Leading Israeli claims RIBA president did not back suspension motion
RIBA president Stephen Hodder does not back the RIBA motion to suspend Israel from the International Architects Union (UIA), the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has claimed
The IAUA and RIBA have been at loggerheads following RIBA Council’s decision in March to support ex-RIBA president Angela Brady’s call for the suspension of Israel from the UIA in protest at architects who accept commissions in the Occupied Territories.
Earlier this month Hodder met with Yitzhak Lipovetsky-Lir, former president of the IAUA and its international ambassador, at Portland Place in an effort to smooth over relations between the two bodies.
After the meeting, which was also attended by RIBA international vice president Peter Oborn, Lipovetsky-Lir said: ‘He [Hodder] and vice president Oborn said they are not supporting the motion; absolutely.’
‘I felt they were caught by surprise by the way the council voted,’ he added.
The latest disclosure follows claims made by Lipovetsky-Lir, prior to his recent head-to-head with Hodder, in which he told the AJ that the UIA had already decided to ignore the RIBA motion:
‘I have spoken personally to the president of the UIA, Professor Albert Dubler,’ said Lipovetsky-Lir, ‘and he has told me that they [UIA] have rejected the RIBA motion. They are not going to deal with it anymore.
‘I don’t know why they have rejected it; he didn’t tell me,’ he added.
Referring to the recent meeting with Hodder, Lipovetsky said that the RIBA president had revealed the institute’s council would be holding a meeting on the 19 June and that the issue ‘would be on the agenda’.
Brady and her supporters had expected the motion to be debated at the UIA’s forthcoming annual convention in Durban, South Africa this summer (7 August). But a spokeswoman for the UIA said: ‘[The expulsion]of the Israeli Association of United Architects, is not part of the next UIAGeneral Assembly’s agenda.’
The RIBA maintians said it has yet to receive ‘a formal response on the matter from the UIA’ and refused to comment directly on Lipovetsky’s comments, but confirmed that ‘RIBA Council will be updated on the resolution at its next meeting’.
Angela Brady said she had heard nothing from the UIA but added that she stood by her decision to bring the motion: ‘It is a very sensitive issue, but it is very important and has to be discussed.’