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April 17, 2014 7:23 pm

Famed Jewish Architects Slam RIBA Anti-Israel Motion

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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An aerial photograph of Daniel Libeskind's Berlin Jewish Museum (left). Photo: WikiCommons.

An aerial photograph of Daniel Libeskind's Berlin Jewish Museum (left). Photo: WikiCommons.

The most renowned Jewish architects in the world are coming out to protest a motion to suspend Israeli architects from the International Architects Union, the UK’s Architect’s Journal reported on Thursday.

The sector magazine featured statements from Daniel Libeskind, who designed both the Berlin and Copenhagen Jewish Museums; Richard Meier, who created the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center and the Getty Center, both in Los Angeles; and Rick Bell, executive director of AIA New York who worked in the public sector before heading the AIA national staff association, CACE, and representing it on the AIA national board.

The architects were protesting a motion approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and condemned last month by Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center 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.'”

The motion, proposed by Angela Brady, RIBA’s former head, is against the Israeli Association of United Architects — comprising over 7,000 Jewish and Arab Israeli members — because members of the association work as architects in Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank. The RIBA motion is being criticized for punishing architects who have no say in the outcome of Israel’s political affairs.

On Thursday, Architect’s Journal quoted Libeskind as saying, “I am disappointed to learn of this action, especially from such a well-regarded institution as the RIBA. This decision seems to be completely counter to the mission of the RIBA; these actions are short-sighted and appear to be an attempt to simplify a very complex issue.”

Bell, executive director of AIA New York, which has 5,200 members, described the motion as “absurd,” and said, “I wish this had not happened and, on behalf of the AIA New York, I wish it would go away.”

“The idea that RIBA and the UIA could actively influence events through a resolution is patently absurd. World politics is played out on a much bigger stage,” Bell said. “As a Jew and a non-Zionist this [RIBA motion] is regrettable and I strongly believe this is an issue that RIBA should not be pushing.”

Last week, Meier wrote to RIBA president Stephen Hodder: “I find this incredible that the RIBA which I thought of as being an extremely honorable institution would vote or agitate for sanctions against Israel. I and many, many other architects here in New York condemn this action and sincerely hope that it would be reversed.”

A RIBA spokesman said that Hodder would not be commenting on the situation and added that a reversal of the motion, which will be voted on at the UIA conference in Durban, South Africa in August, “was not being considered” and “was not something that Stephen would do.”

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  • Anne Droid

    I think Daniel Libeskind should be banned from EVERY architectural organization worldwide. His systematic desecration of historical buildings and deliberate ruination of finely composed urban settings, al to satisfy. His outrageous ego and promote his brand amount to a “war crime” against architecture.

    • Alex Kolben

      Why can one express opinions on this website while using pseudonyms like Anne Droid (android.) One should have the courage of one’s convictions and state who you really are

  • Why take this issue seriously! We all know that born Christians did attack Christianity and no one did make it as a big deal. Those events are normal which has no effect on believes. The fact that this issue is taken now a day by this news paper says something. Find out!

  • AlanB

    Bell has clarified that he is a Zionist. His words were badly chosen. He meant that he is not an Israel activist.

  • Peter

    Please can people in the US pressure their local politicians to say they will not give business to RIBA architects unless this boycott is dropped.

    US anti-boycott laws allow this.

    That is the only way we are going to beat this one.

    Thank you.

  • HaroldT

    I hope that every Jewish architect has resigned from this Nazi organization.

  • Bernard Ross

    Aren’t there anti boycott laws in the US which could be employed against foreign orgs like RIBA doing business with the US or US businesses doing business with them?

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    I have one word for RIBA: BASTARDS!!!

    • Dogan Akman

      Once a perfidious Albion, always a perfidious Albion.

