"Son of man, set thy
face against Gog, the land of Magog,
the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and
prophesy against him." Ezekiel 38:2
"A THOUSAND YEARS before the establishment of the Modern State of Israel, there existed a Jewish kingdom in the eastern fringes of Europe, astride the Don and Volga rivers..." So begins a thesis by Jewish author Kevin Alan Brook. The kingdom of which he speaks appears at first consideration to be comprised of nearly as much disinformation, misinformation, "myth"information, and, curiously, NO-information as there is actual provable historical fact. Yet upon closer scrutiny this kingdom, known as Khazaria, or the Kingdom of the Khazars, is clearly revealed in a vast body of historical evidence, much of which has come to light only in the last three to five decades.
This mysterious kingdom, which has sculpted our modern world to an astounding (and alarming) degree, once occupied an immense land area of over a million square miles extending from western Hungary/Austria eastward to the Aural Sea, north to the Upper Volga, and its southern region extending to the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas. It was at that time literally the largest country on earth. It has only been in the last several decades, however, that greater documented evidence from ancient manuscripts has come to light and revealed the astonishing historical truth of this ancient kingdom and its connection to the origins of modern-day Israel.
Though little known to the West, and, for that matter, to even those currently occupying its ancestral land, the Khazar kingdom has been responsible for substantially shaping the history and political landscape of Europe and specifically Western Asia, but also to a remarkable degree the entirety of human events on this planet.
Arthur Koestler, author of The Thirteenth Tribe, easily the most expansive single work on the subject, states, "The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated." 1
This is the story of a kingdom of belligerent, warlike Caucasian nomads, having no linked ancestry with anything Israelite this side of Noah, yet adopting Talmudic Judaism and becoming the dominant -- and virtually only -- current force in twenty-first century international Jewry.
During the course of this work salient facts and issues will be presented without a too-extensive reliance on tedious historical documentation. However, considering the delicacy of the subject -- especially in this modern age where any divergence from certain agendas for "political correctness" can result in epithets of racism or anti-Semitism -- and for the obvious sake of accuracy, reasonably comprehensive documentation is necessary.
In this it will be shown that the cry of "anti-Semitism" hurled against those who do oppose the international actions of ones calling themselves Jews, would be much like an immigrated Scotsman to America deciding to live on an Apache Indian reservation, coming to dominate its politics and economics, and then claiming that anyone disagreeing with his political and social agenda is racist and anti-Apache in their beliefs.
What under different circumstances could prove to be a dry treatise on Eastern European Jewish history is, if closely examined, actually a narrative of events that have laid a sequential pathway to, and beyond, the destruction of the New York World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This historical time line has been fixed in its present course, which, by all appearances and in a most unexpected manner, is culminating in the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies of Armageddon. But then, it has always been so with prophecy. The most consistent aspect in the nature of prophetic fulfillment is that it is consistently surprising. God has invariably worked to complete His desires, prophetically, in ways that have not been understood until revealed in retrospect -- in the light of their actual happening.
Shortly after the death of Mohammed in AD 632, according to Columbia University Professor, D. M. Dunlop, Arab armies began a campaign northward, sweeping "through the wreckage of two empires and carrying all before them till they reached the great mountain barrier of the Caucasus. This barrier once passed," Dunlop observes, "the road lay open to the lands of eastern Europe." 2 Had the Caliphate (the armies of the Muslim Caliph) surmounted that immense geological deterrent unchallenged, the history of Europe and, indeed, the rest of the Judeo-Christian world would have been vastly different than it now is.
It was at the Caucasus, however, that the Arabs encountered the Khazars, initiating a war that lasted over a century and effectively prevented Europe from becoming Islamic. So powerful, socially and militarily, were the Khazars that, as Kevin Alan Brook relates in his work The Jews of Khazaria, "a 10th-century emperor of the Byzantines [Roman Empire], Constantine Porphyrogenitus, sent correspondence to the Khazars marked with a gold seal worth 3 solidi - more than the 2 solidi that always accompanied letters to the Pope of Rome, the Prince of the Rus, and the Prince of the Hungarians." 3
Rutgers University Professor Peter Golden, referred to by Brook as "one of the principal authorities on the Khazars," wrote, "Every schoolchild in the West has been told that if not for Charles Martel and the battle of Poitiers there might be a mosque where Notre Dame now stands. What few schoolchildren are aware of," Golden emphasizes, "is that if not for the Khazars...Eastern Europe might well have become a province of Islam." 4
The Khazarian mounted forces, with a soldiery of mainly Turkic and pagan origin, could at times and when accounted for, show a disastrous fierceness and cruelty to the enemies of Khazaria. They were also probably the most disciplined, as well as tactically and strategically the most potent, martial power at that time and in that region. Evidence that they were supremely calculating in their approach to international matters lay in the fact that, in contrast to their brutality, Khazar officials were often consulted as diplomatic emissaries and mediators by all the political powers surrounding Khazaria. The Khazars and their empire were at that time both highly respected and greatly feared -- with good reason. 5
At the peak of their empire it is believed that the Khazars had a permanent standing army that could have numbered as many as one hundred thousand and controlled or exacted tribute, astonishingly, from thirty different nations and tribes inhabiting the vast territories between the Caucasus, the Aral Sea, the Ural Mountains and the Ukrainian steppes. 6 , 7 During their zenith, Khazaria completely girded the lands of what are currently Astrakhan, Kalmykia, Daghestan, Volgograd, Rostov, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkarsk, North Ossetia, and Chechnya. "At its maximum extent (in the ninth century)," says Brook, "Khazaria not only encompassed the northern Caucasus and the Volga delta, but also extended as far west as Kiev [Russia]." 8
Soviet archaeologist M. I. Artamonov states that, for a century and a half, the Khazars were the supreme masters of the southern half of Eastern Europe and presented a virtually impenetrable bulwark, blocking the Ural-Caspian gateway from Asia into Europe. During that entire period, they held back the onslaught of the nomadic tribes from the East. 9
Until recently, a great part of the problem with the historical obscurity of ancient Khazaria lay with the fact that the geographical area of the country was part of the Soviet Union, which insisted on interpreting archaeological data "within the framework of Marxist historical materialism." 10 This Iron Curtain version of historical revisionism caused the Soviets to interpret that data in such a way as to present as fact that which was well fabricated -- but wrong.
