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posted Feb 12, 2011, 12:33 PM by Lifta Society   [ updated Apr 10, 2011, 6:18 PM ]
Husam Bajis of Lifta and Abe Hayeem Chair of APJP, photo by Lifta Society. 

9 February 2011 

Israeli Association of United ArchitectsYitzhak Lipovetsky, President 
13,Hamigdalor Street , Tel Aviv/Jaffa 68037 

Dear Yitzhak Lipovetsky 

Please help the campaign to save Lifta 

You may be aware that there has been on ongoing campaign to save Lifta, which has become known within Israel and internationally as a quintessential Palestinian village, one of the few of the 500 villages that had not been completely destroyed by Israeli forces in the war of 1948. Lifta is celebrated as part of a beautiful landscape of ruins, loved by walkers and nature enthusiasts, but remembered primarily by its original inhabitants many of whom live nearby but have never been allowed to return.

Numerous organisations, especially BIMKOM, Zochrot and FAST have lobbied for the village to be listed by UNESCO as a heritage site, as a symbol of reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, and for alternative plans they have formulated with the Land and Housing Research Centre. Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine in 2005 placed an advertisement in the Times, signed by over 350 architects and planners worldwide, many of them eminent figures including academics, to help save Lifta for its original Palestinian inhabitants. . Esther Zandberg in Haaretz has again written a moving plea for the village to be symbolically returned to those who were forcibly removed from there, instead of building 212 luxury apartments that will bought only be Jewish people, in the proposed decade-long project (plan number 6036) that the Israel Land Administration wishes now to commence. This is all on expropriated Palestinian land.

As with the campaigns against the projects in East Jerusalem for the City of David and the King’s Garden in Silwan, we have written to your Association on various occasions to ask you to refute and help stop these projects since they involve deep injustices to the Palestinians, (either citizens of Israel, or in the occupied territories), are contrary to international law and the Geneva Conventions, but more importantly are against professional ethics that are particularly needed in countries with whole sections of their populations that are being imprisoned and discriminated against by government policy as a people.

Despite international agreements, numerous UN resolutions and EU Commission reports against them, before the founding of the Israeli state in 1948 and since 1967, Israeli architects have continued to help build settlements and towns illegal under international law on expropriated Palestinian land in the Occupied Territories including annexed East Jerusalem. Israel’s discriminatory architectural and planning projects have accelerated daily, with thousands of dwellings and public facilities being built for Jewish citizens only, forcing the dispossession of Palestinians from their homes and land, and the destruction of their civic life, culture and national rights. This has prevented any just solution for establishing a Palestinian state, and an end to the house demolitions, evictions, and land theft that has so enraged the democratic world. Much of the work of Israeli architects can be construed as participation in war crimes, as has been described in ‘Hollow Land’ by Eyal Weizman.

These activities are in clear vio­lation of the code of ethics of the International Union of Architects (UIA), (article 3) 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”). Principle 2 says: “Architects have obligations to the public to embrace the spirit and letter of the laws governing their professional affairs, and should thoughtfully consider the social and environmental impact of their professional activities.”

The UIA in Brazil on 31 July 2009 reaffirmed Resolution 13 at the UIA Assembly of July 2005 in Istanbul,.

“The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”

Our attempts at dialogue with the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) have brought no change. The IAUA has shown total detachment from these practices by its members, and maintains it cannot get involved with their work. Surely you must see that this is an untenable and unacceptable state of affairs. Yet the IAUA eagerly sought to reinstate its membership of the UIA last July 2010.

Surely now is the most critical time for the IAUA to have the courage to consider what is morally and ethically unacceptable and help to oppose the ILA’s plans for Lifta, (and all such projects) and to take to task the architects who are carrying such plans forward, as proposed by ARC in 2009 <>. It can be shown that even though Lifta is within Israel, building on land owned by Palestinian refugees is intrinsically illegal. The 1947 United Nations partition plan declared Jerusalem a corpus separatum, a separate body, to be run under an international UN administration. That is still its only internationally recognised status.

