George E. Ehrlich, MD
The Editors welcome submissions for possible publication in the Letters section. Authors of letters should:
•Include no more than 300 words of text, three authors, and five references
•Type with double-spacing
•Send three copies of the letter, an authors' form signed by all authors, and a cover letter describing any conflicts of interest related to the contents of the letter.
Letters commenting on an Annals article will be considered if they are received within 6 weeks of the time the article was published. Only some of the letters received can be published. Published letters are edited and may be shortened; tables and figures are included only selectively. Authors will be notified that the letter has been received. If the letter is selected for publication, the author will be notified about 3 weeks before the publication date. Unpublished letters cannot be returned.
Annals welcomes electronically submitted letters.
Ehrlich GE. Genetics of Familial Mediterranean Fever. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130:780-781. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-130-9-199905040-00022
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(9):780-781.
Although Dr. Roda correctly points out that migrations of Sephardic Jews (predominantly from Iberia as a result of the Spanish Inquisition) to the western hemisphere preceded those of Ashkenazi Jews, the patients described by Siegal (1) were Ashkenazim, identified by him to Professor Harry Heller, who headed the familial Mediterranean fever project in Israel. There is no doubt that Sephardim migrated to other parts of Europe from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th and early 16th centuries: the Netherlands, surely, and points East as well (others of similar background already inhabited Turkey, Italy, and areas of the old Roman Empire). But we know that there are few genetically pure strains of any people who lived in areas that were subject to migrations and depredations (unlike isolates such as those existing on exotic remote islands). Dr. Levin's letter therefore reiterates the fact that migrations occurred (which is not questioned) but attempts to discredit the evidence Professor Heller and others first offered to me in Israel in 1964, when I was delegated to his team as a rheumatologic consultant. The large eastern European Jewish community and their genetics do not reflect a migration from Spain (the German and French Jews were not part of the Sephardic community). Rather, the genetic data offered by Eisenberg and colleagues (2) suggest a genetic identity of Ashkenazi Jews and Armenians and Iraqi Jews. This would imply that they originated from the Jews of the Babylonian captivity and the converts in the adjacent Khazar empire. Unscrupulous uses of such data in social and political contents are deplorable but should not influence the search for and publication of science. I assume Dr. Levin worries that these data would undermine the claim of Israel to its legitimacy, but I believe that they actually strengthen that claim because they provide proof of origins of its inhabitants in that area long before the influx of later invaders, including the Arabs.
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only