The deadline for the return of the Iraqi-Jewish archive – September 2018 – has come and gone, but there is still no sign of any movement on this issue.
Eylon Aslan-Levy has filed this report for i24 News: he interviews Harold Rhode, the man who found the archive in the flooded basement of the secret police headquarters in Baghdad in 2003.
The US shipped the random collection of documents, books and Torah scrolls – stolen by Saddam’s regime – to the US to be restored, but promised to send it back to Iraq.
Rhode believes that to return the archive would be like returning stolen Jewish property to the Nazis. Iraqi-Jewish groups have been campaigning for the archive – which represents their community’s history and heritage – to remain in the US. Four US senators have introduced a bill to this effect.
As Eylon explains, either the archive goes back in keeping with the agreement signed between the US and the Iraqi government, or a new deal is struck allowing for the deadline to be extended.