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Wednesday, August 21, 2013 

Iraq shouldn't get the Iraqi Jewish archives

Here's a petition against the potential transfer of Jewish archives from Iraq to back to the Iraqi government. The history:
Ten years after the US military found a trove of Jewish books, records and religious artefacts in the flooded basement of Saddam's secret police headquarters in Baghdad, the US government is preparing to ship it back following restoration.

The archive contains holy books, including a rare Bible from 1568, Torah scrolls seized from synagogues, and personal and community documents and records.
And that's why it must not go back, because:
*The archive does not belong to Iraq, but was stolen from private homes, schools and synagogues in the 1970s. It is the cultural property of the Iraqi-Jewish community. [...]

*When there were Jews in Iraq, the modern Iraqi state showed only contempt for them and their heritage. It did its utmost to persecute and destroy its ancient, pre-Islamic Jewish community. From 140,000, the community has dwindled to five people. To return the archive to Iraq will be to compound a crime: returning stolen property to those who stole it.

*Iraq itself does not have the resources to conserve and store the archive safely.

*Iraq's Jews and their descendants, 90 percent of whom are in Israel, will be debarred from access to original documents and history if the archive returns to Iraq.
So please sign on to this petition. History is a serious business, and it can't be allowed to reside in irresponsible, hateful hands.

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  • I'm Avi Green
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