web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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

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.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

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

Current Top Story
Yamam Hebron Shootout
Israel SWAT Team Exchanging Fire with Hamas Kidnappers in Hebron [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
William Safire

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Particularly galling was the complaint by one Jo Anne Simon about Judge Dear’s supposed “mobilizing on behalf of apartheid and his insensitivity to minority communities.”

Whatever one has to say about Iran, it does have clout in the Middle East and the Gulf region and could play a key role in addressing the ISIS threat.

Rav Shlomo Wolbe states that every member of Klal Yisrael is dependent on the entire nation just as a leaf depends on the tree from which it grows.

“Israel must prepare for waves of immigrants from Arab countries, which may endanger its existence”

“I pray that fellow Jews open their eyes & connect themselves to the national side of being a Jew”

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

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.

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: