Saturday, 22 March 2014

Royal Institute of British Architects backs Israel boycott motion

The Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects has voted to call on the International Union Of Architects to exclude the Israeli Association of United Architects over its refusal to oppose Israel’s construction of illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

Abe Hayeem, RIBA member and chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, said:

“This motion sends a clear message that there is a price to pay for Israel’s decades long impunity in pursuing these apartheid policies, and that the humane principles of our profession cannot be ignored. One small step by the RIBA Council in supporting this motion – one landmark leap for ethics, justice and integrity for our profession.”

Responding to the news, Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson from the Palestinian BDS National Committee, the coalition of Palestinian trade unions, campaigns, NGOs and political parties that works to lead and support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, said:

“Architects and planners are central to Israel’s colonisation of Palestinian land and the forced displacement of Palestinian people. Given the complicity of the Israeli Association of United Architects in Israel’s construction of illegal Israeli settlements, it is only right that it is excluded from international forums.

“Following on from major pension funds divesting from Israel and mainstream artists joining the boycott, the RIBA vote shows how the boycott of Israel has entered the mainstream. Congratulations to Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and RIBA for their principled stance.”

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 vote follows a similar motion earlier in the week by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).

“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 RIBA motion reads. more


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