ADL Praises Lord Richard Rogers for Opposing Ban of Israel at Venice Biennale
New York, NY, September 8, 2006…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised world renowned architect Lord Richard Rogers for opposing a ban of Israel at the 10th International Architecture Biennale, opening Sunday, September 10 in Venice, Italy.
The British group, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine have urged the Biennale Committee to ban Israel’s entry. Lord Rogers is to receive the Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the exhibition.
“We commend Lord Richard Rogers for his unequivocal opposition to those in his profession who seek to isolate Israel from the world of architecture,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
In response to ADL bringing the ban proposal to his attention, Lord Rogers said, “I am unalterably opposed to banning the Israel pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. And, I am not a member of the group of British architects who are taking that position.”
Mr. Foxman said the British group’s call for the ban, “was yet another attempt to hijack a cultural event in order to exclude one country and one country only: Israel, and conforms to a recurring pattern of unrepresentative activist groups trying to remove Israeli professionals from participation in the international academic, cultural and sporting arenas.
Commenting on Israel’s entry into the Venice Biennale, "Life Saver: Typology of Commemoration in Israel," which focuses on architecture of commemoration and memory, Lord Rogers said, "I firmly believe that Israel has the right to memorialize their dead just as the Americans, and indeed the entire world, are memorializing the terribly tragic loss of lives at Ground Zero -- the victims of 9/11."
Mr. Foxman urged the Venice Biennale and the architects attending to “join with Lord Rogers in support of Israel and its exhibit at this prestigious international event.”
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.