ACTION ALERT: SIGN THE LETTER OF PROTEST NOW TO STOP EFFORT TO EXPEL ISRAELI ARCHITECTS FROM INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ARCHITECTS
April 24, 2014
On March 19, the Council of the Royal Institute of British
Architects [RIBA] voted
to call on the International Union of Architects [UIA] to boycott Israel and
suspend it from the prestigious international union because of Israel's
allegedly “illegal” activities in the West Bank. The Royal
Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), RIBA's sister organization, passed a similar
resolution.Both were engineered by
RIBA's Angela Brady.
In short, RIBA backed
BDS (the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement) whose goal
is to demonize Israel, isolate it as a pariah, and eventually eliminate the
This resolution is irrational and fundamentally
Support the renowned Jewish, Israeli, and international architects who oppose this bigoted resolution.
You can help STOP UIA from adopting the resolution.
Please act now and sign the StandWithUs letter.It will be delivered to the UIA trustees.
More than 3300 people have already signed.
Background on the RIBA resolution
The resolution and
the process for passing it had all the usual hallmarks of BDS manipulations and
The resolution is
based on false accusations, half-truths, distortions and ignorance.
Speakers includedRIBA member Abe Hayeem,
a virulently anti-Israel Israeli who is chair of the BDS group Architects and
Planners for Justice in Palestine. Angela
Brady, past RIBA president, who pushed the resolution, falsely claimed
that Israel was guilty of “land
grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights, and reinforcement
The resolution is anti-Semitic. It uniquely discriminates against
only one nation in the world: the Jewish state.
Precisely for that reason, RIBA felt compelled
to include a disclaimer in its press
release that ““It is not
the case that the RIBA is in any way anti-Semitic.”
There are 74 member countries in UIA, but RIBA
felt no need to suspend membership of some of the most egregious human rights
abusers, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Congo, China, North Korea, and
British architect Steven Games wrote, "To demonise Israel at the expense of all other parties lacks
a necessary even handedness and it ill behooves a statutory royal body to
behave in this way. If RIBA means to stand by this decision, it should either
now call for masses of bans against other countries or renounce its royal
charter.... No one could want to belong to a body that can be characterised as
antisemitic, nor is it appropriate that an institutionally antisemitic body
should retain its royal charter."
Architect Daniel Leon denounced
the resolution, “'To single out
Israel can only be seen as discriminatory and prejudiced.”He added that it “demonise[s] a section of the profession
Boycott proponents manipulated the voting
process by silencing opposition.
international committee had discussed a related resolution in January,
but rejected it because “it was unlikely to make a
constructive contribution to the wider discussion.”Boycott advocates were not deterred.
of the motion were not allowed to attend the Council meeting if
they were not Council members.Twenty
RIBA architects had written a letter condemning the resolution as “misguided” and “dishonourable,”
and 26 others had written a letter urging rejection of the resolution.They complained that they had not been forewarned about the resolution and were not allowed to attend the meeting.
resolution passed only by a vote of 23 to 16, with 10 abstentions, a tiny
percentage of RIBA's 40,000 members worldwide.
boycott campaign was not spontaneous nor a response to recent events. As BDS
leader PACBI (Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) proudly wrote, “The campaign initiated and worked for
over seven years by Architects and
Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) was brought to fruition by great teamwork and by the
courageous action of the RIBA's past President Angela Brady.” The resolution was part of a long term
strategy to isolate and demonize Israel.
The resolution violates core UIA principles of
non-discrimination and non-politicization.
“The UIA's goal is to unite the architects of
the world without any form of discrimination." --UIA website
Prize-winning American architects condemned
the RIBA resolution.
find this incredible that the RIBA which I thought of as being an extremely
honourable institution would vote or agitate for sanctions against Israel." -- Renowned American architect Richard
Riba resolution has been “fiercely” criticized, including by the UK's own “Solo Practitioner's