Members of Congress Urge Return of Jewish Archives to Iraqi Jews and Their Descendants


iraq-archiveRepresentative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined with Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and 17 other Members of Congress, in introducing a resolution (H.Res. 505) this past week to return the Iraqi Jewish Archives to Iraqi Jews and their descendants.

The Iraqi Jewish Archives include thousands of books, historical documents, religious materials and other items seized from the Iraqi Jewish community that were found in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters by U.S. forces. This resolution follows two letters from Congress, one from January 17, 2014 and another from November 13, 2013, that expressed concern over the fate of the Iraqi Jewish Archives and urged the State Department to facilitate the return of these artifacts to the Iraqi Jews and their descendants and not to the Government of Iraq.

“I am glad to have worked with Congressman Israel and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to help ensure that possessions stolen from the Iraqi Jewish community are properly protected. Iraqi Jews and their descendants deserve justice. Making sure that the Iraqi Jewish Archives are in a place where the items are truly valued and cared for is the least the United States can do,” said Congressman Nadler. “We must ensure that these important artifacts are accessible to the Iraqi Jewish community, a community that is now spread across the world. The fact that Iraqi Jews lost a vital piece of their history when these items were seized against their will was a grave injustice that cannot be undone, but this resolution is a step in the right direction to help improve this difficult and unfortunate situation.”

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