Open letter to halt the architecture design of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem


Open Letter to KSP Architects re_U.S. Embassy plan in Jerusalem

1 March 2023

Please add your signature by completing this form

Open Letter to Architects Krueck Sexton Partners

Re: U.S. Embassy plan in Jerusalem
Plan 101-0810796 – “Diplomatic Compound – USA, Hebron Road, Jerusalem”

We, the undersigned, are writing this letter in regard to the proposed plan of the U.S. government to double down on Trump’s plan to build a new embassy compound in occupied Jerusalem. The proposed embassy is planned to be built on a plot of land – the “Allenby Barracks” – that was illegally confiscated from its original Palestinian owners. Concerned with the ethical implications of this project for the architecture profession, we are calling on the Chicago-based architecture firm Krueck Sexton Partners (KSP), and other companies complicit in this plan, to immediately withdraw from the Israeli planning process and stop their participation in and endorsement of Israel’s illegal seizures of Palestinian land in Jerusalem.

The Biden administration is following through on Trump’s egregious break with decades of U.S. policy by ordering the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and recognizing the city as Israel’s capital. The embassy plan is a violation of Jerusalem’s special corpus separatum status under international law – meaning that sovereignty over Jerusalem remains undetermined. It is also a violation of the United States’ obligations under the Vienna Convention, which states that any diplomatic mission established must be within the express territorial sovereignty of that state. Because of Jerusalem’s corpus separatum status, this constitutes a clear breach of the Convention and violates Palestinians’ right to self-determination. That the embassy is to be built on the particular site in question, land confiscated from Palestinians under Israel’s discriminatory Absentee Property Law, adds an additional layer of unlawfulness to the plan. As clarified in this letter sent by Adalah and the Center for Constitutional Rights in November 2022 to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, this plan is in “violation of international law, including Article 46 of the Hague Regulations. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have identified the Absentees’ Property Law as a foundational tool of Israel’s oppression and domination of Palestinians within a broader Apartheid system.” As designers, KSP Partners become not only complacent, but active participants in such violations.

The historical ownership of this land is well-documented; notably, through documents from the Israel State Archives, which confirm that most of the Allenby Barracks site is land that belongs to Palestinians forcibly displaced from their homes by the state of Israel in 1948. Several of the owners and their descendants are now U.S. citizens, to whom the U.S. owes additional obligations regarding the protection of their property. The U.S. Department of State has duties both under agency rules to protect the overseas property interests of its citizens and under the U.S. Constitution, whose Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause prohibits the extralegal governmental confiscation of such property. As project architects, Krueck Sexton Partners are complicit in the U.S. State Department’s participation in the violation of the property rights of its own citizens.

Architecture institutions and practices are undergoing a long overdue examination of the profession’s ethical responsibilities and accountability. More specifically, architects and planners at work in the U.S. today are grappling with the profession’s history and ongoing complicity with and benefit from systems of oppression, including Indigenous land expropriation. Krueck Sexton Partners aims to set itself apart within the landscape of architecture practice by “advocating for the future” and providing design outcomes capable of “improving cities and lives” and promoting “healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities.” The firm claims a commitment to ethical labor practices, and “social innovation, equity, and dignity for all.”

The most recent American Institute of Architects (AIA)  “statement of our values” calls for “fair housing policies, civil rights protections, and accessibility to the built environment for all,” advocates for “policies that invest in well-designed civic infrastructure,” and works to “improve the built environment”. Architectural schools across the U.S. are in the process of transforming their pedagogy in order to address the profession’s role in systemic injustice and harm. KSP Partners Ronald A. Krueck and Mark P. Sexton are affiliated with academic and other institutions in the U.S., including the American Institute of Architects, the IIT College of Architecture in Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Sexton is Co-Chair of the IIT College of Architecture’s Board of Advisors, while Krueck is a recipient of the AIA Lifetime Achievement Award. We call on them to uphold the responsibilities that come with such affiliations and recognition, and consider the ethical implications of their practice, and the precedents they would be setting for generations to come.

