web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Will the US Allow Iraq to Steal a Jewish Treasure?

Our government made a commitment to Iraq to return the collection once it's restored.
iraqi-jewish-artifact

Share Button

I saw something amazing today. The National Archives of the United States, which houses the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, hosted an exhibition of more than 2,700 Iraqi Jewish artifacts – including Torah parchments and ancient prayer books – from a Baghdad synagogue that was looted under gunpoint by Saddam Hussein in 1984 and discovered in 2003 by U.S. troops in the basement of the Baghdad Intelligence Agency. The saving of the treasure was orchestrated by former Pentagon analyst and orthodox Jew Harold Rhode, whose name is on the metal boxes that were shipped from Baghdad but who is curiously not mentioned once in the exhibit. I’m told it’s the first time the National Archives has hosted a collection that is not native to the United States.

The United States spent approximately 3 million dollars to restore the badly molded documents and did a spectacular job. But there’s a catch. Our government made a commitment to the government of Iraq that it would return the collection once it was restored. The Iraqi Jewish community of the United States is now demanding their ownership.

Let’s be clear. This is not something that belongs to the Iraqi government. It was looted by Saddam Hussein and should be returned to its rightful owner, the Jewish community of Iraq, who now find themselves mostly in Israel (between 250,000-400,000) and the United States. That the US is even considering returning the stolen collection is incredible. Our government contends that it made a commitment to the Iraqis before they took the documents to restore them. But you can’t make any commitments about property that doesn’t belong to you so the United States is not bound by its commitment. We’ve had enough property looted and stolen from the Jewish community in recent history to condone any more, and the Jewish community in the US should organize politically and fight any attempt to return the collection.

But this just begs the bigger question of the Iraqi government’s lack of sensitivity, if not outright contempt, for things Jewish.

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi stated to the world, as early as 2004, that the new Iraqi government would not reconcile in any way with Israel, with whom Iraq had technically been in a state of war since 1948. The current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reiterated the policy, pledging for his nation to establish diplomatic ties with every sovereign United Nations member state, except one – Israel. He also announced Iraq would not have anything else to do with Israel, be it cultural, military, or economic. For good measure the Prime Minister’s Dawa Party went further and called on all Islamic countries to sever any and all relations with Israel.

Really? Are we back to this kind of hate-Israel-even-when-have-yourself-experienced-Arab-tyranny nonsense?

But what is truly horrible is the thought that the American people gave the Iraqis their liberty only to see their government become a gang of anti-Semites.

The United States should have imposed a peace treaty on Iraq with Israel from the outset. Our government spent $1 trillion and lost close to 4,500 heroic American lives liberating Iraq. We did not do it so they could be xenophobic Israel-haters. The vast majority of Americans are supporters and admirers of Israel and would be appalled to discover that a steady stream of anti-Israeli invective is seeping out of Baghdad. When we Americans liberated Iraq we didn’t ask them for their oil and we didn’t’ ask to be reimbursed for the unprecedented expenditure and loss of life. But what we certainly deserve is for Iraq to embrace the universal, humanitarian values that make America exceptional. Irrational hatred of Jews and Israel is not an American value and our soldiers did not die for Iraq to become a bunch of bigots.

Share Button

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

5 Responses to “Will the US Allow Iraq to Steal a Jewish Treasure?”

  1. Cody Flecker says:

    This is the same Rabbi Shmuley Boteach that is in bed with Obama and the rest of the anti semitic Democrats. Now he is anxious to get back Jewish artifacts from Iraq? What a joke on the readers of this fine newsletter. This Rabbi is a fraud for acting like he really cares about Jewish possessions. Let him speak to his buddy Obama, one to one; to get these artifacts back, and leave us all alone.

  2. Granny Rose says:

    you are abso correct, Shmule! Obama is helping Iran too-they just downgraded Queen Esther's tomb!

  3. Of course! We must make them feel good so they will like us.

  4. John Mccord says:

    As long as the muslim remains in the W.H.,we can expect no more

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meet in the Kremlin, Nov. 20, 2013.

On the one hand, Putin has been a friend to Chabad and to Israel. On the other hand, Putin is a brutal dictator.

The gradual trickle of self-hatred into the Jewish soul is evidencing itself in the American Jewish public.

Rabbi Schochet wrote the Johannesburg Beis Din: It is totally prohibited and unacceptable to hear someone like Boteach.

If you’re feeling down, stop reading right now. You’re only going to be more depressed.

The world and the United State continue to give Rouhani a pass.

American Jews – especially those working on campus – don’t accept that we have a battle on our hands.

But the most painful part of an otherwise illuminating and extraordinary Forum was Iranian President Rouhani’s speech.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/america-rabbi-shmuley-boteach/will-the-us-allow-iraq-to-steal-a-jewish-treasure/2013/12/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: