RIBA votes to suspend Israeli architects from international union
This posting has these items:
1) MEMO: UK architects support suspension of Israeli association from international body;
2) Architects Journal: Brady tables RIBA motion against Israeli ‘land grab’, introducing the emotion to architects;
3) Building Design: Row breaks out over Angela Brady’s RIBA Israel motion, focuses on the opposition to the resolution;
4) APJP: RIBA supports Israeli architects’ suspension from international body, media release
5) Jewish Chronicle: Architects of hate, an editorial outdoes itself in mindless spleen – an antisemitic conspiracy between the RIBA Council and the BDS movement is alleged. Address for letters to JC included.
6) Notes and links, including resolutions in full, Angela Brady, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine;
Angela Brady when RIBA President
UK architects support suspension of Israeli association from international body
March 20, 2014
The Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) voted on Wednesday to support the suspension of the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the world body of architects the International Union of Architects (UIA).
The RIBA, the professional body for UK architects, passed the motion by 23 votes to 16, with 10 abstentions. The text reads as follows:
Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13 of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.
The vote represents a victory for Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP), who had pushed for its adoption along with RIBA’s past President Angela Brady, other Council members and a number of RIBA members and registered architects.
The RIBA’s sister organisation, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), passed a similar resolution earlier in the week.
In the lead up to the vote, a group of architects operating under the name ‘Constructive Engagement’ campaigned for the motion to be rejected, claiming that it was misguided and discriminatory.
By Max Thompson, Architects Journal
March 14, 2014
Angela Brady is to table a motion at RIBA Council calling for the suspension of The Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Architects Union (IAU)
The former RIBA president is angered over the IAUA’s failure to condemn Israeli architects who help sustain Israel’s policy to allow Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, and its failure to back the IAU’s 2005 Resolution 13.
That resolution condemned ‘development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory’.
These settlement buildings in Ma’ale Adumim may look as though they have come straight off the back of the lorry, but there’s a lot of planning involved in building on occupied land and ensuring the settlers are fed by roads, electricity, water and a sewage system.
Brady’s motion (see below), which has the backing of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) follows a failed attempt in January when the RIBA International Committee ‘resolved that this action should not be pursued’.
Brady’s motion for the RIBA Council on 19th March:
The Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA Resolution 13 of 2005. The RIAS calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to take appropriate action. The UIA membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects should be suspended until these illegal projects end, and international law, the UIA Accords and Resolution 13 are observed.
‘The International Committee resolved that it is beyond the role of the RIBA to push the IAU for a sanction against Israel’s architectural community,’ a spokesperson told the AJ.
‘There are complex political and economic drivers in the region that cannot be resolved solely by expulsion of Israeli architects. The Committee agreed that the Institute could do even more to assist local architects in improving conditions for communities affected by civil conflict and natural disaster.
‘Council members may propose motions to Council irrespective of the views of the committee concerned. Clearly this is a very complex issue and one that members are welcome to discuss,’ added the spokesperson.
But this time round Brady is using RIAS for extra leverage as the Scottish Incorporation is affiliated to the UIA through RIBA. Brady will use the motion to call upon the RIBA to represent the RIAS’s view to the UIA Council.
The RIAS president, Iain Connelly, said: ‘The Incorporation acts on an international stage for an increasingly global profession. Angela Brady and George Oldham’s [Oldham is a joint RIBA and RIAS member] motion is an important one, and it is right that it now has our support.”
Brady said: ‘I am delighted that the Royal Incorporation has taken such a strong stance on this matter. It is important that our profession stands up for human rights in this way. This is an instance where architects are culpable, perhaps they will listen to their fellow architects.’
Row breaks out over Angela Brady’s RIBA Israel motion
Architects complain they are being excluded from discussion
By Elizabeth Hopkirk, bdonline / Building Design
March 19, 2014
A row has broken out over Angela Brady’s decision to table a motion calling for the suspension of Israel’s architecture body from the International Architects Union (UIA).
More than 20 architects have signed an open letter to RIBA Council members urging them to vote against Brady’s proposal, calling it “misguided” and “dishonourable”.
The former RIBA president is calling for the UIA to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects while building continues in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. More than 60 people have signed Brady’s motion including Ted Cullinan, Will Alsop and Charles Jencks.
Her motion, backed by the RIAS, is due to be debated by the RIBA’s Council today.
BD understands that Council member Sumita Sinha of Ecologic Architects is planning to speak against the motion.
Meanwhile 26 architects and designers who signed a letter opposing the motion have been told they cannot attend the meeting.
Daniel Leon, director of Square Feet Architects, who drafted the letter, said: “It seems slightly strange that no non-Council members can attend and observe on such a significant subject.
He told BD he was “extremely concerned” by the motion which threatened to “demonise a section of the profession without warrant”.
“I am fearful of its results and implications,” he said.
“It’s a serious subject and while everyone is entitled to debate it, is the RIBA Council the place to pass judgements on the situation? I am not sure they are qualified.”
He questioned the logic of punishing a professional institute for the actions of some of its members.
“There are plenty of Israeli architects who are opposed to the policies of the government,” he said.
“If a mirror was held up to the RIBA, should we consider it complicit because some of its members are building in China, Saudi Arabia, Russia or, for that matter, Israel?”
Media release from APJP
March 20, 2014
After a tough and passionate Council debate on 19 March 2014, the pillar of the UK’s architects’ professional association, the RIBA , passed the motion supporting action that should be taken by the International Union Of Architects’ to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the world body of architects, the UIA. The Motion was passed by 23 votes to 16 with 10 abstentions.
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 and active Council members George Oldham and Owen O’Carroll who tabled the motion signed by many RIBA members and registered architects including leading lights in the profession that included Charles Jencks, Ted Cullinan , Will Alsop, Peter Ahrends and Neave Brown.
The RIBA was pipped to the post earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) the sister organization which passed a similar resolution also requested by Angela Brady based on the RIBA Motion, a landmark decision.
The building of illegal settlements is against Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of a civilian population into territory occupied by force is considered a serious breach and thus as war crimes in which Israeli architects are closely involved. This settlement expansion has resulted in the forced removal or thousands of Palestinians and expropriation of their homes and land, and the erasure of their culture and history that has been going on since 1967 with impunity despite repeated world wide condemnation.
APJP’s persistent prompting of the UIA to take action on these breaches of human rights and the ethical codes of practice in the UIA Accords resulted in ‘Resolution 13’ being confirmed in 2009 to condemn such illegal projects. This met with complete detachment and refusal to act on or condemn by the Israeli Association of United Architects IAUA who insisted they wereonly concerned with design and not the political actions of its members. Yet the whole real-estate enterprise is closely tied in with Israel’s political and military agenda to grab and hold as much land as possible, denying a fully sovereign Palestinian state.
2013 was record year in new settlement construction, and the 2014 rate is already higher, seeing the construction of 2534 housing projects, with over 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile Palestinian live in tightly controlled enclaves enclosed by the illegal Separation Wall and segregated roads, denied permission to build and instead having their houses taken over or demolished -all reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa.
Not to have acted would have made the RIBA silent and condoning this grave misconduct of their professional associates. By sending a clear message to the IAUA, and UIA, the RIBA and the RIAS strike a blow for the integrity and ethical practice of our profession, and supports the Palestinian civil society call for sanctions against the impunity of Israel.
Abe Hayeem, RIBA
Editorial, Jewish chronicle
March 20, 2014
Be in no doubt. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is now officially antisemitic. On Wednesday, it voted to support a ban on Jews from joining the International Union of Architects. It didn’t put it quite like that, of course. The wording of its motion referred to ‘Israelis’ rather than ‘Jews’. But in singling out the Jewish state for opprobrium, over and above every other nation on earth, and in seeking to ban Jews — sorry, Israelis — from membership, the driving force behind both the BDS campaign and its RIBA conspirators is clear. Jew hatred lives on in RIBA.
Notes and links
In 2005 the UIA passed Resolution 13 which states:
“The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”.
As seen in the world media in the past few months, there is increasing concern and condemnation worldwide over the illegal settlement-building by the Israelis to house nearly 600,000 Israeli settlers on Palestinian land, against international law.
There is mounting pressure for us not to continue to condone what we as a profession find unacceptable, where projects are being created on occupied land that defy the rights and international agreements made between Israel and Palestine since Oslo in 1993, and passed in numerous UN Resolutions since 1967.
