BRUSSELS (EJP)---A Jewish organisation deplored the decision taken by the International Centre for Urbanism, Architecture and Landscapes (CIVA) and a architecture school in Brussels to “brutally” cancel an exhibition featuring Tel Aviv. It said the decision amounts to a cultural boycott of Israel for political reasons.
The exhibition “The white city, the modern movement in Tel-Aviv” on the Israeli city’s Bauhaus architectural style, was scheduled to be inaugurated on February 20 in La Cambre's Architectural Space in Brussels.
According to Marie Van Hamme, President of CIVA, it was canceled "because of the decision of our partner, la Cambre, to withdraw from the project."
"Our board of directors decided to suspend the exhibition until it can be programmed independently of the current political context," she told EJP.
"We wanted to avoid any political exploitation from one or another side," she added.
The decision by the La Cambre Architecture was apparently taken las month, during Israel’s military operation in Gaza.
"The management of our school didn’t want to be associated, in this very particular context, with an event that although it has great cultural interest, was mostly supported by a communication from Israeli governmental instances rather than cultural partners," it said.
But the Jewish Communuity Lay Centre (CCLJ) denounced the "brutal and unjustified" decision as a measure amounting to a "cultural and academic boycott of Israel."
"This unjust measure which has no consequence on the daily life of the Palestinians appears to be a genuine arm against peace," the Jewish organization said in a statement.
"It aims at artists, intellectuals and all the people involved in cultural projects in which opening to the world overrides identity withdrawal."
"It seems to us absurd to deprive the Belgian public from discovering this Israeli architectural current whose work testifies of a universalist and avant-gardist approach which is part of the world heritage of humanity."
The Israeli embassy in Brussels said it expressed its indignation to the competent ministers.