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Baghdad - Iraq Strikes Deal With US for Return of Jewish Archives

Published on: May 13, 2010 02:10 PM
By:  AFP
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Baghdad, Iraq - The United States has agreed to return millions of documents to Iraq, including Baghdad’s Jewish archives, that were seized by the US military after the 2003 invasion, a minister said on Thursday.

The documents, which fill 48,000 containers, are currently being held by the US State Department, the National Archives and the Hoover Institute, a think-tank.

“We have reached an agreement with the United States, after negotiations with officials at the State Department and the Pentagon, over the return of the Jewish archives and millions of documents that were taken to America after the events of 2003,” Deputy Culture Minister Taher Hamud said.

“The Jewish archives are important to us—like the rest of the documents, it is a part of our culture and sheds light on the lives of the Jewish community,” he told a news conference.

Iraq was home to a large Jewish community in ancient times but its members left en masse after the creation of Israel and the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

“Despite logistical, technical and political obstacles, we took the first step along the path to the return of the archives,” Hamud said.

Iraqi National Archives director Saad Iskander told AFP in October that some 60 percent of the archives, amounting to tens of millions of documents, were missing or had been damaged or destroyed as a result of water leaks and a fire at a storage centre in the aftermath of the invasion.

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Iskander added at Thursday’s news conference that in addition to the Jewish archive many of the documents related to executed dictator Saddam Hussein and his banned Baath Party.

“There is a special archive about the Baath Party that was moved to the United States,” he said.

“The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and the Pentagon studied it to find a relationship between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations.”

Mohsen Hassan Ali, the culture ministry’s associate museums director, said US forces had found damaged and water-logged documents in the basement of government buildings following the 2003 war.

“Despite our refusal, the containers were sent to the United States,” Ali said.



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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 13, 2010 at 02:19 PM Meshulem Zev Says:

It would be nice if all the documents were scanned and photograph just to see if there is anything of value to us, which there probably is. Manuscripts are just the beginning. As the place of the galus bavel with an nonstop presence of Jews since then until recently, it must be absolutely amazing what must be in those containers.

2

 May 13, 2010 at 02:40 PM Der Emes Says:

They should give the Jewish Archives to a Jewish Institution but unfortunately it isn't "politically correct".

The same goes with all the other Jewish archives around the world. It is amazing that with all the "reconciliation" that the Jews are asked to do, there are still millions of Jewish manuscripts in the hands of non-Jewish Institutions including the Vatican. They probably have some of the Keilim from the Bais Hamikdash hidden somewhere in the Vatican as well.

3

 May 13, 2010 at 04:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Where is our voice in all this, where is the jewish iraqi voice, what's going on with them aren't they the real owners of these seforim?

4

 May 13, 2010 at 05:00 PM NS Says:

Funny how all the "jewish archives" around the world except for the USA, consist of booty stolen from the plundered Jewish communities.....

5

 May 13, 2010 at 05:16 PM Anonymous Says:

even England has some historical items.

6

 May 13, 2010 at 07:03 PM iraqi jew Says:

the taown or yaudah in israel has a museum for iraqi jews, and all items should be given to them. NEVER send anything to the arabs.

7

 May 13, 2010 at 07:34 PM Anonymous Says:

And when will the iraqis make a deal and return it to their jewish owners let's not forget all this docs are stolen from jews as the arabs always have an interest in covering jewish history

8

 May 13, 2010 at 11:06 PM metsch Says:

Let the Arabs keep all the documents they have enough religious self respect not to ruin them, Baruch Hshem they are being returned.

9

 May 14, 2010 at 12:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Crooks the sons of crooks. Stolen and they want them returned? Could we have their stuff?

10

 May 13, 2010 at 11:50 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #8  
metsch Says:

Let the Arabs keep all the documents they have enough religious self respect not to ruin them, Baruch Hshem they are being returned.

Are you nuts? Why should they be given to the Arabs? What right do the Arabs have to them?

11

 May 14, 2010 at 12:58 AM Avi Says:

How come the leaders and he comunity aren't protesting this horrific move? It should be sent to israel or put in a Jewish museum somwhere.

12

 Jul 14, 2011 at 10:08 PM Hershl Says:

Reply to #11  
Avi Says:

How come the leaders and he comunity aren't protesting this horrific move? It should be sent to israel or put in a Jewish museum somwhere.

The leaders obviously aren't real leaders.

This is a treasure for klal yisroel and the biggest enemies of Israel and yidn want us to return it to them.

Are they nuts?

Contact your congressperson. Get them to prohibit the return.

The Arabs are garbage.

Hey, while you're up, toss another koran on the bbq.

13

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