ASalamu alykom reader,
I was reading on one of my favorite architectural blogs called AMNP which stands for Architecture My Ninja Please….I know.
Anyways, the blog of concern is titled “Richard Meier in Tel Aviv”. The blogger talks about the morality of working in controversial areas in the world.
“I, for one, have worked on projects in both China and the Middle East for a developer from Dubai [not by choice, really, but still] - so I’m not one to be throwing stones here. I even kind of like Meier’s building - although the image of the lower floors reminds me of a re-imagined Peabody Terrace by Sert. I’m simply wondering where we draw the line in the sand when having an ethics debate in architecture”
Now as a sympathizer with the Palestinian people and as a person that stands for justice and is against oppression, I do appreciate the bloggers “unbiased” writing on the issue, but what caught my attention was the first comment posted on that article that says:
“I think that as long as Israel remains a democracy, no matter how flawed, it doesn’t fall under the same category as China or Dubai. Those are autocratic regimes, a big difference.”
Calling Israel a democracy is like calling the election of Saddam Hussein or Egypt’s Hussni Mubarak a legitimate democracy.
Democracy is a fluent world that has different regulations from country to country.
Israel’s democracy isn’t like the US or Europe. We are talking about a country that 70%-80% of its inhabitants are refugees on their own land. A country that proclaims itself to be a Jewish state with a religious agenda that wants to fulfill biblical prophecies on the expense of its original inhabitants.
Have you ever wondered why there is no “One state solution”?
The answer is that if the Palestinians get to vote then that will destroy any chance for “Israel” being a Jewish country for the Jews.
That’s why it’s a Two state solution, to insure that the majority of Palestinians wont affect the Jewish government.
As for labor laws I agree that Dubai does exploit the cheap labor force which is not suitable for its modern image or status, but that is only because it doesn’t suite its image or status. Now look at India or South America and tell me that they enjoy better privileges than workers in Dubai [being an example]. Yet you do not hear or read of any complain of such nature which makes you wonder is it merely philanthropy towards the labor force or is their something else lurking in the back of their minds. Something else to mention is that Dubai doesn’t kidnap people and ship them to work on its lands. This happens with total agreement by the worker that leaves his country to work there for a better opportunity than the one available at his country. Not that I agree with exploiting them but you will see my point.
Now when you go to Israel you will find the labor force is made of the refugees that are on their own land that go through daily humiliation at caged checkpoints just to feed their kids that are under blockade by their employer. Thus you can’t compare Israel with Dubai. That is a faulty comparison and an ignorant one that overlooks the suffering of millions of people. Compare Israel to Darfur or Nazi Germany where a truthful comparison will fruit many similarities.
As for Richard Meier’s, He is one of my favorite Architects but he is a Jew as well. For that I doubt that working in Israel would be an ethical problem for him. In fact not doing so might deem him as a traitor of the Jewish people.
4 months ago