Controversy surrounding Iraqi Jewish Archive ignored in BBC feature

On November 9th the ‘Magazine’ section of the BBC News website included a feature titled “The US archivist who saved the history of Iraq’s Jews” by Jane O’Brien which also appeared on the Middle East page. 

Iraqi Jewish Archive article

The article’s appearance coincides with the opening of the exhibition of the Iraqi Jewish Archive at the US National Archives on November 8th

Jane O’Brien’s article is both interesting and informative – in so far as it goes. Curiously, it avoids any mention of vital aspects of the story including the controversy surrounding the subject of the proposed hand-over of the restored archive to Iraq, making do with one short sentence on that subject.

“In 2014, when the conservation work is completed, the original documents will return to Iraq.”

Readers remain entirely unaware that Iraqi Jewish organisations are opposed to the documents being sent to a country where almost no Jews remain or of the fact that such a move would mean that Jewish scholars and the descendants of Iraqi Jewry would have no further access to the archive.

Related articles:

Cynthia Shamash : keep our treasures in US

Archive will be returned by mid-2014, says Iraq

Legal battle for archive won’t be easy

Jewish archive finally on display

Iraq may sign loan agreement over archive 

 

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