Their participation in the plan for the US embassy in Jerusalem stands in direct opposition to above-mentioned values, and the values of leading architectural practitioners, scholars, and organizations in the U.S. and worldwide, as demonstrated by the list of signatories below. Ethics do not cease to be applicable across borders. Palestinians cannot inhabit, sustain livelihoods, nor plan for and improve their environment without access to their own lands due to illegal land confiscation. The plan for the US embassy project in Jerusalem is a clear ethical case that demands the refusal of architects to participate in the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians in Jerusalem.

We call on Krueck Sexton Partners to immediately withdraw from the U.S. Embassy project in Jerusalem and refuse to be complicit in a project that will cause irreparable harm to Palestinian people and Palestinian rights.

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The signature list will be updated daily, please allow some time for your name to appear below.
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Signatures (updated March 20, 0:30pm Jerusalem time)

  1. Jumanah Abbas, Qatar Museums 
  2. Yousef Abbasi
  3. Sarah Abdallah, Columbia University
  4. Loay AbdelRahman, Sales and Marketing Executive
  5. Alaa Abdul Jawad
  6. Dalya Abualfaish
  7. Rana Abughannam, Carleton University
  8. Nadi Abusaada, ETH Zürich
  9. Ross Adams, Bard Architecture
  10. Emanuel Admassu. AD—WO / Columbia University
  11. Menna Agha, Carleton University
  12. Zena Agha, Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute, Washington DC
  13. Maisoon Ahmad
  14. Rahel Aima, Independent Critic
  15. Nora Akawi, The Cooper Union
  16. Esra Akcan, Cornell University
  17. Lulua Al Ajami
  18. Laura Albast, Institute for Palestine Studies USA
  19. Mai AlBattat, TH Köln
  20. Manal AlDowayan
  21. Malak Al-Faraj, Urban Designer
  22. Hanouf AlFehaid, Columbia University 
  23. Liane Al Ghusain, New York University Abu Dhabi
  24. Anna Karla Almeida, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
  25. Marian Arwa Al-Hachami, American University of Sharjah
  26. Syed Abrar Ali, ISE
  27. Raphael Akari
  28. Bashar al-Idreesi
  29. Ali Alikhani
  30. Iyad Aljabi
  31. Maria Aljabi, Physician
  32. Noora Aljabi
  33. Farah Alkhoury, Columbia University
  34. Meitha Almazrooei, MIT
  35. Alia Al-Sabi, New York University
  36. Zayna Al-Saleh, Independent Curator
  37. Aman Al Tawil
  38. Joseph Altshuler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  39. Xio Alvarez
  40. Samaher Amery
  41. Baha Amouri
  42. Eider Ayerdi Anacabe, Euskal Herria
  43. Samuel M. Anderson, Samuel Anderson Architects / The Cooper Union
  44. Sean Anderson, Cornell University
  45. H.M. Ansari
  46. Dulce Arambula, Architect
  47. Fareed Armaly, Artist
  48. Waverly Arnold
  49. Cher Asad, AKAA
  50. Mona Askar
  51. Iysam Atwan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  52. Hicham Awad, The Cooper Union
  53. Reem Awad, PhD Student – Carleton University School of Architecture and Urbanism
  54. Zain Awamleh
  55. Nick Axel, e-flux Architecture / Gerrit Rietveld Academie
  56. Eleni Axioti, School of Architecture, Architectural Association
  57. Hannah Azuonye, Skin Deep
  58. Tizziana Baldenebro, SPACES
  59. Ethel Baraona Pohl, Co-founder of dpr-barcelona
  60. Joshua Barnett, The Architecture Lobby
  61. Adam Barsoum
  62. Merve Bedir, Hong Kong University
  63. Bahar Behbahani, City University New York
  64. Tomà Berlanda, University of Cape Town