This peculiar and obscure race inhabiting that land were described as blue-eyed and of very fair complexion. Commonly they had long reddish hair and were reported as very large of stature and fierce of countenance. 11 Other sources have added observations that there were "Black Khazars" and "White Khazars," noting that the latter were "light-skinned and handsome, while the former were dark-skinned." This has, however, been rather conclusively refuted by scholars who have established that the distinction was not racial but social. The "Black" or "Kara" Khazars constituted the lower strata or caste, while the "White" or "Ak" Khazars were of the noble or royal classes. This type of class distinction was fairly common in Eastern Europe as evidenced by the more commonly known terms "Black Russian" and "White Russian," denoting not skin color but class. 12
In his book An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples, Peter Golden claims that the Chinese T'and-shu chronicle describes the Khazars, generally, as "...tall, with red-hair, ruddy-faced and blue-eyed. Black hair is considered a bad omen." 13
Of the ferocity and warlike tendencies of the Khazars there is little doubt and much historical evidence, all of it pointing to a race of people so violent in their dealings with their fellow men that they were feared and abhorred above all peoples in that region of the world.
The Arab chronicler Ibn-Said al-Maghribi writes, "they are to the north of the inhabited earth towards the 7th clime, having over their heads the constellation of the Plough. Their land is cold and wet. Accordingly their complexions are white, their eyes blue, their hair flowing and predominantly reddish, their bodies large and their natures cold. Their general aspect is wild." 14
The ninth-century monk Druthmar of Aquitaine, in his commentary on Matthew 24:14 in Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam, stated that the Gazari, or Khazars, dwelt "in the lands of Gog and Magog." 15
Legends and stories abound, some of which are true according to the above quoted Aquitaine monk, that center around Alexander the Great and his attempt to enclose the Khazars and quarantine them, due to their violent and barbaric nature, from the rest of the civilized world. This endeavor apparently failed, Druthmar claimed, and they escaped. Some legends even claim they were cannibals. 16
After the kingdom's conversion to Judaism, the term "Red Jews" came into usage out of the superstition of medieval Germans, who equated their red hair and beards and their violent nature with deceit and dishonesty. It is also well documented that they heavily taxed those passing through their lands, for none dared refuse them. 17
According to Benjamin H. Freedman, himself a Jew and an apparent long-time associate and confidant of presidents and statesmen, in an address presented in 1961 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Khazars were so belligerent and hostile that they were eventually run out of Asia and scattered amongst the nations of Eastern Europe. Heinrich von Neustadt, around 1300, wrote of them as the "terrifying people of Gog and Magog." 18
The territory of the Bulgars, themselves legendary for their fierceness in battle, was conquered by the Khazars in AD 642. A portion of them fled westward to the region of the Danube in the Balkans and formed what is now modern-day Bulgaria. 19 Even in modern times, Muslim history recalls the Khazar raids and the terror of those inhabiting that land. To this day they call the Caspian, Bahr-ul-Khazar -- "the Khazar Sea." 20
It is not difficult to determine some of the motivating factors behind the legendary Khazar ferocity in war. "When the bek [the Khazar head of the military and second in command only to the Kagan himself] sends out a body of troops, they do not in any circumstances retreat. If they are defeated, every one who returns to him is killed....Sometimes he cuts every one of them in two and crucifies them and sometimes he hangs them by the neck from trees." 21
Logically it seems that this would not likely happen more than once, since reason would reveal to even the dullest soldier that defeat was not an option. Such a practice would also have provided a strong impetus to the legend of Khazar fierceness since, when faced with the choice of winning in battle or facing a worse death at home, the options -- and the rational responses to them -- become painfully distinct.
All of these facts, mingled with the semi-factual legends of Alexander the Great and his attempts to wall up the Red Jews and isolate them, has led to the numerous mythologies of the coming escape, at the end of time, of Gog and Magog from the area enclosed by the Caucasus Mountains. This, as the legends say, in order to fulfill Bible prophecy in the final destruction of the world. Indeed, even Islam has such legends in its mythology.
