Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Schumer: Don't return Iraqi Jewish Archive to Iraq

PUSHBACK: Schumer to Tillerson: Don’t return trove of Jewish artifacts to Iraq. Senate Minority Leader tells State Department the 'treasured collection belongs to the Jewish community and should be made available to them' (Josefin Dolsten, JTA, rpt. Times of Israel).
Schumer is among a group of US lawmakers who have joined Jewish groups in lobbying to keep the archive in a location accessible to Iraqi Jews and their descendants, who today live outside Iraq after being driven out amid intense persecution. Iraq and proponents of returning the archive say it can serve as an educational tool for Iraqis about the history of Jews there and that it is part of the country’s patrimony.

“It’s disheartening that parchments of a Torah scroll and prayer books were discovered in such poor condition inside a flooded Baghdad Intelligence Center. After the United States preserved this ancient collection, it makes no sense to return the items to the Iraqi government, where they will no longer be accessible to the Jewish community,” Schumer said Tuesday in a statement released along with the letter.
This is in response to a State Department announcement last month indicating that the archive would be returned to Iraq in 2018. Some responses are noted here and here. An just keep following the links all the way back to the recovery of the archive in 2003.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.