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Complainant Name:
Mr David Mond

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Jewish Chronicle


Mr David Mond complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article which he considered to have been inaccurate and misleading in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The article was an editorial, which stated that The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) had banned Jews from the International Union of Architects (IUA), and was thus anti-Semitic. The complainant said that Jews were not banned from membership, and that the RIBA motion had actually banned the Israeli Architects Association from membership of the IUA.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter from the complainant:

When the Royal Institute of British Architects, an organisation that is apparently not worried by the Jewishness of its chief executive, passes a motion to suspend the Israeli Architects Association from the International Union of Architects, it is time to listen. Not to scream "Jew-hatred" and misreport the facts.

The JC accused RIBA of seeking to exclude Jews from the International Union of Architects, UIA. This could not conceivably be true, for the simple reason that individuals cannot be members of the UIA. Only national associations can be members. The RIBA resolution called for the suspension of the Israeli Architects Association. Please, report the facts! Can you tell the difference between suspending a national association and excluding individuals on the basis of their ethnicity? Is "Israel" a synonym for "all Jews"? If you feel in your heart that the answer is Yes, then I'm sorry, you are in the grip of an ethnic nationalism which in its other incarnations hasn't done much to make the world a better place.

Is holding Israeli organisations to account for their failure to abide by international law in itself evidence of antisemitism? Then support for Israel becomes an irrefutable doctrine, like Marxism or psycho-analysis. This is a dangerous game to play. The JC encourages its readers to see antisemitism in every critic, on the basis of flimsy evidence and misinterpretation, you build up a misleading and self-serving world view. Wait! Stop! Show us your evidence! Otherwise you deceive yourselves, and your readers.

Date Published: 12/09/2014

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