Friday, September 22, 2017

Just What One would Expect from a Military Dictatorship That Respects Neither Private Property Rights Nor Human Rights

Egyptian government officials have attacked an edict of a religious scholar approving of landowners keeping treasure found on their own land as long as part is given to charity.  Meanwhile, a member of the country's parliament seeks the death penalty for anyone caught with illicit antiquities.  Just what one would expect in a military dictatorship with a rump parliament that respects neither private property rights nor human rights.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Repatriation Only the Most Ardent Repatriationist Could Love

One can only hope one of the few Trump political appointees at the State Department takes a close look at the Obama Administration deal to repatriate the Iraqi Jewish Archive.  Such a repatriation would seem to be against everything America stands for.  Some of the materials were originally confiscated from Iraqi Jews who were forced to leave their country under Saddam Hussein.  Others appear to be taken from schools and synagogues after they left. All the material was stored in the basement of Iraqi secret police headquarters, and became waterlogged after the building was bombed during the liberation of Iraq.  The US Government spent considerable time and money restoring and digitizing them.  This is yet another situation where UNESCO's repatriationist dogma has been allowed to take precedence over not only the facts, but what is right.  The archive should not be returned to sectarian Iraq.  Or, at a minimum, the entire contents of the archive should be publicized so that individual Iraqi Jews can make claims on what is rightly the property of their own families.