Iraq rejects offer for half of Jewish archives
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Iraq rejects offer for half of Jewish archives

Collection of Torah scrolls, Jewish books and documents transferred to the US in 2003 following Operation Iraqi Freedom

Illustrative photo of an ancient Torah scroll (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of an ancient Torah scroll (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iraq has rejected a US offer to receive half of the country’s Jewish Archives, which were removed from Iraq in 2003 following the US launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The refusal appeared last month in the Iraqi newspaper al-Sabah, according to the Press TV news service.

The archives, which were discovered in the flooded basement of Iraqi intelligence headquarters in Baghdad, include Torah scrolls, and Jewish law and children’s books. Seventy percent of the collection consists of Hebrew-language documents and 25 percent is in Arabic. The rest of the documents are written in other languages.

Iraq was home to a large Jewish community prior to 1948 before most Iraqi Jews immigrated to Israel.

Last month, Iraq said it would end archaeological cooperation with the United States until the archives are returned.

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