Further the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to their homes. In the specific case of the Palestinians, this right was affirmed by the United Nations Resolution 194 of 1948, and has been reaffirmed repeatedly by that same body, and has also been recognized by independent organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The U.S. government supportedResolution 194, and voted repeatedly to affirm it until 1993. Israel refuses to allow the refugees to return to villages, towns and cities inside Israel due to their ethnic, national and religious origin, nor to build for their sevenfold population expansion.

Although Israel has so far refused to recognize this right, all refugees have an internationally recognized right to return to areas from which they have fled or were forced out, to receive compensation for damages, and to either regain their properties or receive compensation and support for voluntary resettlement. This right derives from a number of legal sources, including customary international law, international humanitarian law (governing rights of civilians during war), and human rights law. The United States government has forcefully supported this right in recent years for refugees from Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and elsewhere.

This would be a wonderful opportunity for Israel, as an act of reconciliation, to cancel Plan 6036, and to allow the many alternative projects for Lifta to be considered for implementation, ones that involve the Lifta people. The IAUA can gain some credibility and approval by backing such projects, that do not involve the erasure of Palestinian history and humanity.

We look forward to hearing from you what you plan to do to help such an alternative project to come to fruition.

Yours sincerely

Abe Hayeem, RIBA
Chair, APJP and on behalf of all the signatories attached.