  65. Omar Berrada, writer
  66. Tarek Berro
  67. C Berry
  68. Tahir Bise
  69. Virginia Black, Columbia University
  70. Caitlin Blanchfield, Columbia University
  71. Ryan Jefferson Booth, Ryan Booth Performance
  72. Hiba Bou Akar, Columbia University
  73. Brian Boyd, Co-Director, Center for Palestine Studies
  74. Lev Bratishenko, Canadian Centre for Architecture
  75. Irene Brisson, Louisiana State University
  76. Reuben J. Brown, University of Cambridge
  77. Niamh Butler, Niamh Butler Architects
  78. Lucas Cantori, Editions Clinamen
  79. Tei Carpenter, Agency Agency
  80. Jordan H. Carver, Yale School of Architecture
  81. Toby Chai, University of the Arts London
  82. Leen Charafeddine, Royal College of Art
  83. Xiaoxi Chen, Columbia University
  84. Esther Choi
  85. Violet Ciotti Rashad, Art Consultant
  86. Alex Clark, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University
  87. Madelynne Clark, PORT
  88. Elizabeth Clyne, Member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (MRIAI) / NOJI Architects, Ireland
  89. Danya Cohen, Ir Amim (City of Nations)
  90. Karen Collins, Photographer
  91. Marina Corsillo
  92. Mariana Costa Lima, Central Saint Martins
  93. Elizabeth Cox, Royal College of Art
  94. Olivia Crough, Harvard University
  95. DAAR, Decolonizing Architecture Art Research
  96. Selma Dabbagh, Goldsmiths University, London
  97. Renzo Dagnino, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
  98. Marlain Daniel
  99. Sandra Irene Daniel
  100. Jeff Dardozzi, Living Structure LSO
  101. Romain David, Harvard University
  102. Paula De Almeida
  103. Peggy Deamer, Yale School of Architecture / The Architecture Lobby
  104. Irene de Craen, Errant Journal
  105. Kyriaki Deligiannidou
  106. Émélie Desrochers-Turgeon, Carleton University
  107. Ivi Diamantopoulou, New Affiliates
  108. Nusa Dimopoulos 
  109. Killian O’ Dochartaigh, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  110. John Dorman, Member of Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland
  111. Nicolay Duque-Robayo, Columbia University
  112. Michelle Duschang
  113. Keller Easterling, Yale School of Architecture
  114. Hayley Eber, The Cooper Union
  115. Fran Edgerley, ab__
  116. Andrew Economos Miller, Kent State University
  117. Zvi Efrat, Efrat-Kowalsky Architects / Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
  118. Ken Ehrlich, Artist
  119. Karim Elachkar
  120. Abir Elasswad
  121. Dr. Husni Elbahesh
  122. Kristina Eldrenkamp
  123. Rosana Elkhatib, f-archirecture/ Columbia University, Former student to Ron Krueck and Thomas Jacobs
  124. Shaza Elmoukaied
  125. Layalee Elzahdan, Project Manager
  126. Rima Ezzeddine, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture, Paris-Malaquais
  127. Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Housing / Global Director, The Shift 
  128. Nabil Farhat
  129. Nadine Fattaleh, NYU, PhD student
  130. Federico Fazenda, Architect MAA
  131. Blake Fisher
  132. Norman Fong, Architectural Association
  133. Leslie Forehand, Long Beach City College
  134. Eva Franch i Gilabert, Architect
  135. Nathalie Frankowski, WAI Think Tank  / Iowa State University
  136. Maggie Freeman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  137. Irving Fuertes, Irving Fuertes Design Studio, Inc
  138. Fabrizio Furiassi, The New School / University of Basel
  139. Curt Gambetta, Cornell University
  140. Cruz Garcia, WAI Think Tank / Iowa State University
  141. Jenan Ghazal, University of Toronto
  142. Iker Gil, MAS Studio / MAS Context
