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Palestinian and Israeli architects divided over UKTI visit


I think representations should be made to UKTI by the above commentators who had direct experience of the plight of architects in the occupied West Bank to cancel its mission If UKTI is such a great partner of the RIBA, it should be made aware that it is treading on very shaky ethical and professional grounds in leading a delegation to meet with the IAUA and see projects in Israel with a view to creating business opportunities for British architects. This would be like building in apartheid South Africa at its most extreme. In this case it is even worse, as we have just seen the most horrendous urbicide and slaughter in Gaza, creating a man-made disaster that has been condemned by the UN and EU, and should have had massive teams of people involved with the reconstruction of massive areas of destruction comparable to the second world war. Instead since the end of the onslaught on 31 August, not one house has been rebuilt due Israel's total control, preventing any significant materials to enter, and creating a blockage and even greater restrictions than which led to the resistance by Gaza to the seven year blockade in the first place. The new cities in Israel are part of the Judaisation projects in the Galilee and Negev, involving mass displacement of Bedouin and Palestinians, to build new Jewish only cities to deliberately crowd out and make impossible the building of Palestinian housing desperately needed over decades. There has never been a new city or town for Palestinians (compared to 100s for Jewish Israelis) built since 1948, after which they were prevented from living in 93% of the land that was sequestrated to establish the Jewish state. The displacement goes on on both sides of the green line, and the latest plan is to move all Bedouin out of the E1 area outside Jerusalem, to a new township near Jericho, against their will , so more illegal settlements can be built to house Jewish settlers, against international law on land belonging to Palestinians. Is this the criminal set-up that UKTI wish to get British architects involved with? This shameful project should be cancelled, and British architects should refuse to be part or complicit in these illegal land grabs and crimes against humanity, levelled so long against Palestinians within Israel and under occupation, and still pursued with greater violence than ever by Israel, and its complicit architects' association. The RIBA, by not pursuing its own Council Resolution, can be said to be obstructive to carrying out its professional ethical responsibilities according to its Charter.

Posted date

30 November, 2014

Posted time

10:04 pm