Senator Pat Toomey, a sponsor of the resolution
The resolution sponsored by 17 senators recommending that the agreement committing the US to returning the Iraqi-Jewish archive to Iraq be re-negotiated will now go to the floor for a full vote. A House of Representatives resolution may be introduced. Report by JNS:
Efforts to keep a significant collection of artifacts seized from
Iraq’s Jewish community by Saddam Hussein from being returned by the United States may be picking up steam on Capitol
With just months to go before a June deadline mandates the
return of the religious archive, U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Richard
Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are shepherding a resolution
that asks the State Department to renegotiate an earlier agreement
reached with the Iraqi government. On Tuesday, the resolution passed
unanimously in a voice vote in the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations, and will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote that has
not yet been scheduled.
“These priceless artifacts were stolen by
the former government of Iraq,” Toomey, who introduced the bill on the
Senate floor Jan. 16, said in a statement. “We should not ship the
collection back to a country where their owners no longer reside.” (...)
Although a similar resolution has not yet been introduced in the
House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) signaled the
possibility something would make it to the floor, although he believes a
stronger stance than that in the Senate resolution is required.
“All these are very nice sentiments, but we shouldn’t negotiate with” the Iraqi government, Nadler told JNS.org.
“We should just negotiate with the descendants of the Iraqi Jewish
Community and to see what they want to do with it. It’s their property.”
to Nadler, the CPA was essentially the agent of the United States,
meaning that Washington essentially negotiated with itself; there is no
agreement, therefore, with Iraq’s current government to break.
“Why should we negotiate with the government of Iraq at all?” asked Nadler. “I don’t see that they have any business in this.
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US Senators issue archive resolution