A British-led Israel boycott of architects could endanger the local construction industry and 10% of Palestinians, whose livelihoods depend on it.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that it will act to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the International Union of Architects.
The Israel boycott decision was passed 23 to 16 with 10 abstentions. Former RIBA President Angela Brady claims that an Israel boycott was an act against “land grabs, forced removals, killing the state, human rights, and reinforcement of apartheid.”
Prof. Baruch Baruch of IAUA said the decision was wrong because many IAUA members are Arab citizens of Israel.
“I don’t think boycotts will help to solve any of the problems in the Middle East,” he said.
Jewish communities in Judea and Shomron employ 10% of the Palestinian labor force. Billion-dollar companies such as SodaStream employ hundreds of Palestinian workers inside their Ma’ale Adumim factory. Construction is underway on Rawabi, a new Palestinian city next to Ramallah where 10,000 new homes are being built for Arab families.
“Arab architects in Israel have special problems of our own, and there are also problems and struggles we share with Jewish architects,” Abed Badran said in a conversation with Ha’aretz newspaper. Badran is an IAUA board member.
Britain Integrates Sharia Law Into Legal System
The same day that the RIBA announcement was made, Great Britain integrated Islamic Law into its legal framework, abandoning a justice system governing the islands since 1189. Britain joins Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Lebanon, and Syria in including Sharia laws with their own.
For example. lawyers may now compose Islamic wills that refuse women an equal share of inheritance and ignore non-Muslims completely.
The new guidelines state: “The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all.”
Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society was outraged at the decision.
“The Law Society seems determined to sacrifice the progress made in the last 500 years,” he said.
Israel Boycott a Pipe Dream
Product innovations made by Israeli high-tech companies provide competitive advantages not available elsewhere. Quoting top international business leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prided himself on an unbreakable demand for “Israeli technology, Israeli technology and Israeli technology.”
Any Israel boycott would cost a company business. Motorola, Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco have research facilities in Israel. French company Technicolor and Chinese firm Haier have also announced plans to open research offices in the Jewish State. Israeli-designed components are in almost every cellphone, computer, and microchip on earth.
Boycott attempts have not hurt the Israeli economy, which grew 3.3% last year. Nor has it affected local unemployment, which is lower than in the United States and Europe.
The world is not rushing to join an Israel boycott. American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro,for instance, recently stated:
“We have opposed, do oppose and will continue to oppose efforts to delegitimize, [or] boycott Israel.”
Author: David Fink, Contributor, United with Israel
Date: Mar. 24, 2014