Rep. Nadler Welcomes Agreement Extending the Presence of the Iraqi Jewish Archives in the United States

May 15, 2014 Issues: Foreign Affairs/Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who has fought to protect the Iraqi Jewish Archives, welcomed the announcement that the Archives will remain in the United States for an extended period, and vowed to continue fighting to ensure that these items are permanently accessible to the Iraqi Jewish community and their descendants.

“I am glad that these important artifacts will be made available for exhibition in cities throughout the United States, but we must find a permanent solution. Any long-term arrangement must ensure that the Iraqi Jewish Archives are in a place where the items are accessible to Iraqi Jews and their descendants,” said Rep. Nadler. “The fact that Iraqi Jews lost such a vital part of their history was a grave injustice that cannot be undone. I will continue to work with the stakeholders – including the U.S. State Department and my colleagues, especially Congressman Steve Israel and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – to help ensure that the possessions stolen from the Iraqi Jewish community are properly protected.”

On May 6, 2014, Rep. Nadler joined with Reps. Israel (D-NY), Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and 17 other Members of Congress, in introducing a resolution, H.Res. 505, 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 The Iraqi Jewish Archives include thousands of books, historical documents, religious materials and other items seized from the Iraqi Jewish community that were found in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters by U.S. forces.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. The U.S. had initially agreed to return the items to Iraq this year.

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