Jewish Archive from Baghdad to Stay in U.S. – For Now – Raf Sanchez
(dailyalert.org, May 16, 2014)
In the flooded basement of Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in 2003, American troops discovered a trove of Jewish documents. Saddam’s mukhabarat agents had amassed Jewish religious artifacts including five-century-old Hebrew Bibles. After a wave of anti-Semitic laws in Iraq, most of the country’s 130,000 Jews fled after 1948.
The Jewish books and papers filled 27 large metal trunks, which were stored inside an Iraqi freezer truck to arrest the growth of mold on the damp parchment. In August 2003 Iraq allowed the artifacts to be sent to the U.S. to be restored on condition they were returned when the project was complete.
Earlier this year the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Obama administration to renegotiate the agreement with the Iraqis. The senators argue that the archive belongs first and foremost to the descendants of the exiled Iraqi Jews, the vast majority of whom now live in Israel. “Under no circumstances should these artifacts be handed back to Iraq,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). On May 14, Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., announced that the archive will stay in the U.S. for now. (Telegraph-UK)
See also Statement on Extension of Iraqi Jewish Archive Exhibit(Embassy of Iraq in U.S.)