  1. Charles Jencks: Architectural Historian, Writer and Critic, UK/USA.
  2. Ted Cullinan, CBE, RA: Edward Cullinan Architects, UK.
  3. Will Alsop RA, OBE: Principal SMC William Alsop, Winner Stirling Prize 2000, UK.
  4. Zvi Hecker: Architect, Germany/Netherlands/Israel.
  5. Sir Terry Farrell: Principal Terry Farrell Partners, UK.
  6. Sir Richard McCormack: Partner MJP Architects, Former RIBA President, UK.
  7. George Ferguson: Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects, Former President RIBA
  8. Jack Pringle:former RIBA President, UK.
  9. Sunand Prasad:RIBA President, Principal Penoyre Prasad Architects, , UK.
  10. Eva Jiricna: Principal Jiricna Architects, UK.
  11. Rick Mather: Principal Rick Mather Architects, UK.
  12. Abe Hayeem: Architect, APJP Chairman, UK.
  13. Eyal Weizman: Author ‘A Civilan Occupation’, Director Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmith’s College, UK/Israel.
  14. Paul HyettRIBA President 2001-2003, UK.
  15. Hans Haenlein: Principal Hans Haenlein Architects, UK.
  16. Neave Brown: Artist and Architect of Alexandra Road, UK.
  17. Robin NicholsonECA architects, UK.
  18. David Levitt: Architect Levitt, Bernstein, UK.
  19. Tom Kay: Architect, UK.
  20. Jeff HalperICAHD Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel.
  21. Malkit Shoshan: Director of Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), Netherlands/Israel.
  22. Shmulik Groag: Director, BIMKOM, Israel. (E1, Silwan)
  23. Cezary Bednarski: Principal Studio Bednarski, UK/Poland.
  24. Professor Nasser Rabat: Aga Khan Professor, MIT, USA.
  25. Professor Mike Davis: Author ‘City of Quartz’, Professor University of California Davis, USA.
  26. Professor Saskia Sassen: Author ‘Cities in a World Economy’, University of Chicago, London School of Economics, USA/UK.
  27. Suad Amiry: Author, Founder and Director of RIWAQ, Centre for Architectural Conservation, Palestine.
  28. Beatriz Maturana: Principal Archimage, President and Founder of Architects for Peace, Australia.
  29. Eitan Bronstein: Director of Zochrot, Israel.
  30. Uri Davis: Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter, IAIS, Founder of Al-Beit, Israel.
  31. Professor Samer Akkach: Director Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture, Adelaide, University, Australia.
  32. Professor Zvi Efrat: Department Head, Architecture Department, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, Israel.
  33. Professor Derek Gregory: Distinguished Scholar, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada.
  34. Professor Neil Smith: PhD Johns Hopkins, Distinguished Professor CUNY Graduate Center, USA.
  35. Osama Hamdan: Conservation Architect and Lecturer, Al Quds University, Palestine.
  36. Professor Haim Bresheeth: Filmmaker, Photographer, Chair of Media and Cultural Studies, University East London, UK/Israel.
  37. Professor Bob Tavernor: Director of Cities Program, Architecture and Urban Studies, London School of Economics, UK.
  38. Dr. Gaetano Palumbo: Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK.
  39. Professor Oren Yiftahel: Professor of Geography, Ben Gurion University, Israel.
  40. David Tartakover: Graphic Designer, Israel Prize Laureate for Design 2002, Israel.
  41. Professor Mario Coyula: Architect and Urban Planner, Cuba.
  42. Professor Peter Marcuse:Columbia University,NY,USA
  43. Lynda Thorne: EU Environmental Consultant, Romania.
  44. Ian Martin: Building Design Magazine, UK.
