, Kaganvich show aristocratic descent from Kagan-Hagan, King Bulan's chief minister.