Senate boosts efforts to keep Iraqi Jewish Archive out of Iraq

By Dmitriy Shapiro/ Jewish Week

Efforts to keep a significant collection of artifacts seized from Iraq’s Jewish community by Saddam Hussein from being returned to the Gulf nation by the United States may be picking up steam on Capitol Hill.

With just months to go before a June deadline mandates the return of the religious archive, U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are shepherding a resolution that asks the State Department to renegotiate an earlier agreement reached with the Iraqi government.

“These priceless artifacts were stolen by the former government of Iraq,” Toomey, who introduced the bill on the Senate floor Jan. 16, said in a statement. “We should not ship the collection back to a country where their owners no longer reside.”

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