  • Harvey

    This is the brain child of Israel hater Abe Hayeem an Iraki Jew whose family were expelled from Irak in the 50s . Hayeem is an architect and has used the institution for his own nefarious purposes . As others have mentioned , there is no point writing letters to the institute . Their members must be hit in the pocket . Property developers need to be made aware and contracts placed with non RIBA architects preferably outside the UK .

  • Robert B Geller

    The actions of RIBA are disgusting though predictable due to the country of origin. What continues to amaze me though are the comments of liberal Jews who must immediately define themselves as “non-Zionists”. Rick Bell’s comments are equally disgusting, defining herself as a Jew and non-Zionist. IF the world continues to become more unstable for Jews and Israel is the only safe haven, Ms. Bell should remember that she is a “non-Zionist”.

    • Markus E Brajtman

      And Miss Bell must rememebr.
      G-D forbid. If there is ever a Nazi campaign to murder Jews again, this lady will be the first to say. ‘I AM A JEW AND A ZIONIST. I AM GOING TO LIVE IN THE ONE COUNTRY WHERE I CAN BE A JEW AND ZIONIST WITHOUT ANY ANTI SEMITIC PERSECUTION.
      Amazing. When people like this lady suffer because of her Jewishness, they either deny being Jewish, or run to the Jewish state of Israel.

  • Lawrence

    What did you expect from a once great empire in decline? Like an aging bully looking for easy victims and if none are around — then box shadows. Until this event who ever heard of RIBA.

  • GZLives

    Organize the US AIA members – especially in NY and CA to issue a statement that they disassociate themselves from the Brits and will suspend their affiliation with RIBA until they reverse this decision. The end goal should be to have RIBA isolated in this mess – a mess that was caused by highly incentivized activists and I’m guessing a membership that didn’t much bother to realize it was happening or think it through. Perhaps if its just the Brits and the various Arab affiliated organization that would probably take no issue with obvious anti Semitic behaviour, maybe just maybe RIBA will find a way to reverse it – just a guess when everyone else shuns THEM, they’ll realize they need to reverse course.

    • m_

      I hope you’re right but Britain is no the longer the Britain the way it once was. It is now to a great extent controlled by Arab Oil interests who have bought off large sections of the intelligentsia and large parts of the political class. And we should remember that while there is a tradition of admiration and solidarity with the Jewish people among Britain’s best and most enlightened, there has always been at the same time, a tendency among some Brits of hatred toward Jews. Arab interests with their vast supply of oil and money do all they can to promote racism and hatred of Jews and Israel among the British elite just as Nazi operatives did in the years leading up to World War II.

  • Shalom-Hillel

    Why is Britain rife with people like this? Every other week there’s another British organization, part of the British elites, taking some action against Israel. Their news media are horribly biased centers of disinformation against Israel. as well. They are pushing an Islamic agenda against their own citizens first and foremost and the Jews are never far from their minds either. Britain cannot go on this way. The country is actually being torn apart by these very people.

    • Steve Butman

      Londonistan is the capital of the new Muslin republic of England.

      • m_

        Arab oil and oil money and it’s Arab agents are behind the great increase in hatred of Jews and Israel in Britain and we should also remember that Britain has many times but aside it belief fair play and humanism. During the Second World War for example Britain used merciless terror bombing of civilian areas in Germany such as Dresden in violation of international law out of pure revenge and at the same time did not bomb railroad tracks leading to the Death Camps. Britain along with the U.S. sold out Poland as well and allowed the Soviets under Stalin to gain control of Poland and the rest of central and eastern Europe. Tens if not hundreds of millions of people lost their opportunity to live as free people. If Israel were to be destroyed tomorrow many Brits would not shed a single tear.

    • Kris Kristian

      Wait till the Muslims become a majority and turn Britain into an Islamic “holy state” with the Islamic Holy London”

      I wonder how long it will be before there will be an Islamic Prime Minister. Maybe they may even gave an Islamic Archbishop of Cantewrbry. Noting would surprise the world.