In a writing by the Imam Ibn Kathir, he asserts that the prophet Mohammed has claimed, "Every day, Gog and Magog are trying to dig a way out through the barrier [the Caucasus mountains]. When they begin to see sunlight through it, the one who is in charge of them says, 'Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow,' and when they come back, the barrier is stronger than it was before. This will continue until their time comes and Allah wishes to send them forth." 22
As shall be shown, the Muslims to the south of the Khazarian kingdom had good reason to attach such legends to their ferocious northern neighbors.
However, no nation can long survive,no matter how strong, by being exclusively belligerent, and the Khazars were not an exception to this. As a vital addition to their brutality they were possessed of a native, calculating wisdom in knowing, as the gambler's creed says, "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em". This prescient political sense became evident in their diplomatic encounters with the Romans. The Roman Emperor Heraclius, in 627, formed a military alliance with the Khazars for the purpose of a final defeat of the Persians. Upon the first meeting of the Khazar king, Ziebel, with the Roman Emperor, the Khazars displayed, in full array, their skills at diplomatic flattery -- skills that would serve them well and would not disappear with their kingdom. He "with his nobles dismounted from their horses," says Gibbon, "...and fell prostrate on the ground, to adore the purple of the Caesar." So enamored was the Byzantine Emperor with this display of obeisance that it eventually led to the offer, along with many riches, of the Caesar's daughter Eudocia in marriage. 23 That union never took place due to the death of Ziebel while Eudocia was enroute to Khazaria. However, after the final defeat of Islam's designs on the Northern Kingdom in AD 730, a marriage between a Khazar princess and the heir to the Byzantine Roman Empire resulted in an offspring who was to rule Byzantium as Leo the Khazar. Thus the "King of the North" had skilfully managed to place himself on the throne of the Roman Empire. 24
After the defeat of the Persians a new triangle of power emerged, consisting of the "Islamic Caliphate, Christian Byzantium and the newly emerged Khazar Kingdom of the North. It fell to the latter to bear the brunt of the Arab attack in its initial stages, and to protect the plains of Eastern Europe from the invaders." 25 Because of their unique geographical location within the cusp created by the Caspian and Black Seas on either side, and the frightful stone barrier of the Caucasus Mountains along their southern border, defending their land was made considerably easier. This situation of geography was, according to historians, one of the major factors in shaping the history of Eastern Europe, the European continent, and ultimately the world.
The Khazars had, for years, been venturing forth southward, in their marauding raids on the Muslim countries south of the Caucasus. Now, in the early part of the seventh century, Islam came northward through the same Kasbek Pass the Khazars had used, and began a long war with the "Northern Kingdom." The major attempt of the Muslim armies to take control of the Transcaucasus came in 622 while Mohammed was still leading Islam. They conquered "Persia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and surrounded the Byzantine heartland (present-day Turkey) in a deadly semi-circle, which extended from the Mediterranean to the Caucasus and the southern shores of the Caspian." This began a long series of incursions by both sides (Khazaria and Islam) that lasted for another thirty years. These wars eventually saw the Arabs defeated at every advance, finally ending in 652 with the death of four thousand Arab soldiers, including their commander, Abdal-Rahman ibn-Rabiah, and the Arab armies in complete disarray.
This inability to traverse the Caucasus successfully, made it logistically impossible for the Muslim armies to create an effective siege against the Roman capital of Constantinople. "Had they been able to outflank the capital across the Caucasus and round the Black Sea," says Arthur Koestler, "the fate of the Roman Empire would probably have been sealed." 26 It was this fortuitous situation, coupled with the military barrier presented by the Khazars themselves, that prevented Europe from coming under the crescent moon of Islam and creating a very different history than that which has been.
Following this expulsion of the Arabs from the Khazar homeland, the kingdom began to war for territory rather than spoil, "incorporating the conquered people into an empire with a stable administration, ruled by the mighty Kagan [the title given the Khazar king, sometimes spelled Khagan], who appointed his provincial governors to administer and levy taxes in the conquered territories. At the beginning of the eighth century their state was sufficiently consolidated for the Khazars to take the offensive against the Arabs" rather than merely defending themselves against Muslim attacks. 27
There was a brief period of Muslim incursion into Khazaria where the Caliph Marwin II, in a surprise, two-pronged attack, drove the Khazars as far back in their own land as the Volga region. His only terms for peace were that the Kagan convert to the "True Faith" -- Islam -- with which the Khazar king complied, but apparently only long enough for the Muslim Caliph to withdraw back across the Caucasus. This incident preceded by only a few years the Khazar monarch's conversion to Judaism. Most historians agree as to the motivation behind the Caliph's withdrawal. The Muslim ruler apparently realised that, unlike the more civilised Persians, Armenians or Georgians, the barbaric Khazars could not be kept under military rule at such a distance.
As mentioned previously, most historical accounts credit Charles Martel and his Francs for saving Europe from Islam. This Anglicanized version of history does not, either by ignorance or design, consider the fact that the Franco defence of Western Europe would have been futile had not the Khazars stopped the Muslim onslaught from the east.