  45. Louis Hellman: Architect and Cartoonist, UK.
  46. Robert Bevan: Author ‘The Destruction of Memory’, UK.
  47. Dr. Jim Berrow: Architectural Historian, UK.
  48. Arad Sharon: AA dipl, Director Arieh Sharon, Eldar Sharon Architects & Town Planners L.T.D, Israel.
  49. Georgeann B. Burns Assoc. AIA: Principal, RTKL Associates, Inc., USA.
  50. Gail Waldman: Waldman-Jim Architects, UK.
  51. Ceridwen Owen: Architect, Lecturer in Architecture, University of Tasmania, Australia.
  52. Karen McWilliam: Architect, Lab Architecture, Australia.
  53. Raphael Sperry AIA: Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, Green Architect, USA.
  54. Claudia Bloom: Director, Avanti Architects, UK.
  55. Michael Safier: Planner, Bartlett College, University College London, UK.
  56. Junko Iwaya: Architect, Japan.
  57. Professor Bas Molenaar: Healthcare Architect, Netherlands.
  58. Aurore Julien: Renewable Energy Consultant, UK.
  59. Charles Dunnett: Dunnett Craven Ltd., UK.
  60. Ross RamusRAIA Ramus Architects,USA.
  61. Mikolaj Kadubowski: Partner GRUPA 5 ARCHITECTS, Warsaw.
  62. Mungo Smith: Director of MAAP Architects, London.
  63. Susan Francis: Special Advisor on Healthcare, CABE, London.
  64. Mark Kubaczka: Dyrektor, artchitecture sp zo o, Warsaw.
  65. Liane Friedrich: Architect, Brazil.
  66. Prof. Hennu Kjisik: Architect, Finland.
  67. Derek Stow OBE: Architect, London.
  68. Professor Irene Bruegel: Planner, London South Bank University, UK.
  69. Dace Kalvane: Aplus architects, Latvia.
  70. Frank de Marco: Architect UK.
  71. Douglas Carson: Eric Parry Architects.
  72. Hubert Murray AIA, RIBA: President of Boston Society of Architects, USA .
  73. Nick Jeffrey: Retired Head of School of Planning the Architectural Association, Guest Curator in Arch. Tate Modern, UK .
  74. Keith Bennett, RIBA: Architect (retired), UK .
  75. Laura Natkins: Architect, Harvard University , USA .
  76. Shelley Indyk: Architect, Principal Indyk Ltd., Australia .
  77. Salem Thawaba: PhD Bir Zeit University , Palestine .
  78. James Bowen: Structural Engineer , Ireland .
  79. Tchaik Chassay: Chassay+Last Architects.
  80. Erland Seilskkjaer: Architect, Norway.
  81. Dick Urban Vestro: Professor Emeritus,School of Architecture, Stockholm .
  82. Francesca Viceconti: Architect, Italy.
  83. Martin O’Shea: Architect, UK.
  84. Salim Jaleel: Architect, UK.
  85. Haifa Hammami: Architect, APJP Secretary, UK.
  86. Michael Gwilliam: Planner, UK.
  87. Clive Jones: Architect, UK.
  88. Mike Macrae: Architect, UK.
  89. Michael Goulden: Architect, Wales.
  90. Joanna Heilig: Architect, Sweden.
  91. Anne Markey,Architect,London Metropolitan Univ.
  92. Joanna Chambers: Planner, UK.
  93. Jeremy Dain: Architect, UK.
  94. Phil Gusack: Architect, UK. 
  95. Malcolm Hecks: Architect, France.
  96. Walter Hain: Architect, UK.
  97. Kate Mackintosh: Architect, UK.
  98. Joe Lynes: Architect & CPT, Palestine.
  99. Nadia Habash: Architect, UK.
  100. Zahira Nazer: Urbanist, UK.
  101. Karin Pally: Planner, LA.
  102. Sidney Bernstein: Architect, UK.
  103. Shaqir Sufian: Architect, UK.
  104. John Waller: Architect, UK.
  105. Paul Barham: Architect, UK.
  106. Geoff Haslam: Architect, UK.
  107. Terry Meade: Architect, Brighton University, UK.
  108. Martin Crookston: Architect, UK.
  109. Alan Arnstein: Architect, UK.
  110. Tarek Ragheb: Architect, UK.
  111. Gil Doron: Artist, UK/Israel.
