The state agency that regulates the legal profession in Virginia has canceled a planned seminar in Jerusalem following objections over Israel’s discrimination against Americans of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim ancestry.

Finally, some tangible impact. Speaking truth to power is not easy. But it’s essential, if we ever hope to change this twisted world in which we live.

“Certain members of the Virginia State Bar and other individuals have expressed objections to the VSB’s plan to take the Midyear Legal Seminar trip in November to Jerusalem,” Kevin E. Martingayle, the agency’s president, wrote in an email to members today. “It was stated that there are some unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers to the nation.”

“Upon review of US State Department advisories and other research, and after consultation with our leaders, it has been determined that there is enough legitimate concern to warrant cancellation of the Israel trip and exploration of alternative locations,” Martingayle said.

“Undoubtedly, this news will disappoint some VSB members,” Martingayle added, “But we are a state agency that strives for maximum inclusion and equality, and that explains this action.”

Good for him. I encourage whoever cares about these issues to send him a note of thanks, encouraging and supporting his courageous support for equal treatment of Arabs and Palestinians in Israel.

8 thoughts on “Virginia state agency cancels Jerusalem trip citing Israeli discrimination

  1. Funny — reading these comments 8 years later, I realize I misread Alias McCoy’s comment completely! Ha! Yes I agree with Alias, completely! And continue to disagree with “thirteen.”

  2. Alias McCoy? lol…For many years, I blogged under a pen name, but I decided that people need to speak openly and without fear if we ever hope to resolve these very serious issues we’re faced with. We must have the courage to address them head on. Regarding your suggestion that violent opposition is okay, I would qualify that statement in that violence is only okay in self-defense – as defined as only the force necessary and proportionate to the force being threatened with, not the israeli definition of it.

  3. There is nothing anti-semitic about even violently opposing Israel’s genocidal policies. You better wise up; the world will not tolerate a second Nazi regime. A diaspora is not carte blanche to do whatever you want to whomever you want, and the world will remember who you are and what you’ve done–Mizrachim or Ashkenazi American supporter.

    But prior to that Israel’s funding is getting cut off. Maybe we’ll even move to formal sanctions in a few years and the Israeli theocratic political caste can weather an uprising from Israelis of all religions who are sick and tired of being controlled and conscripted.

  4. That’s your own opinion. To me, killing thousands of innocent civilians, every two years, just because you want a racially pure state is worthy of condemning. I sleep well at night. Do you?

  5. You’re not treating Israel like other nations; you are holding it, and only it, to account for offenses far lighter than any of its neighbors in the region, and you are enthusiastically endorsing an international boycott movement that is run by and endorsed by avowedly anti-Semitic figures. If you don’t like the impression that gives, you know what to do.

  6. I hope people will think twice before retaining the services of lawyers who endorse anti-Semitic boycotts.

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