Virginia Lawyers Weekly has confirmed the timeline of events that led to the Virginia State Bar canceling its trip to Israel. A change.org petition signed by crazy leftists caused the abrupt cancellation of the trip.[read_more]
From the article:
Despite security assurances, by the week of March 23, it was clear the trip was in jeopardy for lack of interest. The threshold figure to make the program feasible was 60 participants. About 20 had signed up, Weiner said…
The petition from dissenters arrived Friday, March 27. Citing Israeli travel restrictions aimed at Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, the petition demanded a location accessible to all VSB members.
Bar leaders counted about 30 signatures of Virginia lawyers who objected to the Jerusalem program, more than those who actually wanted to take the trip, Weiner said.
Until the petition arrived, Weiner said he had not anticipated concerns about exclusion or heightened scrutiny of some bar members on the trip…
Martingayle and Weiner – together at The Greenbrier on Friday for a meeting of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association – determined to call off the seminar, Weiner said.
“Let’s just pull the plug a few days early. Let’s start looking for another location,” Weiner reasoned.
In short, they thought they needed to cancel the trip due to lack of interest, but within hours of receipt of a chang.org petition they decided to pull the plug based on “travel restrictions.”
The location of this year’s Seminar, however, strikes at the heart of our profession’s ideals. In particular, by holding this year’s Seminar in Israel, the VSB accepts discriminatory practices and policies against Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian members of the VSB on the basis of their race, religion, and national origin, effectively preventing these members from attending.
The petition uses the term discrimination or discriminatory six times. The entire focus is on Israel’s supposed state sponsored racism/xenophobia (i.e. valid security concerns).
The petition had about 30 signatures as of Friday March 27, 2015. The petition asks the signors to identify themselves as members of the Virginia State Bar in the comments. We can see 11 comments as of today, ten of which the individuals appear to be members of the Virginia State Bar. Who were the other twenty signors as of Friday March 27? Some may be members of the bar, but VSB leaders appear to presume two things: 1. the people who signed the Change.org petition were all Virginia licensed attorneys, and 2. people who sign an online change.org petition are the equivalent of people who have affirmatively signed up for an overseas trip months in advance – a false equivalence.
The reason there is fallout from this decision is that the VSB bowed to the demands of an online petition.