The astounding historical result of all this is that the Khazar kingdom was able, eventually, to set up and depose an emperor from the throne of the greatest ruling power on earth at that time, The Roman/Byzantine Empire. 28 This, apparently, was only the beginning, though the records of antiquity, until recently, have largely lost sight of this historically obscure but immensely influential people.
An interesting side note to the legendary Khazarian ferocity again reveals their budding nature as negotiators and consummate politicians, a talent that only intensified under Talmudic Judaism. In The Thirteenth Tribe, Koestler tells of the Byzantine Emperor, Theodosius II, who was intent on securing the friendship of the warrior race, "but the greedy Khazar chieftain, named Karidach, considered the bribe offered to him inadequate, and sided with the Huns. Attila defeated Karidach's rival chieftains, installed him as the sole ruler of the Akatzirs [a name given the "White Khazars"], and invited him to visit his court. Karidach thanked him profusely for the invitation, and went on to say that 'it would be too hard on a mortal man to look into the face of a god. For, as one cannot stare into the sun's disc, even less could one look into the face of the greatest god without suffering injury.' Attila must have been pleased, for he confirmed Karidach in his rule."
The death of Atilla the Hun, however, precipitated the collapse of the Hunnic empire and left an Eastern European power-vacuum which the Khazars eventually filled. They then proceeded to subjugate all other surrounding tribes to the extent that, shortly after their defeat, those tribes went virtually unmentioned in subsequent historical accounts. The Khazars had just swallowed them up, historically speaking. The most difficult time they encountered in their conquests was from the Bulgars, who were "crushingly defeated" around AD 641, with a great many migrating westward toward the Danube, and as previously mentioned, eventually establishing what is now modern Bulgaria. 29
"A warrior-nation of Turkish Jews must have
seemed to the
[western] rabbis as strange as a circumcized unicorn." A. Koestler
According to Benjamin Freedman the Khazars' conversion to Judaism was first precipitated by their monarch's abhorrence of the moral climate into which his kingdom had descended. Freedman has claimed, and other historians confirmed, that the "primitive" Khazars engaged in extremely immoral forms of religious practices, among them phallic worship. Animal sacrifices were also included in their rites.
The Khazar religious structure centered around a shamanism known as Tengri, which incorporated the worship of spirits and the sky as well as zoolatry, the worship of animals. Tengri was also the name of their "immortal god who created the world," and the primary animal sacrifices made to this deity were horses. 30
The actual mechanics of the Khazarian kingdom's turn to Judaism was, most historians agree, rather well thought out -- from a humanistic perspective at least -- rather than random and capricious as some have believed.
According to George Vernadski, in his book A History of Russia, in AD 860 a delegation of Khazars were sent to Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), which was then what remained of the ancient capitol of the old Roman Empire turned Christian under the Emperor Constantine. Their message was:
We have known God the Lord of everything [referring here to Tengri] from time immemorial ... and now the Jews are urging us to accept their religion and customs, and the Arabs, on their part, draw us to their faith, promising us peace and many gifts. 31
This appeal, in all its implications, was obviously made for the purpose of drawing the Christian Roman Empire into the debate with an eye perhaps toward a balanced argument amongst the major monotheistic religions.
Brook makes the observation that "this statement reveals that the Jews were actively seeking converts in Khazaria in 860." He also adds that "in the year 860, [Christian] Saints Cyril and Methodius were sent as missionaries to the Khazars by the Byzantine emperor Michael III .... since the Khazars had requested that a Christian scholar come to Khazaria to debate with the Jews and Muslims." 32
Inasmuch as the world has seldom (or perhaps never) witnessed any culture of people more adept at the art of religious debate than rabbinical Jews, the Khazar's conversion to Talmudic Judaism is not a surprising outcome, given that such a forum was to be the determining factor in their choice, rather than purely spiritual perceptions. The outcome was even further assured by the fact that the Christian representatives in the debate came from a church in the latter formative years of the Holy Roman Empire in which, by that time, spiritual sensitivity had become somewhat rare to nearly extinct.
It was at that period of time (about AD 740) that King Bulan of Khazaria was reputed to have converted to Judaism. In the debate amongst the Islamic mullah, the Christian priest and the Jewish rabbi, each presented to the king the advantages and truths of his own precepts of faith. This king, however, according to some accounts of history, had his own logic for determining which he should embrace. He asked each representative in turn, which of the other two faiths he considered superior. The result was that the Muslim indicated Judaism over Christianity, and the Christian priest chose it over Islam. The king then concluded that Judaism, being the foundation upon which both of the other monotheistic religions were built, would be that which he and his subjects should embrace. The Khazars, themselves being monotheistic, had also apparently expressed reservations about the polytheistic nature of the Trinity doctrine of the Christians. 33
So as not to exclude the Islamic account of these events, the following is taken by D. M. Dunlop from al-Bakri's eleventh century work the Book of Kingdoms and Roads:
"The reason for the conversion of the king of the Khazars, who had previously been a heathen, to Judaism was as follows. He had adopted Christianity. Then he recognised the wrongness of his belief and began to speak with one of his governors about the concern with which he was filled. The other said to him, O king, the People of the Book form three classes. Invite them and enquire of them , then follow whichever is in possession of the truth. So he sent to the Christians for a bishop. Now there was with him a Jew skilled in debate, who disputed with the bishop, asking him, What do you say about Moses, son of Amram, and the Torah which was revealed to him? The other replied, Moses is a Prophet, and the Torah is true. Then said the Jew to the king. He has admitted the truth of my creed. Ask him now what he believes. So the king asked him and he replied, I say that the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, is the Word, and that he has made known the mysteries in the name of God. Then the Jew said to the king of the Khazars, He confesses a doctrine which I know not, while he admits what I set forth. But the bishop was not strong in bringing proofs. So he invited the Muslims, and they sent him a learned and intelligent man who understood disputation. But the Jew hired someone against him who poisoned him on the way, so that he died. And the Jew was able to win the king for his religion." 34
Koestler presents an interesting alternative to these views. His position was that the king's conversion was essentially a political decision. "At the beginning of the eighth century," he writes, "the world was polarized between the two super-powers representing Christianity and Islam. Their ideological doctrines were welded to power-politics pursued by the classical methods of propaganda, subversion and military conquest."