  112. John Murray: Architect, UK.
  113. Nicholas Wood: Architect UK/South Africa.
  114. Keith Cowling: Architect, UK.
  115. Jake Brown: Architect, UK.
  116. Steve Fox: Architect, UK.
  117. Keith Hallett: Architect, UK.
  118. Adrian King: Architect, UK.
  119. John Hodge: Architect, UK.
  120. Omar Qattan: Qattan Foundation, UK.
  121. Issa Sarie: Architect, UK.
  122. Wade Sowman: Planner, New Zealand.
  123. Alon Cohen Lifshitz: BIMKOM, Israel.
  124. Jose Vilar: Architect, USA.
  125. D. Shah: Architect, UK.
  126. Samir Srouji: Architect, USA.
  127. M. Azhar: Architect, UK.
  128. Stefano Ferrari: Architect, UK/Italy.
  129. Fahmi Salameh: Architect, Palestine.
  130. Ray Bowden Architect, UK.
  131. Vassilis Ierides: Architect, Greece.
  132. Khaldun Bishara: Architect, Palestine.
  133. Steve Kessel: Architect, UK.
  134. Javiera Maturana: Planner, Australia.
  135. Yaron Turel: Architect, Israel.
  136. Orna Shatil: Architect, Israel.
  137. Frederico Zaidan: Architect, Brazil.
  138. Shelly Roberts: Architect, Australia.
  139. Ed Hall: Architect, UK.
  140. Tim Bruce Dick: Architect, UK.
  141. M. Azhar: Architect, UK.
  142. Hasan A. Hammami, USA.
  143. Eleanor Chapman: Australia.
  144. Nadia Piette: Netherlands.
  145. Ivar Leivestad: Australia.
  146. Merinda Hall: Australia.
  147. Racheli Bar Or: Israel.
  148. Walid Issa: USA.
  149. Julian Rutt: Australia.
  150. Nadine Samaha: Australia.
  151. Imm Chew
  152. Ranad Shqeirat
  153. Kabir Hussain
  154. Abdulmajid Karanouh
  155. Niel Lambert
  156. David Reidy
  157. Leena Ismail
  158. Miranda Pennell
  159. Jennifer Dudgeon
  160. Susan Mellersh Lucas
  161. Noor Salman
  162. Rand el haj Hasan
  163. Eleanor Mayfield
  164. Jose Vilar
  165. Tariq Z. Khayyat
  166. Emily Jack
  167. Samer Rabie
  168. Jalal El Ali
  169. Noor Tibi
  170. Yusuf Tibeh
  171. Dave Reidy
  172. Amal Moh
  173. Dan Rigamonti
  174. Judy Andler
  175. Rosaleen Crushell
  176. MJ Bissan: Sculptor
  177. Hugo David Moline
  178. Mima Kearns
  179. Alex Whitton
  180. Gareth Mantle
  181. Nathan Fothergill
  182. Randy Eveleigh
  183. Roger Rajaratnam: Australia.
  184. Kim Roberts (Lifta)
  185. Alif Nadya Inniar Rosa
  186. Noor Tibi (Lifta)
  187. Yasid Abed Rego
  188. Nihal Alayyah
  189. Daoud Abdallah
  190. Hala Atik
  191. Shaden Qasem
  192. Samira Shehadeh
  193. Giselle Benitez: Planner, New South Wales, Australia.
  194. Ruba Awwad
  195. Marc Loran
  196. Sandina Robbins
  197. Rory Toomey: Architect, Australia.
  198. Sarah Bridges: Australia.
  199. Afaf Shehadeh
  200. Sophia Hammoudeh
  201. Liana Obeidi
  202. Mohammad Abdlah Said Abdallah
  203. Adwa Kamal
  204. Osman M. Elkheir
  205. Sulaiman M. Aqel
  206. Fatimah Mohammed (Lifta)
  207. Farhat Y. Muhawi (E1)
  208. Brazilian Palestine Interest Committee (Lifta)
  209. Nour Salman (Lifta)
  210. M.J.Bissan
  211. Heidi Splay
  212. Anil Korotane
  213. Alisar Aoun
  214. Paul Ballora: Paul Balora Architects.
  215. Claudia Cleaver
  216. Abder Ghouleh: USA.
  217. Damian Eckersley
  218. Mohammad Odeh
  219. Mariane Mathia
  220. Hana Abdallah
  221. Sulaiman M. Aqel
  222. Mira Roses
  223. Damian Eckersley
  224. Mathew Bond, Australia.
  225. Goren Vodicka
  226. Sharon Rosenfelder,Israel (Silwan)
  227. Reuven Rosenfelder,Israel(Silwan)
  228. Mohammed Hilala
  229. Shirin Alqadi
  230. Mohamed Hdaib
  231. Sami B Suriyisami
  232. Stephen Hyland: Planner PGDiptp MRTPI.
  233. Suhayla Odeh