  143. David Gissen, The New School
  144. Aaron Goldstein, Registered Architect
  145. Michael Gordon, AWH Architects 
  146. Jessica Gore-Pike
  147. Charlotte Grace, Royal College of Art
  148. James Graham, California College of the Arts
  149. Ellen Dineen Grimes, Associate Professor, Architecture, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  150. Øystein Grønning, Migrant architecture + urbanism, Oslo, Norway
  151. Josef Guerrera, Stockholm University
  152. Sarah Gunawan
  153. Amel Hadj Hassen
  154. Zakiyyah Haffejee, Royal College of Art
  155. Nirvana Haldar, University of Auckland
  156. Hassan Hamed, CMH
  157. Jenna Hamed, Independent Artist 
  158. Isabella Hammad, Writer
  159. Mina Hanna
  160. Sarah Haque, DMOC
  161. Calvin Harrison, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
  162. Ahmad Samir Ibrahim Hasan, Universidad Catolica
  163. Yaqoub Hasan, CAPLA – University of Arizona
  164. Hadi Hashem
  165. Leena Hassan
  166. Tarek Hassan, Foster + Partners
  167. Sarah Hejazin, Columbia University
  168. Kayli Hendricks
  169. Samia Henni, Cornell University
  170. Anu Henriques, Skin Deep
  171. Andrew Herscher, University of Michigan
  172. Karma Hijawi
  173. Sandi Hilal, Lund University
  174. Jack Hilchey, University of Houston
  175. Miriam Hillawi Abraham
  176. Jeffrey Hogrefe, Pratt Institute
  177. Anne Holtrop, Studio Anne Holtrop
  178. Sylvia Hong, Skin Deep
  179. Christin Hu, Design as Protest
  180. Elise Misao Hunchuck, Columbia University
  181. Andrea Hunt, Future Firm
  182. Rawan W. Ibrahim
  183. Bogdan Ionescu, Architect
  184. Brad Isnard, Architect
  185. Adnan Ismail, University of Arizona
  186. Platon Issaias, Architect
  187. Theodossis Issaias, Architect
  188. Elisa Iturbe, The Cooper Union
  189. Alia J
  190. Julius Jääskeläinen, Ark Brut, Finland
  191. Nuha Jaludi
  192. Kelley James
  193. Tamara Z Jamil, UC Berkeley
  194. Iqbal Jassat, Media Review Network (MRN)
  195. Nima Javidi, The Cooper Union
  196. Sonia Jeunet
  197. Daniel Jonas-Roche, Adjunct Professor, Kean University
  198. Emily Joseph, Parsons / The New School
  199. Riyad Joucka
  200. Heba Jundi
  201. Nathan Junkert
  202. Lydia Kallipoliti, The Cooper Union
  203. Ali Kamal, Columbia University
  204. Frederick Kannemeyer, Architect
  205. Mahmoud Karssli
  206. Rana Kashlan
  207. Emy Kat
  208. Sam Keene, The Cooper Union
  209. Emily Kellogg, PORT
  210. Aiman Khair
  211. Akber Khan
  212. Junaid Khan
  213. Walid Khoury
  214. Liz Kinnamon, University of Arizona
  215. Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt, Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
  216. Kate Kirkwood
  217. Ken R. Koense NCARB, Pedal Design Lab
  218. Jaffer Abbas Kolb, New Affiliates / Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  219. Joerg Koopmann
  220. Kleopatra Korai
  221. Lindsey Krug, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
  222. Adrian Lahoud, Royal College of Art
  223. Léopold Lambert, The Funambulist
  224. Theodore Landrum, Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba
  225. Dr Ruth Lang, Senior lecturer, Royal College of Art, London
  226. Constanza Larach
  227. Ana María León, Associate Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  228. Andrea Leonardi
  229. Christiano Lepratti, Universita di Genova
  230. Mary Letera, University of Colorado
  231. Aaron Levy, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Slought Foundation
  232. Emily Licht, Architect
  233. Khandan Lolaki-Noble
  234. Alma Lope
