Friday, July 20, 2018

Update on the Iraqi Jewish Archive

STILL NEGOTIATING: State Department working to keep Iraqi Jewish Archive in US. US State Department says working to renegotiate return of ancient Jewish documents to Iraq as Senators work to keep trove in US (JTA via Arutz Sheva).
The State Department says it is working with Iraq to extend the stay of a trove of Jewish artifacts from the country, while a bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution recommending that the items not be returned as planned in September.

“We continue to work with the Government of Iraq and relevant stakeholder[s] to extend the exhibition in the U.S.,” a State Department official told JTA in an email on Thursday.

Background here, with many links going back to the recovery of the archive in 2003.

Several years ago, I gave my own thoughts on how the situation should be handled here. I stand by what I said there. I would only add that feedback from the American public has made it clear that they are opposed to the return of the archive to Iraq. The State Department seems to have taken that on board. And I don't see that it is in Iraq's interest to have a falling out with the U.S.A. over this comparatively small issue. I hope that the agreement to return the archive to Iraq can be renegotiated to the satisfaction of both sides.

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