It may be observed here that it is quite evident modern Christianity has well learned this same form of statecraft (propaganda, subversion and military conquest) inasmuch as they have torn a page directly from the first millennium history of the church.
"The Khazar Empire represented a Third Force," Koestler continues, "which had proved equal to either of them, both as an adversary and an ally. But it could only maintain its independence by accepting neither Christianity nor Islam -- for either choice would have automatically subordinated it to the authority of the Roman Emperor or the Caliph of Baghdad." 35
Although they suffered no want of protracted efforts by either Islam or Christianity to convert the Khazars to their respective religions, it resulted in no more than an exchange of political and dynastic courtesies (i.e., intermarriages and shifting military alliances, etc.). It was clear that the Khazars were determined to preserve their supremacy as a "Third Force" in the world, and undisputed leader of the countries and tribal nations of the Transcaucasus. They saw that the adoption of one of the great monotheistic religions would confer upon their monarch the benefit of both prelatic and judicial authority that their system of shamanism could not, and that the rulers of the other two powers clearly enjoyed. 36
J. B. Bury concurs: "There can be no question," he says, "that the ruler was actuated by political motives in adopting Judaism. To embrace Mohammadanism would have made him the spiritual dependent of the Caliphs, who attempted to press their faith on the Khazars, and in Christianity lay the danger of his becoming an ecclesiastical vassal of the Roman Empire. Judaism was a reputable religion with sacred books which both Christian and Mohammadan respected; it elevated him above the heathen barbarians, and secured him against the interference of Caliph or Emperor." 37
It would be illogical, however, to think that the Khazarian rulers had embraced Judaism blindly without intimate knowledge of what they were accepting. They had encountered the faith numerous times throughout the preceding century from traders and refugees fleeing persecution at the hands of the Romans, and, to a lesser degree, Jewish flight from the Arab conquests of Asia Minor.
Benjamin Freedman expresses differently the science behind the process of choosing a national Khazarian religion. He claims they were much more informal and random, and not nearly so intellectual in their approach.
It matters little what the mechanics were of the conversion of the Khazar kingdom to Judaism. It matters only that it happened, and that it happened with a clanging historical ring that resounds to the present age.
"The religion of the Hebrews," writes John Bury, "had exercised a profound influence on the creed of Islam, and it had been a basis for Christianity; it had won scattered proselytes; but the conversion of the Khazars to the undiluted religion of Jehovah is unique in history." 38
It is indeed a unique historical event, as Bury claims; however it is also interesting that he should refer to their conversion to Talmudic Judaism as "to the undiluted religion of Jehovah." It is evident that present-day Ethiopian Jews would disagree with Mr. Bury on this matter since they do not adhere to the precepts of the Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash or any of the extra-biblical writings that have arisen since the close of the Old Testament canon. These Jews of North Africa claim only Torah as their scriptural authority. And, unlike their distant "brothers" of the Talmud, they practice their religion quietly and with relatively no involvement in worldly politics.
According to an ancient document entitled King Joseph's Reply to Hasdai ibn Shaprut, Joseph (a later Khazarian king) stated that, "From that time on the Almighty God helped him [King Bulan] and strengthened him. He and his slaves circumcised themselves and he sent for and brought wise men of Israel who interpreted the Torah for him and arranged the precepts in order." 39
There appears to be as many historical accounts as to how King Bulan was converted to Judaism as there are historians and mystics to present them. Many of them involve visions of angels, such as the tale by a Sephardic Jewish philosopher detailing a dream in which an angel told the king that his "intentions are desirable to the Creator" but the continued observance of shamanism was not. 40 In the aforementioned document, King Joseph's Reply, its author claims that in that same dream God promised King Bulan that if he would abandon his pagan religion and worship the only true God that He would "bless and multiply Bulan's offspring, and deliver his enemies into his hands, and make his kingdom last to the end of the world".
