But on Friday, the Virginia State Bar made the decision to cancel its upcoming seminar in Jerusalem, citing anti-Israel BDS rhetoric as the deciding factor.
B'nai B'rith International was quick to rebuke the state bar in a statement released on Monday. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency highlighted B'nai B'rith's remarks in an article, an excerpt of which can be found below:
In a statement posted late Sunday night on the state bar agency’s website, Martingayle and Edward Weiner, president-elect and chair of the seminar committee, wrote that a U.S. Embassy official in Washington had “expressed a desire to facilitate the trip but acknowledged that security protocols are strict and could lead to exclusion or restriction” of some bar members.
“In the face of this information, we felt it necessary and appropriate to forego this trip,” they wrote. “This was not a political decision and is not a ‘boycott.’ We are an inclusive organization and do not discriminate against any religion.”
B’nai B’rith called the decision “highly regrettable” and urged the agency to reconsider, adding that the “situation plays into the hands of the malicious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.”
“Israel’s entry and exit procedures, while certainly strict, are entirely necessary in light of the country’s onerous security predicament,” B’nai B’rith also wrote.