  • Wayne

    My solution for a Israeli Palestinian peace would be a bit different from others offered but might work. I feel that Israel should have kept Gaza and instead offered the entire West Bank to the Palestinians as their own
    sovereign nation. I don’t believe it will work for Israel to be in between Gaza and the West Bank. All and I mean all Israelis would have to leave the West Bank
    settlements and be resettled in Gaza or in others areas
    of Israel but would be given priority in Gaza. It would be a sacrifice leaving their homes in the West Bank settlements but by having Gaza set aside for them it
    would not be as tough to swallow. On the other side of this all Palestinians and any other Arabs would have to leave Gaza and resettle in the West Bank with priority given to Palestinians. The West Bank would be the new Palestine and a totally independent sovereign nation that would be free of Israeli control and interference. I know that this may seem very radical but everything proposed or tried to date has failed. Having one contiguous sizable homeland in the West Bank would instill pride and satisfaction in the Palestinian people and the fact that the Israeli settlers had to leave and relocate would give the Palestinians a feeling of fairness for their sacrifice of Gaza. On the other side leaving the West Bank settlements would be tough for the Israelis there but with Gaza set aside for them and the feeling that their sacrifice helped pave the way for a true lasting peace it wouldn’t be so hard to take. Having two small disconnected regions like Gaza and the West Bank in which to live in doesn’t work for the Palestinians. The Palestinians must have their own country or there will never be peace. Israel is getting pressure from other countries because of the West Bank settlements growing all the time and it will only get worse.

    • Beatrix

      Gaza is now a separate nation and has been since 2005. Israel is dealing with two Palestinian nations.

      • edward bowman

        frankly, you have no idea about the history of this region since 1947. You desperately need to read up the many history books on this subject. people adopt ideas planted in their minds by extreme political activists because they have no capacity for the most basic rational enquiry

        • Bernard Ross

          could you elaborate on whatever your point is?

      • Wayne

        So the West Bank is a Palestinian nation? If that is the case, how is it that Israel can annex settlements from another nations territory?

  • Markus E Brajtman

    Nothing surpises me when a bunch of Jew haters fall for all the lies from the Palestinians. Believing every lie.
    Like Goebbels said.

    And they would rather support terrorists and terrorism, than support Jews who only want peace.
    Why dont they look at history.
    Israel has not stolen any land of the palestinians.
    Why was there never a PA state between 1948 and 1967, when the terrorists had every chance to form a PA state?
    Jordan illegally occupied Samaria and Judea (westbank) and Egypt illegally occupied Gaza.
    It was only after Israel re captured G-D given land, that the terrorists set claim to what was never theirs.
    Do these arseholes also support the release of a few hundred terrorists who have murdered children and babies, some in their homes, and decapitated the babies?
    Do they support siucide murder of Jews? Oh I forgot. They were only Jews who were blown to pieces.
    Why have they never commented on Islamic terrorism and murder of Jews?
    Jealousy plays a big game. Obviously, they have too much
    h competition from Jewish architects, so have a dig at he jewish state.
    What a bunch of arsehol

    But we must not forget. The Anglican Church of England has denied the Old Testament Torah The 5 books of Moses. They have cancelled the Bible, and created their own Jew hating bible.

    May they all rot in hell.

    • Steve Butman

      Right on! Very well stated.

  • Dale K.

    First academics, now architects. Who’s next?

  • The contribution to British architecture, particularly by Jewish refugees from Hitler, is outstanding. One of the finest modern buildings in Britain by general consensus is the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill-on-Sea designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayef (built in 1935). Some British people were shocked that Earl De La Warr should have commissioned two “foreigners” to create this magnificent Art Deco building.

    • Markus E Brajtman

      This proves my contentipon that these arshole British architects do not want any Jewish competition.

      The Jews have obvioulsy produced far more interesting architecture than those snobs.

