Something Neither Antisemitic Northern Supremacists Nor Arab Nationalists Will Like

Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Pierre Zalloua

In the minority rule, Taleb (2017) shows that genes and languages don’t map to one another. The narrative is that

Two points from recent genetic discoveries and data: 1) Greeks were close to Jews, as the “Aryan” theory is genetically bogus & 2) Lebanese (both Christian and Moslem) are very far from being Arabs (the historical accounts of Arab migrations to Lebanon are fiction).

Something Hitler Would Not Have Liked

Although “White” Supremacists like to be antisemitic, here is something Hitler would have hated: Ancient Greeks were genetically as close to Ancient Levantines as they were to the so called “Aryans”. It just happened that Ancient Greeks spoke an Indo-European language while Ancient Levantines spoke a Semitic one. Ancient Greeks, it turns out, have an Anatolian origin (and Levantines are mostly Anatolian and Iranian). This was shown in recent paper, Lazaridis et al. (2017) who looked at Bronze Age and modern Greeks. And modern Greeks descend mostly from Bronze Age Greeks. In other words, if you want to see how ancient Greeks looked like, go no further than your local diner in Astoria, Queens.

So, if white supremacists want to claim a genetic link to ancient civilizations in order to get some “lettres de noblesse” and improve the “European” pedigree, they need another route. They would either need to abandon their link to Western Civilization or abandon their antisemitism. You, simply, cannot have both.

No, The Lebanese have no Arab ancestry

A recent paper showed that modern Lebanese are genetically very close to Ancient Canaanites. Further, in spite of claims in history books (e.g. Salibi), Lebanon experienced hardly any gene flow from the Arabian Peninsula. The presence of J1e haplogroup is less than 3%, a tenth of what is found in Syrians and Jordanians, and a fifth of what is found in Palestinians. This applies to all Lebanese ethnoreligious groups.

Note that a recent account in National Geographic that went viral, showing that Lebanese are partly Arabs is highly… unscientific.

Further, the distance between today’s Lebanese and modern Greeks is minimal, much closer than that between them and nonLevantine members of the Arab League.

Processed by Taleb from Zalloua’s database. No matter how you slice it, modern Greeks are much closer to Northern Levantines than they are to Nordics.
Lebanon X haplogroups (all communities)


Lazaridis, Iosif, Alissa Mittnik, Nick Patterson, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Saskia Pfrengle, Anja Furtwängler et al. “Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans.” Nature (2017).

Marc Haber, Claude Doumet-Serhal, Christiana Scheib, Yali Xue, Petr Danecek, Massimo Mezzavilla, Sonia Youhanna, Rui Martiniano, Javier Prado-Martinez, Michał Szpak, Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith, Holger Schutkowski, Richard Mikulski, Pierre Zalloua, Toomas Kivisild, Chris Tyler-Smith, 2017. Continuity and admixture in the last five millennia of Levantine history from ancient Canaanite and present-day Lebanese genome sequences.The American Journal of Human Genetics doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.06.013

Data by Pierre Zalloua