Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
Jason S. Miyares
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Richmond, Virginia 23219
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Attorney General Miyares Returns from Israel and Poland; Urges Virginia State Police to Require Antisemitism Training
RICHMOND, VA – Attorney General Jason Miyares today concluded a nine day trip to Israel and Poland to learn about the most up-to-date innovative technology for public safety and security, and to learn more about antisemitism and the best ways for states to combat it. Along with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, Attorney General Miyares spearheaded the trip, leading a bipartisan delegation of eight attorneys general from across the country.
The attorneys general first visited Auschwitz with the foremost Holocaust scholar in the United States, Mr. Michael Berenbaum. There they discussed the historical rise of antisemitism in the 1930s and 1940s, and particularly how it was able to thrive in progressive European cities.
The delegation also met with Ministry Foreign Affairs experts for global antisemitism, where they specifically addressed the issue of boycott divestiture and sanctions (BDS) and the alarming rise of antisemitism in America.
"A significant take away from our time in Israel was that to eradicate antisemitism once and for all, we have to understand the trends that have allowed it to thrive and grow throughout time, world wide,” said Attorney General Miyares. "Virginia's newfound relationship with Israel's Ministry Foreign Affairs experts will greatly help our Antisemitism Task Force in combating this scourge here in the Commonwealth. As attorneys general, it was beneficial for us to learn from Israeli security officials about their nation's world-class security technology and defense capabilities. Very few nations face the amount of threats that Israel does, and yet they're able to successfully keep their citizens safe.
"It was also an interesting time to visit Israel during their domestic debate about the future of their judiciary system. The people of Israel were able to voice their concern with their government just like the United States and democratic countries around the globe. Unfortunately, there are still nations where this is not possible, like China, Cuba, and many countries in the Middle East.”
The delegation was also able to have meetings with both Isaac Herzog, the President of Israel, and Ambassador Ron Dermer, the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister. The group discussed a wide range of issues, including the historic reforms being made in Israel as well as their constant national security threats.
The trip to Israel highlighted the importance of learning about and understanding antisemitism as one of the key tools for combating it. That's why Attorney General Miyares today sent a letter to Virginia State Police Colonel Gary Settles, urging them to add antisemitism awareness training for new officer training and to recurring training for current officers. This is a recommendation from the new Office of Attorney General Antisemitism Task Force, which was created by Attorney General Miyares in February. Attorney General Miyares also encourages local police departments across the Commonwealth to consider antisemitism awareness training.
Read the letter here.
Attorney General Miyares with trip co-chair, North Carolina Attorney General Stein (D)
Attorney General Miyares at Auschwitz