  • artcohn

    Angela Brady proves that she is an Israel hating imbecile

  • Liliane Abergel

    What is there to say? The hordes are out and baying? All that disguised anti-semitism doesn’t fool anyone except the ones who hides their heads in the sand. What is scary is that these are supposedly “educated” people. Shades of Nazi Germany?

  • Melvin Aminoff

    The RIBA has disgraced itself with its Anti-Israel motion.

    Melvin Aminoff

  • Larry Fisher

    Don’t you just wonder what the members of the Peel Commision would think of RIBA’s misguided action?

  • My Planet Israel

    This has nothing to do with Israel and everything to do with Jews. The baseless hatred of Jews is at hand in all of these maneuvers by these pond scum haters and it has gotten to a point where it is clear that euro trash morons are still @$$ backward thugs who find it easier to go along with the inbred hatred they have in Europe rather than make a real attempt to evolve. Europe deserves another karma bus to run it’s ugly, fascist butts over with ore damage than they could ever recover from. Throw Russia in there to for good measure. So sick of these Savages and their ‘world carving’ mentality. They should burn in hell.

    • Bernard Ross

      Vlad is beating at their gate like the Vandals at Rome; the throat slitters, head choppers and honor killers are eating them like termites for within; the 4th reich is rising agian……the jews must getout….Europe is doomed, it’s only power is in its purse and without military power the purse will dwindle…..Watch the show as the 2000 year enemy of the Jews suffers its just fate.
      When G_D delivered the Jews from egypt, before that, he hardened pharoahs heart against the Jews.

  • Mike P.

    Jewish architects, developers and real estate investors globally should begin a boycott of all RIBA members and projects not explicitly barring the participation of RIBA members.

  • Mort Moooze

    It is the moment to start a new Association – a non political, international group, all included, except bigots, anti-Jews, and other related rectal orifices.

    B uy Israeli Products
    R egularly
    I nvest
    S anctify

    • Markus E Brajtman

      se explain what is behind their hatted?
      I am sure they must be getting lots of jobs from the immigrant Muslims.
      So, by boycotting Israel, the Muslims will support the,

      • Kris Kristian

        Has anyone given a thought as to how many Muslim architects are members of RIBA?

      • J Koenig

        Perhaps RIBA wants to help its members get
        a substantial amount of business rebuilding Syria
        if and when that country finally stops killing its people and destroying its cities. A strong anti-Israel position will certainly help that cause!

  • EthelCarol

    The stuffy, unimaginative Brit architects need Israeli creativity and intelligence in art and architecture more than Israel needs them. So don’t protest; let them wallow in their ignorance and hatred until they beg you to rejoin.
    And they will.

  • Beatrix

    This is reminiscent of 2002 when Mona Baker of England’s University of Manchester removed two Israeli professors from the editorial board of journals she and her hubby published.

    Israel took the West Bank in a preemptive strike from Jordan who relinquished all claims in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Israel offered the land to the Palestinians with Israeli land to compensate for the approximately 5% of the West Bank they’d built on.

    The reason people see this situation the way they do is that Arafat and Abbas are skilled propagandists. They’re the only two leaders Palestine has ever had and they keep repeating the same mantra: Jews bad; Palestinians good. Israel has had many leaders. Maybe too many to get their point across.

  • Ken Blankstein-Ure

    Absurdity ad infinitum! I would think-and hope-that RIBA would have weightier things to do with their time. This “anomaly” makes me embarrassed to be of British heritage.

    Ken Blankstein-Ure
    WINNIPEG, Canada

  • Cynthia Hutchinson

    How dare they compare this to the Nazi policy of ” don’t buy from Jews”! Israel is guilty of war crimes and if anything should be compared to Nazi Germany it is the State of Israel.

    • Beatrix

      It’s your comment that’s a crime.

