Architects back suspension of Israelis from international union


British architects have backed calls to suspend Israeli counterparts from their international union.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) passed a motion proposed by its former president Angela Brady on Wednesday.

She had campaigned for the organisation to urge the International Union of Architects (IAU) to suspend members of the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) until “illegal projects” in the West Bank cease.

Ms Brady and her supporters said the Israeli union had repeatedly ignored an IAU resolution and had helped sustain settlement building.

In a letter to Riba council members before the vote, 26 members of the Constructive Dialogue group — which works on projects with architects in Israel and the Palestinian territories -— opposed the motion, saying it was “dishonourable to single out Israeli architects”.

But the Institute’s full council voted by 23 to 16, with 10 abstentions, to adopt the policy.

Ms Brady said the outcome was “a positive result for a positive way forward”. The Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine group, led by campaigner Abe Hayeem, also supported her initiative.

Constructive Dialogue’s Daniel Leon called the result hugely disappointing. He said his colleagues were considering their “ongoing membership of an organisation that might not want us as members”.

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