Virginia Lawyers versus Israel

March 30, 2015 | David Bernstein
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The Virginia state lawyers’ organization has canceled a planned seminar in Israel, citing “legitimate concern” expressed by some members over “unacceptable discriminatory policies and practices pertaining to border security that affect travelers” to the Jewish state. David Bernstein comments:

The idea that either the state bar as an attorney organization or as a state agency has some obligation to avoid Israel is nonsense. Surely [state bar president Kevin] Martingayle and [his] colleagues can’t be so naive and out-of-touch to think that the concerns raised are not part of the broader divestment, sanctions, and boycott movement meant to delegitimize Israel. . . .

As near as I can tell, the only public discussion of all this before Martingayle’s letter was a petition circulated three days ago by anonymous “Concerned Members of the Virginia State Bar” that, as of this writing, has received a grand total of 34 signatures. It’s hard to imagine that Martingayle and colleagues canceled a planned event that already had a hotel booked, a continuing education program, and even optional tours set up based on those objections. Who are the “other individuals” mentioned by Martingayle who objected?

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