March 28: Moral decline

It appears that the RIBA is flouting its own charter and turning itself into a racist NGO – a further symptom of the tragic moral decline of a once-great nation.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Moral decline
Sir, – The recent decision of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to call on the International Union of Architects to suspend the membership of the Israel Association of Architects (“Israeli architects appeal to foreign ministry, Britain against threat of boycott,” March 26) is the usual self-righteous anti-Israel diatribe of special pleadings and plain lies. Also included is the standard disclaimer of anti-Semitism.
RIBA’s royal charter, conferred by King William IV in 1837 on the Institute of British Architects, states its objective as being “for the general advancement of civil architecture and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith.” Over the years the charter has been amended, but this definition has remained unaltered.
It would thus appear that RIBA is flouting its own charter and turning itself into a racist NGO – a further symptom of the tragic moral decline of a once-great nation.
The writer is a retired architect and former fellow of RIBA

Muted voice
Sir, – At a time when Israel is assailed the world over, its international voice is seriously reduced on account of the Foreign Ministry strike (“Liberman lashes out at striking ministry employees,” March 26).
Is it not time for the Knesset to interrupt its recess to deal with this disastrous state of affairs?

In name only
Sir, – The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) – Lev Academic Center wishes to completely distance itself from the remarks made by Rabbi Binyamin Metzger, head of the Lustig Seminary High School, who, according to the online edition of The Jerusalem Post (March 25), was recently shown on television “comparing religious Zionism to Nazism in the wake of a public outcry against the suspension of a student who had voiced support for performing national service.”
Although Campus Lustig, JCT’s affiliate in Ramat Gan, shares the same building and the “Lustig” name, the two institutions are separate entities, ours being an academic institution where haredi and religious-Zionist women study side by side.
A very high percentage of our students participate in national service and we are very proud of them.
The writer is JCT – Lev Academic Center director of external affairs

A bad name
Sir, – With regard to “The referendum law’s problem” (Comment & Features, March 24), Edan Johna, ex-human rights worker, gives human rights a bad name.
Sorry, Edan, if Israel annoyingly clings to “romantic” ideas about democracy and consistently votes for a Center-Right government. I’m sure you would rather we were dictated to by a minority that really knows what is best for us.
Wouldn’t it be amusing if there were a secret referendum on how many Arab-Israelis would rather stay in Israel than live in a Palestinian state? Or would that also be too democratic?
Careless talk
Sir, – South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein (“The great apartheid lie,” Sinai Today, March 21) effectively demonstrates, whether wittingly or unwittingly, the Goebbels technique of repeating a lie often enough until it becomes the accepted truth, by stating that the West Bank “belonged” to Jordan prior to 1967.
By careless use of language he perpetuates the lie that somehow this territory (which was supposed to be part of the Jewish homeland) legally belonged to Jordan, when in fact Jordan illegally occupied it. Any uninformed reader would easily assume that in 1967 Israel took away this piece of territory from the legal owner.
Nothing, of course, could be farther from the truth.
This demonstrates how the careless use of language can easily be hijacked to spread the lies that emanate from our misnamed peace partners on a daily basis.