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March 25, 2014 12:47 pm

Jewish Human Rights Group Says Royal Institute of British Architects Reliving Nazi Boycott Campaign

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Members of the Nazi Sturmabteilung, the storm troopers, holding placards that say, "Deutsche! Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden!" or "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews," in front of Israel's Department Store, in Berlin, on April 1, 1933, at the start of the Nazi boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. Photo: WikiCommons.

Members of the Nazi Sturmabteilung, the storm troopers, holding placards that say, "Deutsche! Wehrt Euch! Kauft nicht bei Juden!" or "Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews," in front of Israel's Department Store, in Berlin, on April 1, 1933, at the start of the Nazi boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. Photo: WikiCommons.

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center called out the Royal Institute of British Architects for allowing “itself to become the victim of an extremist group of spoilers that use tactics redolent of the Nazis’ 1930s boycott campaign, ‘Kaufen Nicht bei Juden‘ – ‘Do Not Buy from Jews.'”

In a letter to International Union of Architects President Prof. Albert Dubler, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels wrote, “Political agitators aim to hijack your profession and blemish your mission ‘to unite the architects of the world without any form of discrimination.'”

Samuels called out their hypocrisy for choosing to boycott Israel, as he listed the regimes that are members of the group which have received no sanction.

The letter noted that “IUA’s list of member organizations include Belarus, the last Fascist-style dictatorship on European soil; China, the abusive occupying power of Tibet; Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, with the world’s largest percentage of its population incarcerated in prison camps and, reportedly, execution in gas chambers; Sudan, responsible for an ongoing genocide in Darfur; Syrian Arab Republic, in its third year of mass murder of its own citizens, now numbering over 160,000 dead, hundreds of thousands wounded and over a million displaced refugees; Turkey, occupying power of northern Cyprus following an unprovoked aggression.”

The letter asked, “which of these human rights offenders is the only target of RIBA’s discrimination? None of the above. It is Israel, the heir to the same boycott victims of the aforementioned Nazis”.

The letter also pointed out that “RIBA’s former Chair, Angela Brady, has now launched a motion against the Israeli Association of United Architects  – comprising over 7,000 Jewish and Arab Israeli members.”

Samuels said that “this campaign began in 2008 with a bizarre comparison of Israel with Zimbabwe’s dictatorship of Robert Mugabe. Last week, it called for boycott and the suspension of the IAUA from the International Union of Architects, to be made effective at your August 2014 Congress in Durban, South Africa.”

“It is indeed ironic that collective sanctions against the architects of the Jewish state – singled out from their 1,300,000 professional peers included in your 130 member states and territories – is planned to take place in Durban,” Samuels wrote. “This was the site of the 2001 so-called United Nations World Conference against Racism which degenerated into the most violent antisemitic hate-fest since the Holocaust.”

Samuels wrote that he would “never forget the siege of the tiny Durban Jewish synagogue community center during Friday night prayers, by over a thousand anti-Semites brandishing posters of Adolf Hitler, proclaiming ‘He was right and should have finished the job.'”

Samuels told Dubler that “there is no place for racism in your Union. The role of architects is to inspire, build and beautify our world – not to be hijacked by political agitators.”

The architect organization said it voted to sanction the Israeli architects group because some of its members work on building projects in areas claimed by the Palestinian Authority for a state.

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  • Ken Blankstein-Ure

    First Oxfam (Sodastream) debacle & now RIBA, how embarrassing for such a storied institution to become so immature & pedantic. RIBA obviously has too much time on their hands.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Of course they are. They’re not being coy about it. Just because they speak English doesn’t mean the UK isn’t largely an antisemitic nation filled with antisemitic people. You’re talking what, a mere quarter million Jews in Britain? And that’s too many for them sending them off into furious hatred. Everyone’s worried about the street violence of French antisemitism but they ignore the reality that there’s every possibility that the UK will soon pass a law something akin to the Nuremberg Race Laws in an attempt to ethnically cleanse itself of all Jews ‘legally’.

    • Phil Heaton

      You may well be right with your damning prognosis of the UK because, sadly too few stand together with the victimised minorities and allow this to happen.
      The reality is that anti Jewish sentiment is always just below the surface with many keen to acknowledge the false accounts in the media when reporting actual events on the ground.
      UK should be standing with ISRAEL and there are many Christians who acknowledge this as a God-given duty but many are ignorant of our heritage and source of blessings.
      Yahshua said until the Jews say, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” they will not receive deliverance. God speed that day. Until then there are many who are not ignorant of the facts and will stand with those wrongly afflicted not just here in UK but in many parts of the world where the truth can still be found.

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