Brady tables RIBA motion against Israeli 'land grab'
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’.
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.’
Letter sent to RIBA Council members from Constructive Dialogue
Dear RIBA Council Member
Please forgive this unsolicited email but I wish to present a counter-point to a motion proposed at the RIBA Council this forthcoming Wednesday.
Angela Brady’s motion to council against the IAUA is misguided and one-sided.
While it is legitimate to criticise Israeli Government policy, it is dishonourable to single out Israeli Architects.
There are architects in many parts of the world whom find themselves in conflict areas but are welcome in the IAU, making this motion discriminatory.
A call to exclude the IAUA from the IAU would be a counter-productive move that would reinforce prejudices and encourage conflict, rather than supporting the very professionals that are best placed in the region to promote mutual understanding.
Our energy should rather be focused on positive work that construction professionals can do to advance peace and coexistence. Many Israeli architects have used their experiences and knowledge to create projects that help the architectural community across the world, and we, as members of the RIBA, would like to see our international union building bridges/helping our fellow workers, not abandoning them.
It is imperative not to transport the conflict in the Middle East into the architectural profession but rather use the profession and resources available to encourage dialogue and cooperation, especially during a time of peace talks.
Furthermore, the international committee has already stated that ‘it is beyond the role of the RIBA to push the IAU for a sanction against Israel’s architectural community.’
If you have any comments or queries on the above please do not hesitate to drop me a line to discuss.