ARC?PEACE has noted with dismay that Israeli architects engage in the design of illegal Jewish sett-lements on expropriated Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories. These activities are in clear vio-lation of the code of ethics of the International Union of Architects (UIA), which says that “there shall be no attempt to impose solutions of one society on other societies” (article 1:2) and that professionals shall fashion an environment “expressive of the genius of the people and reflective of the substance of their culture” (article 3).
ARC?PEACE demands that the Israeli association of architects shall expel members who grievously violate professional ethical standards by engaging in the design of illegal settlements. It is not accept-able for architects to participate in the violation of internationally recognized human rights.
In the past year Israeli settlements in the West Bank have increased by 60 per cent. This is more than one year after the Annapolis agreement, according to which Israel committed itself to stop new illegal settlements! In total there are now 470,000 Israeli citizens living in the West Bank.
One of the settlements is established in Hebron – one of the oldest cities in the world. Here militant Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli army forces, have cut off streets, prevented children from reaching their schools and adults from getting to their jobs, imposed further decay of buildings and choked Palestinian small-scale business, which flourished before the settlers arrived. The settlers also act against the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC), an organization formed in 1996 with the aim to protect cultural heritage, restore buildings, revive traditional craftsmanship, upgrade infrastructure, and create jobs.
ARC?PEACE demands that the Israeli Association of Architects take action to help preserve Hebron and support the work of HRC.
Prof. Bijayanand Misra Prof. Emer. Dick Urban Vestbro
Chairman of ARC”¢PEACE Secretary of ARC”¢PEACE
Address: ARC?PEACE, c/o BBA, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE-10044 Stockholm; fax: +46 8 7908580.
ARC”¢PEACE, International Architects Designers Planners for Social Responsibility is an international non-government, non-for-profit organization of architects, designers and planners, working against weapons of mass destruction and for non-violent conflict resolution among nations, for the protection of our natural environment and for responsible development of our built environment. It has a consul-tative status of United Nations (NGO status II to ECOSOC).