  235. Marcelo López-Dinardi, Texas A&M University
  236. Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Cornell University
  237. George Louras, Office of Assorted Functions
  238. Deon Lucas, Beehyyve
  239. Elise Limon, Yale School of Architecture
  240. Ryan Ludwig, Roger Williams University
  241. Onnis Luque Rodriguez, Onnis Luque Fotografía
  242. Yumna Madi
  243. Pedro Magnasco, CCPM Arquitectura
  244. Elsa MH Mäki, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  245. Khaled Malas, Sigil / New York University
  246. Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Assistant Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
  247. Sami Manausa, Harvard Divinity School
  248. Frank Mandell, Designer
  249. Guy Mannes-Abbott, Writer and Critic / Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL)
  250. Kristina Manson
  251. Ramzi Maqdisi
  252. Daham Marapane, Architecture Lobby
  253. Natalie Marconi
  254. Faiq Mari, ETH Zürich
  255. Pau Cata Marles, CeRCCa / Platform Harakat
  256. Reinhold Martin, Columbia University
  257. Vera Martinez, Architect
  258. Dominique Mashini, Harvard GSD
  259. George Massoud, AA School of Architecture
  260. Zannah Matson, University of Guelph
  261. María Mazzanti, Failed Architecture
  262. Gavin McIntosh
  263. Thom Medek, Bernheimer Architecture
  264. Jesse Megaly Vasquez
  265. Elis Mendoza, Princeton University
  266. Valérie Michaud, Laurentian University
  267. Nadya Mikhaylovskaya, Architectural designer
  268. Jennifer Minner, Cornell University
  269. Terrence Mkhwanazi, Architect
  270. Samaneh Moafi, Forensic Architecture
  271. Ashique Mohammad, Urbanist
  272. Sabina Mohideen
  273. Jacob R. Moore, The Avery Review
  274. Thomas Modeen, Architects Independent
  275. Nabila Morales Pérez, Member of the Field of Architecture
  276. Patricia Morton, UC Riverside / Society of Architectural Historians
  277. Michael Moynihan, Cornell University
  278. Luzan Munayer
  279. Naheed Murtaza, 
  280. Mohamad Nahleh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  281. Ruwaida Nammari, Interior Designer
  282. Vince Narma
  283. Rosalind Nashashibi, Artist
  284. Nadine Nashef
  285. Jennifer Newsom, Dream The Combine / Cornell Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP)
  286. Korynn Newville, Triple N Construction
  287. Jessica Ngan, Princeton University
  288. Nancy Nicol
  289. Catherine Noujaim
  290. Soo Ok Han
  291. Geraldine M. Ortiz, Royal College of Art
  292. Ana Ozaki, Princeton University
  293. Mariana Cyrino Peralva Dias, ENPC
  294. Josué Pérez Campos, Cornell School of Architecture (B.Arch. 2020)
  295. Timothy Perkins, Artist / Architect
  296. Sarah Peterson, World Human
  297. Andrew Phyfer, Future Firm
  298. Maria Pillet
  299. Joanna Piotrowska
  300. Sasha Plotnikova, Cal Poly Pomona
  301. Gabrielle Printz, Yale School of Architecture 
  302. Dena Qaddumi, London School of Economics and Political Science
  303. Walid Raad, The Cooper Union
  304. Shivangi Mariam Raj, The Funambulist
  305. Fatima Rantissi
  306. Niloofar Rasooli, ETH Zürich
  307. Eduardo Rega Calvo, University of Pennsylvania
  308. Elliot Josephine Leila Reichert, Indiana University 
  309. Olivia Reynolds, Founder, Lobe Block
  310. Natasha Rieffel, Architect
  311. Pedro Rivera, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
  312. Kyara Robinson, Princeton School of Architecture
  313. Miguel Robles-Duran, The New School
  314. Jim Roche, Member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (MRIAI) / Senior Lecturer, Technological University (TU) Dublin
