The ancient technique for engraved identification known as clay bullae was sent to Hobby Lobby in a shipment in September 2011 along with around 1,000 of them. It was supplied by an Israeli dealer, who also included a fraudulent statement claiming that Israel was the nation of origin for the Jewish Archive.
Following the US assault, America launched the so-called Coalition Provisional Authority and took control of important infrastructures. That included airports, where local, Arab, and international persons smuggled artifacts. In order to oversee aircraft, protect the admission and exit of passengers, and inspect their luggage, US forces hired a foreign security firm.
Other accounts mention the UAE’s participation in this historic plunder. Muhammad Faisal al-Ghazi, a former leader of Ahmed Chalabi’s security detail, acknowledged moving artifacts to the UAE. They were then transported to Tel Aviv.
Major General Yahya Rasool, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, made the announcement in May 2023 that a global cartel smuggling artifacts out of Babylon Governorate had been destroyed. An Arab national was one of the network’s organizers.
An authorized official in the Iraqi Ministry of Culture acknowledged Israel’s role in the smuggling process while speaking anonymously. He felt that US soldiers allowed Israeli excavating crews to explore Iraqi historic sites, particularly in Babylon and Ur, from 2003 until their withdrawal eight years later.
A Torah tablet that had been trafficked from Iraq to Tel Aviv was the subject of a 2010 program by an Israeli TV Channel. This aroused concerns about how this uncommon thing ended up there given that Stanford University’s Hoover Institution was intended to be in charge of keeping it.
The debate over the Iraqi Jewish Archive continues right now. Notwithstanding a deal between Washington and the Baghdad for its restoration to Iraq, the archive arose in Tel Aviv under curious conditions.
There are different tales of how it got to the US in different sources. The Iraqi Memory Foundation is the object of accusations over its participation in turning over the archive to the US.
An author and scholar claimed that there were 48 scrolls in the Jewish archive that were written on gazelle skin and contained portions from the Book of Genesis. Calendars in Hebrew, 7002 volumes, and a collection of sermons written in Hebrew going back to 1692 were all confirmed to be among the scrolls by Nabil al-Rubaie.
Along with the earliest copy of the Babylonian Talmud, it also contained 1,700 priceless items illustrating the first and second Babylonian captivity periods. The earliest copy of the Torah, court documents left by the Jews of Iraq, and other priceless items were also included in the list.
Kanaan Makiya established the Iraqi Memory Foundation three decades ago, and it has been essential in gathering Iraq’s archives. Notably, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a former prime minister of Iraq, served at the same organization.
When protesters returned to Iraq five years ago, the director of the Iraqi Books and Documents House alleged that a former intelligence official had spoken to them. He promised to tell them where Jewish archive was. This led to questions regarding the specifics of its US military troops’ uncovering.
International agreements demanding the repatriation of stolen artifacts have never been upheld by Israel. Under the guise of “restoration,” the US is still holding thousands of documents from the Iraqi archives.
More than 15,000 ancient sites may be found in Iraq, and since 2003, these sites have caught the eye of antiquities smugglers. Despite the United States and Britain having strict border restrictions, Baghdad has so far been able to retrieve 23,000 antiquities, mostly from these two countries.