The Bene Naharayim Iraqi synagogue, New York
It now appears that the story, as reported in the Algerian online magazine Ennahar, is true: the US has agreed to return the so-called 'Jewish archive' to Iraq. It's plainly a scandal: by what right does the Iraqi government claim documents that belonged to Jews - but were stolen under Saddam's rule? It is as if the present US administration is so anxious to distance itself from the invasion of Iraq ordered by GW Bush that it is prepared to disregard the rights of the archive's rightful owners, now largely living in Israel. (With thanks: bh)
BAGHDAD - Iraq is able to retrieve the archives of the Jewish community and millions of other documents that have been transferred to the U.S. following the invasion conducted in 2003, said Thursday in Baghdad, Vice-Minister of Culture Taher Hamoud.
"We have reached an agreement after negotiations with the State Department and the Pentagon for the repatriation of Jewish archives and millions of documents that have been made taken following the events of 2003," he said during a press conference on his return from the United States.
"These documents have been released from the Hoover Institution (at the University of Stanford), the State Department and National Archives and we have negotiated with them to develop a feedback mechanism," he said, without specifying the date.
According to him, 48,000 containers filled with millions of records and Jews archives were transported to the United States.
"The Jewish archives are very important because it is an essential part of our culture and they highlight the life of this community in Iraq," he said.
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Washington Post article
BBC skews discussion of Iraqi Jewish archive