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According to some undisclosed Iraqi “experts,” the reason Israel is trying to obtain ancient, priceless Jewish manuscripts stolen by Saddam Hussein’s regime from Iraqi Jews and later smuggled out of Iraq by US troops, is to falsify history by claiming it was the Jews who built the Tower of Babel!
The Arabic version is even nuttier (as expected) but I’ll get to that later.
Israel suspected of seeking to ‘steal’ ancient Iraqi manuscripts transferred to U.S.The Iraqi minister of culture has said that the United States is delaying the return of original copies of ancient manuscripts that were illegally smuggled out of Iraq and reportedly sold to Israel.
The manuscripts are part of the Jewish archive that was found in the basement of the Iraqi intelligence building following the 2003 American invasion.
The archive was reportedly transferred to the United States for “maintenance purposes” provided that it would be returned to the Iraqi government by mid-2006. The archive, however, has not yet been transferred back to the Iraqi Archeology and Heritage Association.
Iraqi media reports suggest that Israel was behind the stalling of the delivery of the archives and that the Jewish state was planning to obtain the historic manuscripts from its ally the United States.
Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmed ben Helli has confirmed attempts by Israel to steal ancient Iraqi archives.
“Iraq has been subjected to the biggest theft of its manuscripts and historic treasures,” he said. “Israel is accomplice to this.”
According to archeologists, the Iraqi Jewish archive contains almost 3,000 documents and 1,700 antiques that chronicle the eras in which Jews were enslaved in Iraq during the first and second eras of Babylonian captivity. The collection also comprises belongings of Jews who lived in Iraq.
Among the most important items in the collection are the oldest copies of the Talmud and the Old Testament. That is why, experts argue, the former Iraqi regime kept the collection guarded in the intelligence building.
Experts add that Israel is keen on obtaining the manuscripts in order to prove their claim that the Jews had built the Tower of Babel as part of its attempt to distort the history of the Middle East for its own interests.
According to Saad Bashir Iskander, head of the Iraqi Books and Manuscripts Authority, the United States intentionally transferred ancient manuscripts that date back to several eras from Iraq.
“The manuscripts filled 48,000 boxes and containers,” he said. “The United States has 90 percent of Iraq’s historic archives in its possession. American researchers and universities use it illegally.”
Deputy Minister of Culture Taher al-Hamoud said that United States was delaying whenever asked by the Iraqi government to bring the collection back.
“Based on the information we have at the ministry of culture, 70 percent of the archive is in Hebrew, 25 percent in Arabic, and 5 percent in other languages,” he told Al Arabiya.
Several Iraqi bodies, like the parliament’s Cultural Committee, are calling upon the Ministry of Culture to exert its utmost effort to return the country’s stolen heritage.
The architectural element known colloquially as the “Tower of Babel” is in all probabilities a Ziggurat, a massive brick-stepped pyramid found in Mesopotamia. The connection of the Hebrew Bible to the geography and mythology of Mesopotamia is undoubted (Ninveh, Ur Kasdim, Babylon, Aram Naharaim, just to name a few), and thus the description of such a massive cultic building is not improbable. Actual experts claim that the Tower of Babel is the Etemenanki, built by King Nebuchadnezzar II as a temple for Marduk, in the 6th century BCE. The Jewish exiles from Jerusalem after the destruction of the first temple in 586 BCE, probably saw it with their own eyes and incorporated into the Biblical narrative.
So did the Jews built the Tower of Babel? No. There’s a very informative description of the Tower in Genesis of who and why it was built. But even if some object to the historical accuracy of Genesis, no one is claiming Jews existed in the time frame it is depicting. Furthermore, you can’t ignore the arcaeological and historical evidence of the Jewish elite being transported to Babylon and seeing this mighty kingdom’s capital in all it’s glory, with the already built Ziggurat included in it’s skyline.
So why would Al-Arabia publish such an idiotic statement? I’ll let the Arabic version tell (and do forgive the auto-translation).
Israel steals across the United States Iraq Archive: The documents include the oldest manuscript of the “Talmud” and “Torah”
Experts have confirmed that Israel’s quest to get the archive [of the] Jews in Iraq is to confirm the premise that claim that the Jews were the builders of the Tower of Babel, as were the builders of the pyramids in Egypt, as some say that Israel is seeking to falsify history in order to serve its interests in the region.
I’ll have to break a few myths here. The Pyramids of Egypt were built during the “Old Kingdom” of Egypt, during the later part of the 3rd millennium BCE, roughly 1500 to 1000 years before the Iron Age arrived and the first notion of what will later be the Israelites and Judaism came into being. The Arabs know that.
Unfortunately, not all Jews do. The insistence of some to still claim it was (Pithom and Raamses were cities, not Pyramids) is purposely used as a propaganda tool against Israel and Jews. The idea is that if we are claiming the Pyramids were built by the Israelites – which they weren’t – that means other such claims of former achievements must also be lies. The next step to denying the Jewish history, Jerusalem and the land of Israel included, is a very short one.
And Babel? it’s obviously just a Zionist plot to claim back the rightful belongings of the Jewish refugees. In the Iraqi state of mind, a mythical claim of Jewish presence in Babylon is just the excuse they needed. For as with the Pyramids, this serves their claim that Jews have no history or connection to Iraq, and the Talmud is some nefarious plot. So who exactly is trying to falsify history?