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The separation between the Ashkenazi and the Palestinians might be of interest to some because of political reasons.As the authors note, the Ashkenazi are almost certainly a compound population.Similarly, Ashkenazi Jews no doubt emerged from hybridization evens between Middle Eastern and European females, but over the generations they have been relatively endogamous (most gene flow has been out of the community into gentile Europeans through conversion) and so are a genetically coherent population in their own right.Note that the authors had only a few non-Ashkenazi Jews in their sample, so the assertions above only apply to the Ashkenazi (95-99% of America’s Jewish population, but only ~50% of Israel’s).Carl Zimmer pointed me to a new paper, A genome-wide genetic signature of Jewish ancestry perfectly separates individuals with and without full Jewish ancestry in a large random sample of European Americans.
Instead of the complexities of the whole genome, as with mt DNA you have a simple and elegant phylogenetic tree to interpret. The map above illustrates the peculiarity of R1a1a: it is geographically enormously expansive. A naive response might be that this distribution is surprising similar to that of the Indo-European languages.
The authors note that there is almost perfect separation along PC 1, and, they note that most of the gentile whites who are closest to the Jews on this PC are of Italian or Eastern Mediterranean origin. As you can see here, the interesting point is that Jewish ancestral quanta is roughly predictive of genetic position.