State Department Rebuffs Schumer On Iraqi Jewish ArtifactsEr ... Iraqi Jewish community?
The Jewish Week
The State Department has rebuffed the request of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) not to return to Iraq the treasure trove of Jewish artifacts found by American troops in Baghdad in 2003. Schumer said the items were “stolen” from the Iraqi Jewish community.
Under an agreement with the Bush administration at the time, the more than 2,700 artifacts – including partial Torah parchments and ancient prayer books –were to be returned to Iraq in 2014 after being restored and preserved by the National Archives in Washington.
In response to Schumer’s letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, a State Department spokesman, Pooja Jhunjhunwala, told The Jewish Week in an e-mail that the Department would abide by its August 2003 agreement with Iraq.
The State Department spokesman in his e-mail said the primary reason for bringing the artifacts to the United States was so that they could be “preserved, conserved, and restored for the benefit of the Iraqi Jewish community, as well as posterity.”
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