Monday, June 11, 2012

Iraqi Jewish Archives Dispute Affecting U.S. Archaeological Teams in Iraq?

AK News is reporting (thanks Chuck Jones) that the "Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has stopped dealing with US archeology and exploration teams because the US administration has failed to fulfill its promises to return Iraqi antiquities that were transported to the US by the US forces in 2003."  Among the "historic remains" cited is:
a bulk of Jewish archives that were found in the basement of Iraqi intelligence services in Baghdad. The Iraqi officials have on several occasions requested from the US authorities to return the Jewish archives and other antiquities. Iraqi officials accuse the US of not intending to return those archives and other historic remains as they have not responded to the Iraqi requests.
The article adds a significant allegation (not unlike another recent allegation here) that the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has:
information that indicates the archives ha[ve] been moved to Israel and that Israel describes the archives as Jewish heritage. "But that is Iraqi heritage. Therefore we have decided to cut our relations with the US regarding archeology. We have now stopped dealing with the US exploration teams in Thiqar and Duhok provinces."