Rif'at 'Utfi, a Syrian researcher and translator, appeared on the national Syrian TV channel to discuss recent research regarding the origins of Ashkenazi Jews. Following are excerpts from his comments, broadcast on June 16, 2004:
Rif'at 'Utfi: The history of the Ashkenazi Jews begins only in the 10th century, according to Dr. Mahmoud's research. The Ashkenazi Jews survived because 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Nasser (the ruler of Andalusia) protected them.
These Ashkenazis do not belong to Judaism.They are not Hebrews and have no connection with the Sephardi Jews, as all contemporary historical research proves. The Ashkenazis or the Jews, instead of thanking the Arabs for protecting them, came to Palestine, occupied it, deported its people, and we see what they are doing now. What is horrifying is that among these Ashkenazis are Sharon and Bush, in his original roots.
Moderator: How? I don't understand?
'Utfi: Sharon is Ashkenazi.
Moderator: This is well known.
'Utfi: And so is Bush, in his original roots, when, in the 17th century I think, his family immigrated to the US, they were Jews and became Christian only in the 18th century. He is aware of these roots, but is not aware that those who defended his forefathers were the Arabs.