John van Rooyen
This visit is more than "insensitive" It is grotesque. There are thousands of piles of rubble which used to be homes in Gaza where Israel is frustrating the delivery of reconstruction materials; refusing to participate in the post conflict investigation by the UN; declaring homes "illegal" and demolishing homes in east Jerusalem (the owners have to pay for the pleasure); vindictively refusing development permits to all but Israeli jews; making rights to remain an oppressive bureaucratic instrument for only Palestinian families. The list goes on. Is this really a suitable environment for a trade mission? Architects need to wake up and take responsibility for their actions. Keep away and press for change.
Comment on: Row over RIBA's Israel trip escalates
The underhand manoeuvring of the RIBA President to avoid backing the resolution, properly adopted, to take a moral & ethical stance over the illegal Israeli developments in the West Bank, brings the institute into disrepute. He should either implement it or resign. If he does neither, which appears most likely, what on earth does the Professional Code of Conduct stand for? Mass resignation from the RIBA would be an appropriate response.
Why should we respect the views of the Ritblats on a matter they clearly cannot see with any impartiality? Isreali architects are building on illegally occupied land. This is a fact. The RIBA must stand up for good, ethical architecture and respect the vote that has been passed. The parallels with Apartheid era South Africa are chilling and the rebuttals that regime gave to all criticism of its "separate development" horrors are being repeated today in full measure. Some backbone, please, Mr President.
Another reason to bear a grudge against Charlie