Virginia State Bar cancels Jerusalem seminar, cites ‘discriminatory’ border policies

Trip canceled due to concerns that many participants would not be let in to Israel.

By JTA
March 30, 2015 19:31
1 minute read.
George Mason University

George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va.. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

JERUSALEM — The Virginia State Bar canceled its plans to hold a legal seminar in Jerusalem, citing “unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security.”

The Midyear Legal Seminar trip to Jerusalem had been scheduled for November, according to the state agency’s website. The agency is looking into other venues.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


In a letter sent late Friday night, Kevin Martingayle, president of the Virginia State Bar, wrote, “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 told the Washington Times that the trip was canceled due to concerns that “many of its members” would not be let in to Israel.

The concerns appear to stem from a change.org petition by the Concerned Members of the Virginia State Bar, which said, “It is without question that Israel employs discriminatory entry and exit policies for US citizens, particularly against visiting Arab- and Muslim-Americans.

The petition also said, “As members of the VSB, we have taken an oath to uphold our profession’s highest ideals. At the core of these ideals is the belief that no person or group should be subjected to differential treatment on the basis of their immutable characteristics. The location of this year’s Seminar, however, strikes at the heart of our profession’s ideals.”

The petition was closed after the decision to cancel the trip. It had 39 signatures.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


David Bernstein, the George Mason University Foundation professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va., wrote in the Washington Post, “If the Virginia State Bar is in effect boycotting Israel, I, and I suspect many others, will henceforth be boycotting the State Bar, in my case beyond what is necessary to assist my students, which is my professional obligation. I would hope that no Virginia attorneys who are supporters of Israel will attend whatever alternative venue the State Bar settles on.”

Bernstein also pointed out that the American Bar Association has in recent years held two meetings in Israel, and that Virginia has a state agency called the Virginia Israel Advisory Board “that proactively serves as the bridge and facilitator between Israeli companies and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 22, 2018
NJ store closes after a century of serving bar mitzvah boys, and mobsters

By JTA