Israel’s colonial settlement policy, has continued relentlessly over the last 5 decades in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem. The active collaboration of architects and planners has been central to the creation of hundreds of illegal settlements in serious breaches of the 4th Geneva Convention which prohibits a state from moving its civilians into territories it occupies. Further, ‘Judaisation’ projects within Israel itself, in the Negev desert and Galilee involving the dispossession of thousands of Palestinian citizens -including Bedouin, to create new Jewish settlements, are now being implemented against vociferous public protest. All of these projects involve Architects, Planners and Construction team to create them.
Worst Years of Abuse
2013 has been declared one of the worst years in human rights abuses and violence against the Palestinian people under Israel’s military rule. Amnesty International’s latest report documents Israel’s killings and brutalization of Palestinians in the West Bank over a three-year period, during peaceful protests against the illegal Separation Wall and the expropriation or their village land to expand Israeli settlements.
UIA’s Resolution 13 passed at Istanbul in 2005 and re-confirmed at Brazil in 2009 states that “The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”.
Many representations concerning these projects, involving discriminatory Israeli law, have been made to the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA), which has detached itself from it’s members’ continuing activities against professional ethics and the UIA Accords. The RIBA await acknowledgment of our letter of 28 Feb 2014. In fact the illegal settlement policy has accelerated in defiance of peace talks, severely compromising any possibility of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. The UIA, having made its position clear, must now act on the violation of its code of ethics and defiance of its resolution.
Angela Brady is an Irish-born architect who has lived in London for over 25 years. In 2011 she was elected president of the UK’s Royal Institute of British Architects for a two-year term. She is a past chairperson of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) London Forum.
She qualified as an architect in 1984 and co-founded Brady Mallalieu Architects with Robin Mallalieu in London in 1987
She is a TV personality in Ireland and the UK. “Showing the public what architects do is a great opportunity, and TV is the best medium for doing that”, she has explained.
In 2000 she was a founder of the RIBA ‘Architects for Change’ group, which campaigns for greater involvement in architecture by women and ethnic minorities. She was elected president of RIBA in 2011, the first non-British person and the second woman to hold the position. As Brady has said, “One of the reasons I got voted in was because I was the only person pushing diversity in our profession. We’re only 18% women and I’d love it if we could push it to 40%”. Brady immediately set up a task force to report on how the government could improve the way it awards public sector contracts. She also planned to improve engagement with politicians and to make the RIBA headquarters a ‘cooler’ place, including plans to open a new office in East London.
In 2012, Brady was awarded the Women of Outstanding Achievement Award For Leadership and Inspiration.
Chair: Abe Hayeem
from their website
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We share the international condemnation of the continuing annexation and fragmentation of Palestinian land through the expansion of illegal settlements and outposts and the construction of the Separation Wall in defiance of international law.
We hold all design and construction professionals involved in projects that appropriate land and natural resources from Palestinian territory to be complicit in social, political and economic oppression, and to be in violation of their professional ethics.
WHAT WE AIM TO DO
APJP seeks to raise awareness in the planning, design and construction industries of how these professions are central to the occupation of Palestinian land and to the erosion of human rights.
We will act as a channel for the dissemination of news and information relating to the built and natural environment in Israel/Palestine, in particular highlighting ways in which planning, architecture and other construction disciplines are being used to promote an apartheid system of environmental control.
We will forge links with Israeli and Palestinian professionals and other solidarity groups committed to non-violent resistance to the Occupation and to the establishment of a just and lasting peace.
From the International Union of Architects’ Charter:
Principle 2 – Obligations to the Public
“Architects have obligations to the public to embrace the spirit and letter of the laws governing their professional affairs, and should thoughtfully consider the social and environmental impact of their professional activities.
2.1 Standard: Architects shall respect and help conserve the systems of values and the natural and cultural heritage of the community in which they are creating architecture. They shall strive to improve the environment and the quality of the life and habitat within it in a sustainable manner, being fully mindful of the effect of their work on the widest interests of all those who may reasonably be expected to use or enjoy the product of their work.”
[Abe Hayeem is an active signatory to JfJfP]