Strongly recommending that the United States renegotiate the return of the Iraqi Jewish Archive to Iraq

March 6, 2014
April 2, 2014
Referred to House (sub)committee

In 2003, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration signed an agreement with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), the official body governing Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of that country. At issue was the proper administration of an extensive archive of community records, books, and sacred items belonging to Iraqi Jews that had been seized by the state and were found in the basement of the Iraqi intelligence headquarters. According to the 2003 agreement, the archive was to be preserved in the U.S. National Archives temporarily and returned to Iraq in 6/2014.

The resolution urges the secretary of state to renegotiate that agreement with the Iraqi government, which inherited the obligation from the CPA, with the goal of keeping the archive in the U.S. where it would be easily available to many Jews of Iraqi descent.

Many U.S. Jewish groups supported this measure, including the American Jewish Congress, the Orthodox Union, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

On 5/14/2015, Iraq’s ambassador to Washington, Lukman Faily, announced that the deal had been renegotiated and that the Iraqi government had agreed to allow the archive to remain in the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.

23 cosponsors (12R, 11D).

See also: *S. 333 of 1/16/14.

Last major action: 4/2/14 Referred to Subcomm. on Middle East and North Africa.

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