ARCHITECTURAL BOYCOTT PLAN IS MISGUIDED
Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP) alleges oppression of Palestinians by Israeli architects and planners (AJ 09.02.06). I am aware of several projects designed specifically for joint ventures between Israelis and Palestinians, particularly for youth use and cultural purposes. Obviously APJP has not heard this side of the story.
The AJ is mistaken in labelling Stephen Rose's academic boycott of Israel successful. Although certain British academics voted for it at a 'debate' with no opposition allowed, it was soon overturned as the forces of reason prevailed. Professor Colin Blakemore and others of equal distinction refused to join. Richard Dawkins issued a public statement regretting that he had signed up to this boycott after being subjected to great pressure. He recognised that Israeli academics are mainly very liberal and work for peace. Dialogue with them can only be constructive.
The interests of the Palestinians would be best served by fostering and nurturing hope. Do architects really believe that injustice for the Jewish state will mean justice for the Palestinians?
I think not. This enterprise gives no credit to the profession.
Rebecca Goldsmith, London