The United States has taken hold of 90 percent of Iraq’s national archives, and is refusing to return thousands of precious Jewish documents and manuscripts, Iraqi government officials are claiming.
According to Iraq’s Ministry of Culture, in 2006, American authorities received some 3,000 ancient documents and 1,700 artifacts dating back to the Babylonian era through an agreement with Iraq’s Antiquities Authority for the purpose of restoration. However, the officials now say, the US is still “holding the artifacts prisoner” in what they term “a cultural Guantanamo.”
The officials told the Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya this week that the artifacts include the oldest manuscript of the Talmud, the cornerstone of Jewish oral law compiled in Babylon in the sixth century CE, as well as the oldest manuscript of the Torah.
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