It is believed by scholars that the dream was designed to simulate the Covenant in Genesis and meant to imply "that the Khazars too claimed the status of a Chosen Race, who made their own Covenant with the Lord, even though they were not descended from Abraham's seed." 41 [emphasis supplied]
King Joseph corroborates this in his document as he claims to have positively traced his family's ancestry back, not to Shem the father of the "Shemites" or Semite peoples, but to another of Noah's sons. "Though a fierce Jewish nationalist, proud of wielding the 'sceptre ofJudah'," Koestler says, "he cannot, and does not, claim for them Semitic descent; he traces their ancestry...to...Noah's third son, Japheth; or more precisely to Japheth's grandson, Togarma, the ancestor of all Turkish tribes."
Koestler adds a footnote to King Joseph's genealogical claims that is piercingly relevant to this study: "It also throws a sidelight on the frequent description of the Khazars as the people of Magog. Magog, according to Genesis 10:2-3 was the much maligned uncle of Togarma." Add to this that two other of the sons of Japheth, the progenitor of the Khazars, are Meshech and Tubal, central figures in biblical prophecies of the end times.
King Joseph's Reply also revealed that the successor to King Bulan, his son Obediah, "reorganized the kingdom and established the [Jewish] religion properly and correctly," bringing in numerous Jewish sages who "explained to him the twenty-four books [the Torah], Mishnah, Talmud, and the order of prayers."
This entrenchment in the Jewish religion outlasted the kingdom itself and was transplanted, whole cloth, into the Eastern European settlements of Russia and Poland. 42
Whatever the religious machinery (and/or chicanery) that was set in motion to accomplish the task, the consequence is historically undeniable that the Khazarian king was indeed converted to Talmudic Judaism. And the temporal consequences of that conversion have rung down through history like a warped and distorted bell, answering clearly to prophetic declarations of the last days of earth's history.
The Khazarian kingdom reached its peak of power and world influence in the latter half of the eighth century. The death knell of their empire was eventually seen in the dragon-headed ships of the Vikings who were to cross and navigate all the major waterways in their onslaughts. Even the legendary ferocity of the Khazars was outdistanced by these Norsemen who "did not deign to trade until they failed to vanquish; they preferred bloodstained, glorious gold to a steady mercantile profit." 43 They were also called Rus, from which descended, among others, the Russians.
Because historical Scandinavian literature did not begin until after the time of the Vikings, little of actual fact is known of them, with much of it apocryphal and contradictory and almost none of it laudatory. Of their military powers, however, virtually all accounts are in harmony. In his book, The Magyars in the Ninth Century, C. A. Macartney quotes the Arab historian, Ibn Rusta:
"These people are vigorous and courageous and when they descend on open ground, none can escape from them without being destroyed and their women taken possession of, and themselves taken into slavery." 44
There was even coined a specific term for the Viking ferocity: berserksgangr, from which is derived the English word berserk.
"Such were the prospects," says Koestler, "which...faced the Khazars."
Even in light of their viciousness and military prowess, these Norse Vikings focused their pillaging assaults on the Byzantine Roman Empire, preferring to trade with the Khazars rather than to tangle with them. Though eventually outmatched in ferocity, the Khazars were still able, for a while, to exact their ten percent taxes even from the Vikings on all of their "cargo" (more correctly spelled plunder) that passed through their land.
An interesting story emerges from this period of the Khazar Empire that gives a clear vignette of the emerging cultural schematic that was eventually to be scattered throughout the world.
In 912 the Rus Vikings, with an armada of 500 ships, each manned by 100 warriors, were set on invading and plundering the Muslim lands south of the Khazars, with whom the Khazars had a loose alliance of protection due to the thousands of loyal Muslims in the Kagan's army. The Rus commander sent a letter to the Kagan asking permission to pass through his territory, to which the Khazar king acceded on condition of receiving half of the spoils upon their return.
On the Viking's return from their bloody mission, and paying the tribute required by the Khazars, the Muslims loyal to the Khazarian monarch, who lived in the eastern part of his kingdom, requested of the Kagan that they be permitted to fight the Vikings in retaliation for what they had done to their brethren to the south. The king granted them permission to do so, which resulted in the complete eradication of the Rus force -- except for five thousand who escaped and were subsequently killed by the Butas and Bulgars to the north.
Here pictured is a classical perspective of what was to become the Khazar/Jewish heritage in nearly all their dealings -- business, social or cultural: a king who becomes a willing though passive confederate of marauding Rus/Vikings, claims half of the loot they have taken in their bloody assault, licenses a retributive attack against them by Muslims under his own command, but then informs the Vikings of the imminent reprisal he himself has authorised. 45
The weakening of the Khazar military influence had a very wide and unexpected influence in that it greatly hastened the extinction of the Byzantine Empire. They no longer had a powerful force on their eastern borders to prevent the Vikings, Mongols and others from invading an already weakened dominion. This, and internal factions within Khazaria, was the prolog to the scattering of the Khazar/Jewish seed throughout Russia and eastern Europe -- and eventually, as shall be shown, to the reshaping of world history.
The swan song of the Khazar kingdom was not a precipitous decline in a climactic or decisive series of battles, but rather a gradual, evolutionary succumbing to superior forces over a protracted period of time.