    • noel eliscu

      you are a sick puppy and very ignorant. the propaganda and lies thrown around are so unjust. Cynthia please do not buy anything that Jews are responsible for inventing or manufacturing. please live on oil and learn how to make rockets and bombs

      • Markus E Brajtman

        I hope this hater never needs to have an Israeli invetion if, and hopefully, when she gets a heart attack.
        Refuse to have stents inserted in your arteries if you have any arteries.
        Do you want to learn of all the other inventions from the “war criminals”?
        Maybe you should sit at home and not move out of your house, because whatever you are using, probably was invented in IsraelOf, please do not use your cellphone, or computer. many components were made by the “war criminals”

    • Kris Kristian

      What war crimes are you referring to?
      The Goldstone report on Gaza was reversed when Goldstone learned more of the truth. That he was given false info by the Gazans.
      What does she say about all the bus bombings, the pizza shops bombings. The murder of babies, some decapitated in their beds.
      The naming of schools, parks, roads, by the Palestinians, of savage killers of babies?
      That is a war crime.
      This woman is an idiot.
      She believes every lie that the so called, as Newt Gingrch said, ‘THE INVENTED PEOPLE”
      Unfortunately, for her, she shows her absolute ignorance and hatred of Jews. So, whats new?
      This has been going on for centuries.
      Jews have always beenm a scapegoat for the crimes of others.

      Maybe this lady should wake up.
      You hate Jews? You hate Jesus who was born and died a Jew. He was never a CHristian/
      Every Jew hater, who professes to be a Christian, is Jesus hater.
      And that goes for the likes of the Church of England even the Vatican.
      Hatred of Jews is jealousy of the Jewish brain.
      The Jews were educated while the Brits and others were ignorant, illiterate, drunken fools.
      The Hebrew language was “invented” a few thousand years before the English language was Invented.
      It is sick minds like this lady, who are the war criminals.
      Their hatrted is what causes wars.

    • Bruceboy

      What evidence do you really have of Israeli war crimes? Have the Israelis hacked and mutilated innocent civilians as the Hutus and Tutsis did in Rwanda? Have the Israelis gassed civilians as the Iraqis and Syrians have done and are doing? Have the Israelis taken legitimate prisoners of war and lined them up and killed them as the Nazis did,Have the Israelis rampaged across their land and the West Bank like the marauding Arabs in the Sudan, slaughtering millions of innocents? Have the Israelis rounded up thousands of Muslims and shot them and buried them in mass graves like Milosevic did in Serbia?

      Get real woman and stop swallowing all the filthy Anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist propaganda which is vomited out by ignorant and vicious persons with with no morals. If you have any ethics or morals you would rethink your trashy spiteful remarks. The label of Anti-Semitism is not one that should make you proud.The only persons who wore it proudly were Eichmann ,Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels.You want to be in their company?

  • Noel Herasfield

    These Jewish Architects are really unbelievable.The decision is,like all boy otters,pure antiSemitism.Jewish architects should simply state that,and not trying tbehind the fact they are non Zionist.

  • Shame

  • Shame.

  • Not to worry soon Britain will be an Islamic country where all the British women will be Islamic sex slaves. Starting as young as 9 years old to be sold and bought so save your pennies.

  • irving strauchler

    ‘when people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.’

    Martin Luther KIng Jr.

  • Shane

    Besides exercising their right to be foolish, the RIBA is probably also trying to get more commissions for their members in countries with strong anti-semitic tendencies. That the IAU vote will be held in Durban seems to be an attempt to create a new category of ‘zionist architecture’ that one might equate with racist and/or apartheid architecture.

    I hope they put more thought into designing buildings than was obviously invested in this ludicrous plan. Idiots!

  • Golum

    The Brits are just plainSTUPID!!!…let them ROT with their araaaaabs!!!!

  • Obviously RIBA IS RUN BY A PURE ANTI SEMITE STEPHAN HODDER WHO ACTS IN THE TRADITION OF MENGELE AND HEYDRICH…AS DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR STATED WITH SUCH WISDOM IN MARCH 1968: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking antisemitism”…HODDER represents pure evil of antisemitism that Dr King was talking about.