Israel should return rare Babylonian Jewish artifacts to Iraq, an official at the Tourism Ministry in Baghdad was quoted as saying Monday. In particular, the Baghdad authorities want back an ancient handwritten scroll, known in Hebrew as a Torah, which contains the core five books of the Jewish Bible on parchment.
Iraq once had a large Jewish population, which numbered well over 100,000 people, prior to the formation of Israel in 1948. In the following decades, nearly all of Iraq’s Jews migrated abroad under turbulent circumstances, leaving behind less than a dozen members of the community when US-led troops invaded in 2003.
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