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Thread: Operation Antioch: Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Levantines

  1. #1
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    Operation Antioch: Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic Levantines

    Today I stumbled upon the site for a small grassroots movement called Operation Antioch, which is committed to imbuing consciousness of a Hellenic (aka Rum) identity among the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholics of Greater Syria, and which is just as opposed to Phoenician/Aramaean/Syriac identity politics as it is to Arabism.

    All well and good: how people choose to identify isn't my business, and if anything, I definitely don't mind anything that promotes Mediterranean identity and solidarity.

    Identifying with the cultural world of Hellenism makes some sense (as a Western Jew who loves Greece, I could even try to get a piece of the action). But: these Operation Antioch folks seem to be totally wrong-headed in their theory of ethnic origins: using the smokescreen of Hittites, Hurrians, Sea Peoples, and Seleucids, they basically claim that they're just as Indo-European/Greek — biologically — as they are "Semitic", if not more.

    What's interesting is that these Levantine Antiochian Christians set themselves up in opposition to Maronite nationalism — the far more famous Levantine Christian anti-Arabist movement — and seem to reject the premise that Levantines (especially Christians) are mostly Canaanite/Aramaean by blood, which, politics aside, is almost certainly true. The implication seems to be that even if identifying with Syriac origins makes sense for the peasants of Mount Lebanon, the Hellenic Christians of the Galilee, Damascus, Tripoli, and Aleppo are fundamentally different.

    So, I was wondering: is there anyone out there who has access to both Maronite AND Greek Orthodox/Catholic results from Lebanon/Syria (ideally, from the same region)? We know that there are small, but significant genetic differences between Levantine Christians, Muslims, and Druze. And also, as I recall, between the Y chromosomes of Lebanese Maronites and Greek Orthodox. But what about intra-Christian autosomal differences? My gut tells me Operation Antioch is wildly off, but without fine-scale sampling, who knows?

    PS. I learned about Operation Antioch from a big-name Lebanese Greek Orthodox public intellectual on Twitter, who made the sympathetic point that you can't tell an urban Syrian apart from a Greek. I am tempted to reply: "Facially, that's true, but it's not even close genetically." After all, I've often been told I look Syrian or Lebanese — which is picking up on a genuine affinity — but there's no conflating an Ashkenazi Jew for a Syrian, genetically.
    Last edited by wandering_amorite; 10-27-2016 at 07:11 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Some useful gedmatch kits

    Syrian Greek Orthodox: F458645
    Lebanese Druze: M664910
    Palestinian Greek Orthodox: F285454
    Lebanese Melkite: FM10518
    Half maronite leb half white euro american A741282

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    I have some more gedmatch IDs for near eastern minorities and Christians elsewhere. I'll post them as I find them. I can tell you that from what I've seen of levantine greek orthodox results, operation antioch is bullshit. They tend to score somewhere between Samaritans and Druze. Maronites have a slight shift towards Cypriots but aren't too far removed. Greek orthodox or even Christian levantine groups being wholly or even partly greek/euro descended (moreso than other urban levantines in general) is a complete fiction except in a few specific families with real paper trails and recent ottoman christian or late byzantine ancestry.

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    Thanks for the help. That's about what I figured. Looking forward to playing with those kits.

    I also recall seeing a table of Lebanese Y-haplogroups by sect, but can't seem to find it. Maronites were enriched for J2, and Greek Orthodox for E1b1b. I could see how people with an agenda could construe high E1b1b to suggest a Greek affinity, but until we know which subclade (oddly, mine - E-M34 - is common in Palestine and Cyprus, but not Syria/Lebanon), it's a moot point.

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    (Also, the Lebanese Melkite's kit ID seems to be wrong.)

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    I think we have to compare the autosomal results of Neolithic Natufians with those of modern Levantines in order to determine the extent of the Indo-European autosomal input into the latters.
    My closest oracles:
    1 CEU + Morocco_Jews + Swedish + Sahara_OCC @ 1.618438 DODECAD V3
    1 BedouinA + German_North + Scottish_West + Tunisian @ 1.355784 puntDNAL K12 Modern
    1 Algerian + BedouinA + British + Norwegian_West @ 2.072077 MDLP K23b

    A thread where I explain how the Tunisian sample used by various gedmatch calcs is not representative of Tunisians:
    Hidden Content

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    I think there are too many layers to parse. For one, we know that Iranian and Anatolian Neolithic input shifted Neolithic Levantines away from the Natufian average. It's also likely that there were a number of population turnovers between the Neolithic and Middle Bronze Ages that involved different groups of Semitic speakers. Only between the Middle Bronze and Iron Ages do non-Semitic speakers — Hurrians, Mitanni, Hittites, and Aegean-Anatolian Sea Peoples — come into the picture. How we sort that input from later Hellenic and Byzantine Greek input is beyond me. I don't doubt that such a level of resolution will be possible one day, but there's no hope trying with GEDmatch calculators.

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    I've seen several groups of the sort before, this is just another example of how politics, religion and ethnicity are closely intertwined in the region. The Greek Orthodox communities of the region in particular have produced several similar ideologies, what I find ironical is that these guys rage on about how the SSNP and Arabism are wrong even though most of the ideologues who came up with these ideologies were Greek Orthodox themselves. But I can understand the underlying logic behind this attempt at a time when several years of brutal civil & proxy war might've vaccinated some Syrians for life from the wonders of all the -isms which abund in Arab countries and are now full-time protagonists in Syria.

    Even more ironical is their description of a hybrid Levantine-Greek population, which is bound to be far more accurate for Western Jewish populations than for the Greek Orthodox communities of the Levant, from the results I've seen they seem to be close either to Samaritans or to Assyrians (the latter is more true of the Greek Orthodox and Melkites from Syria), that is to say nowhere close to Greeks unless Cypriots are to be used as a proxy for Greek ancestry in the region (this could actually make sense).

    Quote Originally Posted by wandering_amorite View Post
    Thanks for the help. That's about what I figured. Looking forward to playing with those kits.

    I also recall seeing a table of Lebanese Y-haplogroups by sect, but can't seem to find it. Maronites were enriched for J2, and Greek Orthodox for E1b1b. I could see how people with an agenda could construe high E1b1b to suggest a Greek affinity, but until we know which subclade (oddly, mine - E-M34 - is common in Palestine and Cyprus, but not Syria/Lebanon), it's a moot point.
    I think you're referring to this:




    ^^This was made by a Turkish Cypriot member on this forum a year or so ago IIRC, a pity he didn't try to further isolate important branches of J2, E-M35.1 and J1 though I'm sure I could do it myself if I had the time. Here's another similar chart he made detailing the Y-DNA frequencies of Turkish and Greek Cypriots:

    Last edited by Agamemnon; 10-28-2016 at 02:16 AM.
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post

    ^^This was made by a Turkish Cypriot member on this forum a year or so ago IIRC, a pity he didn't try to further isolate important branches of J2, E-M35.1 and J1 though I'm sure I could do it myself if I had the time. Here's another similar chart he made detailing the Y-DNA frequencies of Turkish and Greek Cypriots:

    Hey Aga', don't you think that it is kind of "funny" that E1b (presumably E1b1b) has a higher frequency in Greek Cypriots than Turkish Cypriots? Also, why is E1a present among Greeks but not among Turks? The higher frequency of I in Turks is rather intriguing as well IMHO (too bad that there's no information on the subclades though).

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    Sorry about the dud kit before. Lebanese Melkite: M868550 (just tested this, it works)

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