  315. Mireille Roddier, University of Michigan
  316. Rebecca Rodrigo
  317. Giacomo Rossi, ETH Zürich / CCA Montreal
  318. Dylan Roth, The Architecture Lobby
  319. Anders Rubing, University of Bergen & Bergen School of Architecture
  320. Simone Rudolphi, Independent Photographer
  321. Mariana Ruiz Yañez
  322. Haifa Sabbagh
  323. Mahdi Sabbagh, Columbia University
  324. Kim Saikali, Activist
  325. Nancy Salazar, National Academy of Engineering
  326. Shahed Saleem, University of Westminster
  327. Nadeen Saleh
  328. Dina Salman
  329. Ozayr Saloojee, Carleton University School of Architecture and Urbanism
  330. Zoé Samudzi, Rhode Island School of Design
  331. José Augusto Sanches Albergaria Giro, Architect
  332. Ivonne Santoyo Orozco, Bard Architecture
  333. Yara Saqfalhait, Columbia University
  334. Melisa Saračević
  335. Francesca Savoldi, Technical University Delft
  336. Ken Saylor, Studio Ken Saylor NYC
  337. Akil Scafe-Smith, RESOLVE Collective
  338. Maciek Schejbal, Afro-Polka Productions
  339. Sayf Shuqair
  340. Felicity D. Scott, Columbia University
  341. Tamar Shafrir
  342. Seher Shah, Artist
  343. Leo Shaw
  344. Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Barnard College / Columbia University
  345. Aikaterini Sideri, Master Student
  346. Deane Simpson, Royal Danish Academy – Architecture
  347. Randhir Singh
  348. Samar Siyam
  349. David Smiley, Columbia University
  350. Pete Smith, Artist
  351. Steve Smith
  352. Meriam Soltan, Columbia University
  353. Sultan Sooud Q
  354. Scott Sorli, University of Waterloo
  355. Douglas Spencer, Iowa State University
  356. Dima Srouji, Royal College of Art
  357. Mark E. Stanger, Episcopal Priest
  358. Aaron Stone, PORT
  359. Sara Jane Stoner, Pratt Institute
  360. Sarem Sunderland, ETH Zürich
  361. Maha Sughayer, PharmS
  362. Ian Svilokos, PIE
  363. Amjad Syam
  364. Bisher Tabbaa, Columbia University
  365. Yara Taha, Beehyyve
  366. Roisin Tapponi, University of St. Andrews
  367. Paulo Tavares, University of Brasilia
  368. Nader Tehrani, The Cooper Union
  369. Yousef Theeb
  370. Constantina Theodorou, National Technical University of Athens
  371. Iba Tony, University of the Arts London
  372. Jacqueline Tran, School of Architecture, University of Technology Sydney
  373. Julia Udall, Sheffield Hallam University 
  374. Melis Ugurlu, The Avery Review
  375. Jon Vaccaro, Architecture Student
  376. Samarth Vachhrajani, Yale University
  377. Sumayya Vally, Counterspace Studio
  378. Anthony Christian van Raat, Director, TEKTON Consulting Engineers
  379. Laura Vargas
  380. Manijeh Verghese, Sphere Spaces
  381. Bhaarat Verma
  382. Sunniva Berlanda Viking, a
  383. Seanna Walsh
  384. Justin Paul Ware, UN-Habitat / Spatial Politics
  385. Ben Warwas, ByBen Architecture
  386. Eyal Weizman, Forensic Architecture
  387. Ines Weizman, Royal College of Art, London / Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
  388. Sophie Weston Chien, Harvard GSD
  389. James Wheeler, Public Design Exchange
  390. Jen Wood, AD—WO
  391. Margarida Waco, Royal College of Art / The Funambulist
  392. Ashe Wagner
  393. Catherine Wang, MArch Student at RISD
  394. Hans Maarten Wikkerink, Architecture Lobby
  395. Wolff Architects, Cape Town
  396. Gesche Würfel, New York University
  397. Michael Young, The Cooper Union
  398. Moylin Yuan
  399. Dr. Shirin Zarqa-Lederman
  400. Bz Zhang
  401. Qianer Zhu, ETH Zürich
  402. Elaine Zmuda, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  403. Rula Zuhour, PORT