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.
A plan by the State Department to transfer to Iraq 2,700 ancient artifacts and thousands of records that belonged to the Iraqi Jewish community but were seized by Saddam Hussein in 1984 has ignited an international firestorm.
The items were discovered by U.S. forces during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and transported to the U.S. for repair and conservation. Some of articles will be on exhibit in Washington from November 8 through January 5, after which the entire collection will be returned to Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government.
New York Senator Charles Schumer is leading an effort to get the State Department to change plans and honor claims to the trove made by heirs of Iraqi Jews who were forced to leave Iraq by repressive governments. He says, “These sacred artifacts were taken from the Iraqi Jewish community and thus do not belong to the Iraqi government. They belong to the thousands of Iraqi Jews, an ancient and once-vibrant community, who were exiled many years ago.”
Others have noted that the materials represent the only historical record of the once vibrant Jewish communities in Iraq.
The materials were left behind and stored in abandoned synagogues and homes by the more than 130,000 Jews who fled Iraq in the early 1950s after being subjected to violent attacks and repression following the establishment of Israel. Today there are virtually no Jews left in Iraq.
The Iraqi government has said it wants the artifacts returned to Iraq because they are considered Iraqi national treasures. According to a 2010 letter by then-Secretary of State Clinton sent to several Iraqi-Jewish groups, “Iraqi officials have stressed to us their desire to preserve all aspect of the country’s history, including evidence of repression and persecution by the previous regime, and make that history fully accessible to the Iraqi people and the world.”
More likely, some say, the Iraqi demand is based on a desire to delegitimize the history of Iraqi Jewry. Others say the Iraqi government is using this as a way to demonstrate to the world that the U.S. respects Iraqi sovereignty.
No definitive analysis has surfaced as to what international law has to say about Iraq’s right to insist on the return of the items. To be sure, countries have broad powers when it comes to controlling the assets of their citizens. Certainly the State Department believes Iraq is within its rights. Yet we believe the issue is best framed in terms of whether this country, under its own laws, can be complicit in what would amount to outright theft by an American government.
It would be scandalous for the U.S. to transfer the Iraqi Jewish community’s stolen historical record to anyone other than the heirs of that community.
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Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty
n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.
I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.
While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.
Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.
The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.
Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.
Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory
Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.
Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”
Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?
Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.
The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.
We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.
Given the vitality of Hamas, Israel can hardly rely on the commitments, even if sincere, of PA President Mahmoud Abbas for its security.
Is the president oblivious to polls saddling him with some of the lowest presidential popularity rankings in recent history?
There is not even a hint of recognition that Hamas deliberately fires rockets at civilian targets in Israel while storing arms and rocket launchers among its own civilians in Gaza.
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