(2) 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.
(3) 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 thirty-four signatures. It’s hard to imagine that the Martingayle and colleagues canceled a planned event that already had a hotel booked, a CLE program, and even optional tours set up based on those objections. Who are the “other individuals” mentioned by Martingayle who objected?
(4) Relatedly, as a state agency, the Virginia State Bar is subject to FOIA. If no enterprising journalist is already FOIAing the relevant correspondence that led to this decision, I’m sure somebody else will be.
UPDATE: The email Martingayle sent out is timestamped 9:59 pm on March 27. Yet somehow the virulently anti-Israel “Electronic Intifada” managed to have a copy of the letter on its Facebook page and website more than two hours earlier. Inquiring minds want to know who had a copy of this letter before it was sent out to bar members at large, and why. [Comments below suggest that while I and several others I know received the 9:59 time stamp, other members of the bar received the same message time-stamped earlier. If so, mystery solved.]
FURTHER UPDATE: Tens of thousands of Muslims (and growing) visit Israel each year. The Palestinian Authority officially encourages such visits, while Hamas is against them.