The Iraqi Jewish archives were rescued in Baghdad by US forces in 2003 from a flooded basement of the Iraqi secret services headquarters
CAROLINE B. GLICK, JPOST
Tik (Torah case) and Glass Panel from Baghdad, 19th-20th centuries. In Jewish communities throughout the Middle East, the Torah scroll is generally housed in a rigid tik, or case made of wood or metal.. (photo credit:US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION)
The law of Occam’s Razor, refined to common parlance, is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
If we apply Occam’s Razor to recently reported positions of the US State Department, then we can conclude that the people making decisions at Foggy Bottom have “issues” with Jews and with Israel.
Last Friday, JTA reported that the State Department intends to abide by an agreement it reached in 2014 with the Iraqi government and return the Iraqi Jewish archives to Iraq next year.
The Iraqi Jewish archives were rescued in Baghdad by US forces in 2003 from a flooded basement of the Iraqi secret services headquarters. The tens of thousands of documents include everything from sacred texts from as early as the 16th century to Jewish school records.
The books and documents were looted from the Iraqi Jewish community by successive Iraqi regimes. They were restored by the National Archives in Washington, DC.
The Iraqi Jewish community was one of the oldest exilic Jewish communities.
It began with the Babylonian exile following the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem 2,600 years ago. Until the early 20th century, it was one of the most accomplished Jewish communities in the world. Some of the most important yeshivas in Jewish history were in present-day Iraq. The Babylonian Talmud was written in Iraq. The Jewish community in Iraq predated the current people of Iraq by nearly a thousand years.
It was a huge community. In 1948, Jews were the largest minority in Baghdad.
Jews comprised a third of the population of Basra. The status of the community was imperiled during World War II, when the pro-Nazi junta of generals that seized control of the government in 1940 instigated the Farhud, a weeklong pogrom. 900 Jews were murdered.
Thousands of Jewish homes, schools and businesses were burned to the ground.
With Israel’s establishment, and later with the Baathist seizure of power in Iraq in the 1960s, the once great Jewish community was systematically destroyed.
Between 1948 and 1951, 130,000 Iraqi Jews, three quarters of the community, were forced to flee the country. Those who remained faced massive persecution, imprisonment, torture, execution and expulsion in the succeeding decades.
When US forces overthrew the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, only a dozen or so remained in the country.
Today, there are none left.
As for the current Iraqi government that the State Department wishes to support by implementing its 2014 agreement, it is an Iranian satrapy. Its leadership and military receive operational orders from Iran.
The Iraqi Jewish archive was not created by the Iraqi government. It is comprised of property looted from persecuted and fleeing Jews. In light of this, …read more