"In general, the reduced Khazar kingdom persevered," says S. W. Baron. "It waged a more or less effective defense against all foes until the middle of the thirteenth century, when it fell victim to the great Mongol invasion set in motion by Jenghiz Khan. Even then it resisted stubbornly until the surrender of all its neighbours....But before and after the Mongol upheaval the Khazars sent many offshoots into the unsubdued Slavonic lands, helping ultimately to build up the great Jewish centres of eastern Europe." 46
"Here, then," remarks Arthur Koestler, "we have the cradle of the numerically strongest and culturally dominant part of modern Jewry."
The ancient Hebrew nation had started branching into the Diaspora long before the destruction of Jerusalem. Ethnically, the Semitic tribes on the waters of the Jordan and the Turko-Khazar tribes on the Volga were of course 'miles apart', but they had at least two important formative factors in common. Each lived at a focal junction where the great trade routes connecting east and west, north and south intersect; a circumstance which predisposed them to become nations of traders, of enterprising travellers, or 'rootless cosmopolitans' -- as hostile propaganda has unaffectionately labelled them. But at the same time their exclusive religion fostered a tendency to keep to themselves and stick together, to establish their own communities with their own places of worship, schools, residential quarters and ghettoes (originally self-imposed) in whatever town or country they settled. This rare combination of wanderlust and ghetto-mentality, reinforced by Messianic hopes and chosen-race pride, both ancient Israelites and mediaeval Khazars shared -- even though the latter traced their descent not to Shem [S[h]emites] but to Japheth." [underscore supplied]
This more recent "Diaspora" resulted in a strong, oftentimes politically overwhelming, Khazar/Jewish influence in especially Hungary and Poland, but also in the whole of Eastern Europe. Jews were found in positions of power and political influence in virtually every major category of life, business and society. There may have already been a small population of what Koestler calls "real Jews" living in that region, "but there can be little doubt that the majority of modern Jewry originated in the migratory waves of ... Khazars who play such a dominant part in early Hungarian history".
The Khazar influx into the Hungary/Poland region was only a small part of an overall "mass-migration" from their homeland to Eastern and Central Europe. They were employed as "mintmasters, administrators of the royal revenue, controllers of the salt monopoly [at that time salt was a valuable commodity often used in place of money. From this comes the saying "worth his salt".] , taxcollectors and 'money-lenders' -- i.e., bankers."47
Western European Jews historically displayed such a talent and acumen at trading and as userers (money lenders) that in virtually any society and culture in which they found themselves, they became the possessors of and controlling influence over large portions of that nation's wealth. "In the 'dark ages' the commerce of Western Europe," wrote Cecil Roth in the 1973 edition of The Encyclopedia Britannica, "was largely in Jewish hands, not excluding the slave trade, and...Jew and Merchant are used as almost interchangeable terms."
"The floating wealth of the country," Roth continued, "was soaked up by the Jews, who were periodically made to disgorge into the exchequer [national or royal treasury]" 48 It was evident that the ruling class periodically became intimidated by the mass of their nation's wealth accumulating to the hands of so small a minority -- and a very clannish minority at that. This would logically give any ruling authority cause for concern -- when a particular group virtually controls the nation's economics while at the same time appearing to have a tenuous allegiance to the country in which they reside. Such a course of events evidently led to the creation of a stereotyping blueprint for Jews and Jewish communities that has been expressed -- and reacted to -- in various cultures for centuries.
"The nucleus of modern Jewry," remarks Koestler, "thus followed the old recipe: strike out for new horizons but stick together." 49 This, as previously mentioned, was the course of Western European Jews, but the similarity between them and the Khazarian Jews is striking, especially in their unequalled aptitude at things economical and political.
This mass of historical data "has lead several historians to conjecture that a substantial part, and perhaps the majority of eastern Jews -- and hence of world Jewry -- might be of Khazar, and not of Semitic Origin."
The far-reaching implications of this hypothesis may explain the great caution exercised by historians in approaching this subject -- if they do not avoid it altogether. Thus in the 1973 edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica the article "Khazars" is signed by Dunlop, but there is a separate section dealing with "Khazar Jews after the Fall of the Kingdom", signed by the editors, and written with the obvious intent to avoid upsetting believers in the dogma of the Chosen Race. [underscore supplied] 50
Abraham N. Poliak, Tel Aviv University's post-war Professor of Mediaeval Jewish History, wondered at "how far we can go in regarding this [Khazar] Jewry as the nucleus of the large Jewish settlement in Eastern Europe. The descendants of this settlement," Poliak declares, "those who stayed where they were, those who emigrated to the United States and to other countries, and those who went to Israel -- constitute now the large majority of world Jewry. [emphasis supplied] 51 Some historians, such as Austrian Hugo Kutschera, assert that Eastern European Jewry was not part, but entirely of Khazarian origin. 52
Still further proof that the Jews of Eastern Europe had no origins in the West is Yiddish, the language commonly used by the Eastern Jews. Yiddish was, until the latter part of the twentieth century, a dying language. It is an amalgamation of several tongues, primarily Hebrew, and written with Hebrew characters, but which includes much of mediaeval German and components of other languages like Slavonic. The German elements incorporated into Yiddish have been clearly shown to have originated in the east of Germany where it joined the Slavonic regions of Eastern Europe. Yiddish is a sort of linguistic "sponge" in that it readily absorbs and incorporates whatever words or idiomatic expressions best suit its purpose. It would therefore naturally have become a cultural marker for whatever region in which it was spoken, absorbing the telltale indicators of dialect like a tattoo. 53
Another respected Austrian historian, Matisyohu Meises, questions, "Could it be that the generally accepted view, according to which the German Jews once upon a time immigrated from France across the Rhine, is misconceived?" Meises, who knew virtually nothing about the Khazars, was perplexed at the fact that no Yiddish linguistic roots whatever could be traced to Western Europe. He also noted that, inexplicably, there was a large geographical gap clearly delineating the Yiddish spoken by the Eastern Khazar transplants from any spoken in Western Europe. 54
"The evidence," Mr. Koestler nicely summates, "...adds up to a strong case in favour of those modern historians -- whether Austrian, Israeli or Polish -- who, independently from each other, have argued that the bulk of modern Jewry is not of Palestinian, but of Caucasian origin. The mainstream of Jewish migrations did not flow from the Mediterranean across France and Germany to the east and then back again. The stream moved in a consistently westerly direction, from the Caucasus through the Ukraine into Poland and thence into Central Europe. When that unprecedented mass-settlement in Poland came into being, there were simply not enough Jews around in the west to account for it; while in the east a whole nation was on the move to new frontiers." 55
With the overwhelming evidence that the modern Jewish population is of Khazar origin, Koestler remarks that this would clearly indicate that "their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga, not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that genetically they are more closely related to the Hun, Uigur and Magyar tribes than to the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." This conclusion would then logically render the epithet "anti-Semitism" "void of meaning," Koestler says.
