The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has reversed its call for the exclusion of Israel Association of United Architects (IAUA) from world bodies for its failure to condemn the building of “illegal” settlements.

2

RIBA’s Israel boycott is estimated to have cost the protagonists up to £100,000 as property professionals reconsidered their positions

The U-turn, nine months after the original motion passed, came in Thursday’s meeting of the RIBA Council and follows RIBA president Stephen Hodder’s admission that “we got it wrong”.

They original motion, pushed by former presidents Sunand Prasad and Angela Brady, called for Israel’s suspension from the international body on the grounds that it ignored a resolution passed by it in 2009 condemning building on “ethnically purified or illegally appropriated” land.

Dublin-born Brady told the Council that “refusing this motion would send a clear message to the world at large that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights and reinforcement of apartheid”. The vote carried by 23 votes to 16.

The move is estimated to have cost the organisation up to £100,000 in lost contracts, as Jewish and Israeli firms reconsidered their positions. Others sought to positively influence change at the organisation, leading to Jewish property professional Daniel Leon elected a RIBA National Council Member this summer.

Dublin-born Brady told the Council that “refusing this motion would send a clear message to the world at large that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights and reinforcement of apartheid”.