Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Senators and Jewish Groups Call on U.S. To Keep Iraqi Jewish Trove

Prominent Jewish organizations and a number of senators are calling on the government to renegotiate the return of a trove of Jewish archives that shed light on the once thriving Jewish community in Iraq.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations released a statement earlier today commending the efforts of senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who have proposed Resolution 333 to renegotiate the return of the the archive.

The statement also recognizes eight other senators who are supporting and co-sponsoring the resolution.

The collection of tens of thousands of documents and about 2,700 books were reportedly rescued from the flooded basement of Iraq’s intelligence building in 2003, at the outset of the War in Iraq, and were subsequently sent to Washington D.C. for restoration.

The U.S. and Iraqi governments have worked out a deal to have the archives, currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute, returned to Iraq in June 2014.

“While the Hussein regime is no longer in power, these restored works documenting the Iraqi Jewish community rightfully belong to that community now living in the diaspora around the world, not the oppressive country from which they fled,” Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Orthodox Union said in the statement.

Until 1948, about 150,000 Jews lived in Iraq. By the time United States and coalition forces arrived in Baghdad in 2003, that number had dwindled to about 60 people.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.