Virginia state agency cancels Jerusalem trip citing Israeli discrimination

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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.

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