Iraqi historian and archaeologist Ali Al-Nashmi said that there was an international Jewish mafia that aimed to acquire Iraqi antiquities. Walid Al-As'ad, director of Palmyra Museum, said that the Jews wanted "to destroy the city [of Palmyra] and wipe it off the face of the Earth," in order to erase the memory of their Babylonian exile. Walid's father, Khaled Al-As'ad, was killed in August by ISIS militants. He had served as director of the museum for 40 years until his retirement in 2003, when Walid took over the position. The statements were broadcast on Mayadeen TV on September 9, 2015.
Following are excerpts:
Iraqi historian and archaeologist Ali Al-Nashmi: The international mafia that deals with antiquities is a Zionist mafia, associated with the Jewish Zionist ideology, because the Jews are always searching for antiquities – especially Middle Eastern ones, and particularly Iraqi antiquities – in order to prove that the Torah is true. The Torah, or the Talmud, was written in Iraq after the Babylonian captivity in 550 BCE, and therefore it included all the Iraqi legends, history, and individuals. They focus on Iraqi antiquities and history in order to prove this.
This is why the most prominent archaeologists in the world are Jews. In line with this ancient theory from the days of the Babylonian captivity 2,500 years ago, which was reinforced following the 1897 Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, a mafia connected to Jewish capital was born. Of all the people, Jews are the most eager to acquire Iraqi antiquities, and so they extort, steal, and establish mafia gangs.
Walid Al-As'ad, Director of Palmyra Museaum: The [Jews] try to destroy this heritage, in order to erase the Arab origins of these antiquities.
I would like to refer to something important mentioned in the Torah. It is said that a Jewish rabbi once said: "How happy will be the one who will witness the destruction of Palmyra!" We, as specialists in the field of antiquities in Palmyra, believe that this city constitutes an eternal ideological target…
Walid Al-As'ad: Because its mounted archers participated in the Babylonian captivity, and the destruction of the [Jewish] Temple, or so they say. These archers played an active role in winning the battle. Therefore, [the Jews] want to destroy the city and wipe it off the face of the Earth, or even sow its land with salt, so that no life would ever grow out of it.