The murders of 16 Afghan civilians including at least nine (9) children, allegedly by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales from Fort Lewis, Washington became up close and personal for me when I realized that the area in which the murder took place includes one of the few areas of the Earth where my very, very rare Y-Chromosome DNA Haplogroup/Subclade, “G2c,” is concentrated. The Noorzai Tribe of the Pathan or Pashtun people is located right in the area of the Panjwai region of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan where the murders took place.
The science behind DNA groups evolves every day as more and more people around the world get tested. The best theories about where G2c people come from is that we are descended from a group of Judeans from Southern Syria who were for the most part, deported by the Romans around 70 C.E., at the end of the Jewish rebellion against Roman rule. Most of us were probably deported to Sicily, which came under Spanish rule in the 12th Century. In 1492, my ancestors in Sicily were expelled, forced to convert, or burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition. Those lucky enough to leave had to pay an exit tax (if they could afford it) and not take gold, silver or jewels out of Spain.
The royal line of Afghanistan, founded by Ahmad Shah Durrani (c. 1722–1773), has tested as G2c, as have certain of the tribes of the Pathan/Pashtun people. These tribes and the descendants of Shah Durrani, say that their ancestor was a son of King Saul of Israel, Afghani and their oral tradition is that they are of the ancient Jewish tribe of Benjamin. Many of the traditions and laws of these tribes are closer to Jewish Torah than they are to standard Islamic traditions.
My friend Bruce Boguslav in Massachusetts, who looks more like me than my own biological brother, has a family history which says that his ancestors came from the Ukrainian town of Boguslav and that a number of people in his family had the name Wolinsky. Small world: There is a John Wolins (former family name Wolinsky) whose earliest known ancestor by conventional geneaology is Yoina Wolinsky, born circa 1760 c.e. in Boguslav, Ukraine. John Wolins and I are 61 out of 67 point matches on our Y-Chromosome for genetic mutation markers (pretty damn close).
Now here’s the real clincher. Just as the Afghan royalty and various Pathan/Pashtun tribes say that they are descended from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin, so does the oral tradition of Bruce Boguslav’s family! Who’d a thunk it???
So, as I ponder the insanity of these killings it’s not some sort of abstraction that happened to faceless people in a faraway part of the world. Some of the people who were killed may very well have been my relatives.