(Forward) Why Netanyahu Still Doesn’t Take Moshe Safdie’s Calls

Image: Jonathan Choe for UrbanARCHnow

Credit: Image: Jonathan Choe for UrbanARCHnow

My article “Why Netanyahu Still Doesn’t Take Moshe Safdie’s Calls” appears in the Jewish Daily Forward. Here’s the lede:

Moshe Safdie was sitting in a wood-paneled room in the National Academy of Design’s Beaux-Arts mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, surrounded by his drawings and architectural models. Represented among the works by the septuagenarian architect in the exhibit “Global Citizen: The Art of Moshe Safdie” were materials related to some of his Israeli projects: Yad Vashem, Ben Gurion Airport and the city Modi’in. But Safdie, who was born in Haifa, lamented the lack of attention he receives in his home country.

“In Israel, the phone doesn’t ring very often,” he said.

Canada (where he was raised) has awarded the Boston-based Safdie the Companion of the Order of Canada and the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and he has been recognized for his work in the United States. But when the mayor of Modi’in recently fired him from the city that he calls “my baby,” Safdie said his appeals fell on deaf ears.

“I wrote Netanyahu. He didn’t even answer me. If I write the president of the United States about an issue, he answers me. The prime minister of Canada? He answers me. In Israel, they treat me not well. I’ve never been honored in Israel.”

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