The demand to return the archive to Iraq is pathetic

It is a question of justice that the Iraq-Jewish archive must not go back to Iraq, Dr Edy Cohen argues in Israel Hayom (with thanks: Imre):

(Have you signed the petition?)

In May 2013, American forces in Baghdad
discovered an archive of thousands of photos, documents and books
pertaining to Iraqi Jewry in a basement of the Iraqi security services’
building. The archive comprised dozens of boxes, most of which had
become mildewed after getting wet in the waterlogged basement. The
collection included many rare books and papers, including 500-year-old
volumes of Torah commentary. To save the archive, the U.S. military
secured the permission of the Iraqi government to send the boxes to the
National Archives in Washington, where, bit by bit, workers managed to
restore most of the documents.

The oldest item in the collection is this Venice Bible from 1568

Before removing the documents, the American
government agreed to the Iraqis’ stipulation that the documents be
returned once they were restored.

As part of the restoration process, the
National Archives digitized the collection. Congressional
representatives and the American administration faced heavy pressure,
mainly from Jewish groups, not to return the archive to Iraq, but last
week, a final decision was taken to hand the collection back to Iraq about a year from now.

This decision is both absurd and pathetic,
like giving a thief back what he stole. The question being asked in
Jewish circles is whether the U.S. is trying to make up for invading
Iraq and its failure to find chemical weapons there. Why should the U.S.
return the collection to a place that is no longer home to Jews?
Returning the archive to the Iraqis is like returning the belongings of
European Jews to the Nazis; it’s stolen Jewish property.

Even though the Jews of Iraq lived in
Babylon before the advent of Islam and before the Prophet Muhammad came
along, there are no Jews there today. More than 150,000 Iraqi Jews left
the country over the course of the 20th century, some motivated by
Zionism, and others by fear for their lives. Iraq didn’t know how to
protect its Jews, and as early as 1941, hundreds of Iraqis were
slaughtering Jews in the Farhud (pogrom).

When Israel was founded in 1948, and hatred
toward Jews continued to mount, the Iraqi government permanently
revoked the citizenships of Jews and expelled them from the country,
freezing their bank accounts and confiscating their property, which
today is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Iraqis murdered Jews and
inherited their property. There are no other words that can describe
this absurdity and this crime – “Have you killed and also taken
possession?” (1 Kings 21:19)

Today, Iraq is a failed nation and will
soon be divided into three countries: a Kurdish state, a Sunni state and
a Shiite state. We all witnessed the Islamic State group destroying
Iraq’s antiquities, demolishing museums and wrecking churches,
synagogues and even the graves of holy figures. The cowardly Iraqi army
didn’t dare take on the 1,500 Islamic State fighters, opting to give in
and surrender its weapons. If the heroic Peshmerga fighters hadn’t
stepped in, Islamic State would have conquered all of Iraq.

Therefore, it is upon the Israeli
government to pressure the Trump administration to ensure that the
archive of Iraqi Jewry isn’t returned to Iraq. It isn’t a question of
heritage; it’s a question of historic justice.

Read article in full

One Comment

  • He is NOT my prophet or our proghet. Why refer to him as "the Prophet Muhammad" He is the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.

    Reply

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