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.