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Jonathan Hoffman

Jonathan Hoffman

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Comments (16)

  • Comment on: Desmond Tutu urges UIA to suspend Israeli Architects Association

    Jonathan Hoffman's comment 8-Aug-2014 11:20 pm Good to see that the RIBA motion went nowhere. It was based on ignorant falsehoods and was sprung on the Council without any opportunity for the lies about Israel to be rebutted. Many RIBA members are justifiably livid that this ill-conceived ill-informed grandstanding cost RIBA at least £100,000 in lost bookings. The 'apartheid' allegation is an ignorant smear. Just look at the Supreme Court - an Arab Israeli was one of the three Supreme Court Judges who convicted a former President of the State. As for Tutu, he's just a sordid bigot when it comes to Jews:

  • Comment on: Stephen Hodder in bid to draw a line under Israeli settlements row

    Jonathan Hoffman's comment 12-Jun-2014 8:56 pm

    It is incumbent on Mr van Rooyen to say precisely WHY the Ritblats are “not impartial”. While he’s at it maybe he can explain how the Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporters who were behind the RIBA motion are ‘impartial'. The claims that Judea and Samaria are illegally occupied and that Israel has acted contrary to international law are refuted here: The baseless ‘apartheid’ smear is easily refuted. For example the Supreme Court has an Arab Justice and there are Arabs in the Israeli diplomatic service. Arabs have served in the Cabinet. It was an Arab judge who sentenced a former President of Israel to jail for seven years for a rape conviction. Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab journalist, said “If Israel were an apartheid state, I, for example, would not be allowed to work for a Jewish newspaper or live in a Jewish neighbourhood or own a home. The real apartheid is in Lebanon, where there is a law that bans Palestinians from working in over 50 professions. Can you imagine if the Knesset passed a law banning Arabs from working even in one profession? The law of Israel does not distinguish between a Jew and an Arab”. The RIBA motion was based on incorrect information which demonised Israel - and it seems that it was sprung on the RIBA Council with no chance for the truth to come out. As such it is entirely appropriate that the motion is going precisely nowhere.

  • Comment on: Ex-British Land boss Ritblat urges RIBA to rethink Israel stance

    Jonathan Hoffman's comment 10-Jun-2014 7:08 pm

    "Not just the disinterested ex British Land boss you would have us believe" Just what is Alex Seymour insinuating? That Sir John has a financial interest in the fate of this motion? I think it is incumbent on Mr Seymour to explain.

  • Comment on: Ex-British Land boss Ritblat urges RIBA to rethink Israel stance

    Jonathan Hoffman's comment 10-Jun-2014 6:50 pm

    Abe Hayeem demonstrates yet again that his RIBA motion was based on untruths. How appropriate that it seems to have sunk without trace at UIA. Israel has NOT contravened the Geneva Convention. Article 49 (6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention states “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”. No court of law has ever found Israel to be in breach of this Article. The Article was written after WW2, when German and Russia forcibly transferred populations. Israel has not forced anyone to move into the West Bank, nor has it displaced local populations. In fact, the Palestinian population within the territories has increased dramatically.

  • Comment on: Ex-British Land boss Ritblat urges RIBA to rethink Israel stance

    Jonathan Hoffman's comment 7-Jun-2014 9:53 pm

    Again the chief proponent of the RIBA motion, Abe Hayeem, proves that it was based on falsehoods and that no-one at the RIBA Council meeting rebutted those falsehoods. Just one falsehood: he writes about the 'obscene apartheid wall'. The separation fence has nothing to do with 'apartheid'. It was built to save lives because people in Israel - both Jews and Arabs - were being murdered by suicide bombers. The value of the fence in saving lives is evident from the data: In 2002, the year before construction started, 457 Israelis were murdered; in 2009, 8 Israelis were killed. More here: The fence affects around 1.6% of the Occupied Territories. Israel has set up a compensation fund of around $60 million. 60,000 olive trees destroyed in the construction have been replanted. It's not nice of course. But it has saved a lot of lives. Abe Hayeem's designation of Cifwatch as "libellous", "hate- enciting" and a "hate site" (and me as "ignorant") is risible. It simply demonstrates that can't cope with being confronted with the truth - which should have happened at the RIBA Council meeting but clearly didn't. Another falsehood is the statement that Israel is "denying any possibility of a Palestinian state." Dennis Ross was at Camp David (2000) in the US negotiating team. If you go to Dennis Ross’s book “The Missing Peace” you will learn that the Palestinians turned down an offer of 91 percent of the West Bank in contiguous territory plus an additional 1 percent in land swaps (there was to be a continued Israeli security presence along 15 percent of the border with Jordan). Israel signed peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt; withdrew from Sinai, uprooting Jewish settlements; withdrew from Gaza, uprooting Jewish settlements. A Palestinian State was also on offer in 1948. Prime Minister Olmert made an even more generous offer. Israel has made proven sacrifices for peace - including most recently releasing terrorists from prison. As the Ritblats and many others have said, it is entirely wrong that RIBA - an institution which has no foreign policy expertise - should attempt to arbitrate in the Middle East. Particularly as the motion was based on demonstrable falsehoods and there was no-one with Middle East expertise present at the meeting to rebut these falsehoods. Further, RIBA is a Charity and Charities cannot engage in political activity which is beyond their expressed aims.

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