  234. James Charles Jameson: Australia.
  235. Anthony McCInneny
  236. Tony Horan (E1)
  237. Christopher Myles
  238. Susan Bromley
  239. Richard Buckley 
  240. Thomas Ableman
  241. Caroline Weir
  242. Robert Cunningham
  243. Mary Emmerson
  244. Nahida Yasin
  245. Michael Iffrig
  246. Christian Drinkwater,DLA Architects
  247. Michael Praamsma
  248. Uschi Jesson
  249. Michael Thomas Bambrick
  250. Paula McIlwrath
  251. Barbara Crow
  252. Kathleen Desmond
  253. Yara Abdullah
  254. Phil Henneman
  255. Judith Jeffrey: Architect (retired), UK.
  256. Michael Bambrick
  257. Thomas Adelman
  258. Clare Holohan
  259. Hussam Siam
  260. Ken Taylor
  261. Irmila Benner
  262. Webb Wilber
  263. Mada Al Carmel: Arab Centre for Applied Social Research
  264. Anita Vitello
  265. Khaled Azmi
  266. Angela Godfrey-Goldstein:ICAHD
  267. Emad Salameh(Lifta)
  268. Dean La Tourelle,(Silwan)
  269. Maya Pasternak
  270. Ahmad Abassi (Silwan)
  271. Micha Andreieff, Urbanist, Strasbourg, France
  272. Gunter Schenk,IAPP, Denmark (E1)
  273. Jean-Paul Francois Galibert,Rec. Honoraire P.T.T., Ancien Casque Bleu (E1)
  274. Lois Swartz,(Lifta)
  275. Nick Bourns,(E1), Melbourne, Australia
  276. Adnan Harambasic, Architect, Norway
  277. Rania Halawani(Lifta)
  278. Hammam Farah, (Lifta)
  279. Tamara Tootasali
  280. Hani Nasser
  281. Rowiena J. (Lifta)
  282. Keith Bennet, ARIBA
  283. Corinne Bennett (E1)
  284. Barbara Crow (E1)
  285. Andrew Holohan (E1)
  286. Paul Mclwrath,Belfast (E1)
  287. Roseleen Walsh, Ireland (E1)
  288. Liam Barr, Ireland(E1)
  289. Tierna Cunningham,Ireland (E1)
  290. Jack O'Neill, Ireland (E1)
  291. Rolf Clayton, (E1)
  292. D.Alwan,(E1)
  293. Noor Maraqa
  294. Yazan Salameh, (Lifta)
  295. Alaa Mandoor (E1)
  296. Shorouq Al Jabari (Lifta)
  297. Nabeha Bages-Zegar (Lifta)
  298. Fabio Bagnara, Architect, Spain,Italy(E1)
  299. Michel Iffrig (Lifta)
  300. Nidal Jaber Saadeh,Dublin (E1)
  301. Chrissie mhic giolla mhin, Belfast
  302. Fra Stone, Ireland (E1)
  303. Roger Higginson (E1)
  304. Deletto Micsardi (E1)
  305. Ghislaine Soulet (E1)
  306. Dr.Issam Salameh (Lifta)
  307. Mick Scott,Ireland (E1)
  308. Ben Alofs (E1) 
  309. Wail Obeidi (Lifta)
  310. Isabel Camacho Garcia (Lifta)
  311. Ismail Atiyeh Ahmed El-Liftawi Jr.(Lifta)
  312. Salma Salim (Silwan)
  313. Philipp M. Rassman, Dep't of Anth.,U.of Washington (Silwan)
  314. Walid M. Awad (Silwan)
  315. Hadas Snir (Silwan)
  316. Wail Obeidi (Lifta)
  317. Basma Hanouda (Lifta)
  318. Rebecca L.Stein (Lifta)
  319. Nassab Ali (Lifta)
  320. Samira Alostath (Lifta)
  321. Princess Heba (Lifta)
  322. Doa'a El-Batta (Lifta)
  323. Heba R. Abed (Lifta)
  324. Manar T'al Saleh (Lifta)
  325. Lina Shaath (Lifta)
  326. Salma Shaath (Lifta)
  327. Shaimaa El Hissi (Lifta)
  328. A.M.A Shimaa (Lifta)
  329. Alaa Kishawi (Lifta)
  330. Alaa Nizar Al-Kishawi (Lifta)
  331. لمياء موسى (Lifta)
  332. Jass Men (Lifta)
  333. Naala N.Ibrahim (Lifta,E1)
  334. Reem J. Abu ell Khair (Lifta)
  335. Faten Joma'a (Lifta)
  336. Heba A. Alalawi (Lifta)
  337. Nesreen Qdeh (Lifta)
  338. Abeer Abu Haleep (Lifta)
  339. Eman el Shegh Ghalel (Lifta)
  340. Roaa Abu el Komboz (Lifta)
  341. Hanaa Eldahshan (Lifta)
  342. Monda Taleb Heriz (Lifta)
  343. Rawan Jouda (Lifta)
  344. Dr. Abdurahman Mohamed (Lifta)
  345. Jan Jordaan (Lifta)
  346. Kevin Ramzi Nasir
  347. Deborah Maccoby
  348. Ruth Tenne
  349. Ibrahim Moss