The latter conclusion is a position Palestinian Arabs might well dispute with Mr. Koestler due to the fact that this revelation ironically places the modern Jew, currently occupying Palestine, in the unenviable position of, themselves, being anti-Semitic -- an historical mockery of somewhat amazing proportions. 56
But what, one may ask, became of the greater part of the population of "real Jews"?
Towards the close of the ninth century the Jewish settlements of Germany, who were nearly all of Semitic origin, had been virtually wiped out by the "mob-hysteria" that resulted from the First Crusade in 1096. The Encyclopedia Britannica on the Crusades vividly sets forth the mindset of the crusaders:
"He might butcher all, till he waded ankle-deep in blood, and then at nightfall kneel, sobbing for very joy, at the altar of the Sepulchre -- for was he not red from the winepress of the Lord?" 57
The Jews who found themselves in that "winepress" significantly assisted in their own demise. Like those of Massada who committed mass suicide rather than surrender to the armies of Rome, a great many of the Jews of the Rhineland and surrounding countries, when presented with the choice of baptism into "Christianity" or death at the hands of their captors, chose neither, opting for the Massada solution.
Imitating on a grand scale Abraham's readiness to sacrifice Isaac, fathers slaughtered their children and husbands their wives. These acts of unspeakable horror and heroism were performed in the ritualistic form of slaughter with sacrificial knives sharpened in accordance with Jewish law. At times the leading sages of the community, supervising the mass immolation, were the last to part with life at their own hands. In the mass hysteria, sanctified by the glow of religious martyrdom and compensated by the confident expectation of heavenly rewards, nothing seemed to matter but to end life before one fell into the hands of the implacable foes and had to face the inescapable alternative of death at the enemy's hand or conversion to Christianity. 58
Of the German cities of Worms and Spires, being somewhat representative of the whole of Western European communities that were devastated by the Crusades, Salo Baron writes, "the total Jewish population of either community had hardly exceeded the figures...given for the dead alone". 59
The most common historical concept, before the modern revelation of the existence of Khazaria, was that the 1096 Crusade literally "swept like a broom" virtually the entire German Jewish population into Poland. This was an invention of apparent necessity because those historians could account by no other means for the inexplicably large population of Eastern European Jews. They concluded this in the face of the total absence of any historical account of a mass migration of Jews to eastern Germany and certainly not Poland.
By the close of the 1300s much of Western Europe was, for all practical purposes, completely empty of any perceivable Jewish population. What the Crusades failed to accomplish in the eradication of Western European Jewry the "Black Death" -- the Bubonic Plagues of the bacilli Pasteurella pestis -- virtually completed. Those Jews of that era suffered doubly; from the plague itself and from the proliferation of superstitious rumours that they were responsible for the disease by poisoning wells, just as they were blamed earlier for "the ritual slaughter of Christian children." This resulted in the burning alive of Jews in great numbers over the whole of Europe. 60 Later some of the Sephardic Jews of Spain immigrated northward, accounting for some of the smaller Jewish populations of Western Europe.
"Because of the long and varied history of the Jews," says the 2001 edition of World Book Encyclopedia, "it is difficult to define a Jew. There is no such thing as a Jewish race. Jewish identity is a mixture of religious, historical, and ethnic factors." Thus, those who might have truly claimed to be of the genealogy of Abraham and of true Semitic origin became extinct as a discernible race, being replaced by the white Khazars of the Transcaucasus, none of whose ancestors, as Benjamin Freedman phrases it, have ever placed a foot in the land of Palestine. This causes a serious problem with modern Christianity's infatuation with the Jews and their "return to their Homeland," begging the question: How can one return to a place where they have never been?
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