WASHINGTON — Some Congress members are working to ensure that Iraqi Jewish artifacts now on display in Washington are returned directly to the Iraqi Jewish community and not the government.
Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) are leading the bipartisan effort to return the thousands of books, photos, texts and other materials that were found by the US and coalition forces in 2003. They were brought to the United States to be restored and were digitalized.
Many Iraqi Jews were forced out of their country and are living in the US.
The artifacts had been submerged in water at the late Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein’s flooded secret police building. The collection is supposed to be sent back to Iraq next spring.