Press Releases

Nashville Hotel Cancels Conference Supporting Israel

May 13, 2024

News Release
For Immediate Release: 5.13.24
Contact: John Manning,
Direct: 972-941-4453 

Nashville Hotel Cancels Conference Supporting Israel
Christian group that serves Israeli farmers was to host pro-Israel meetings, but hotel cancelled reservation just days before conference. 

Nashville, TN—Today, First Liberty Institute sent a letter to the Sonesta Nashville Airport Hotel urging it to fulfill its contractual obligation to HaYovel, a Christian ministry that was scheduled to hold a summit supporting Israel at the hotel next week.  The hotel claimed “threats” regarding HaYovel and the Summit as the reason for its cancelation.

You can read the letter here.

“It is un-American – and illegal – to cancel a gathering due to religious beliefs and quite frankly it is morally wrong,” said Hiram Sasser, Executive General Counsel at First Liberty Institute. “The Sonesta and others cannot surrender to terror in violation of federal and Tennessee law.  If this hotel chain surrenders to pro-Hamas, terrorist beliefs, where does it stop?  The hotel must make the choice of standing with American ideals or pro-Hamas terrorists.  We hope the hotel will quickly reverse its decision.”

HaYovel is a faith-based, Christian ministry that brings volunteers from all over the world to Israel to aid Israeli grape farmers in planting, pruning, and harvesting their vineyards. It is HaYovel’s religious belief that God promised the land of Israel to the Jewish people, that the Jewish people have a right to sovereignty over the entire land of Israel. HaYovel has organized and is sponsoring The Israel Summit, its first conference of pro-Israel supporters who unconditionally support Israel’s right to be sovereign in the entirety of the land of Israel.  The Summit, scheduled for May 20-22, 2024, at the Sonesta, includes guest speakers from Israel and elsewhere, education on fighting antisemitism, and various events.  But just a few days before the event, the hotel notified HaYovel that it was canceling the event.

The Israel Summit is touted as “the first annual gathering of pro-Israel supporters who unconditionally support Israel’s right to be sovereign in the entirety of the land of Israel, including Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.” Speakers include Member of Knesset Ohad Tal, Former U.S. Congresswoman Micelle Bachmann, Journalist Caroline Glick, Intl. Spokesperson for Hebron Yishai Fleisher, President / CEO of the NRB Troy Miller and many others.

The letter to the hotel states, “The baselessness of your invocation of force majeure to breach the Contract bears the unmistakable and distinctly unpleasant odor of pretext for religious discrimination.  Doubtless the threats or complaints you received were due to disagreement with HaYovel’s religious beliefs concerning Israel and the Jewish people.  Whether your cancellation of the Summit was carried out due to your own hostility toward HaYovel’s beliefs or serve as a heckler’s veto for others, the result is the same.  You have denied HaYovel a public accommodation due to its religious beliefs.  That is unlawful religious discrimination under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, and the THRA.”

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact John Manning at or by calling 972-941-4453.

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