Nashville hotel faces legal scrutiny for canceling pro-Israel summit over ‘safety’ concerns

A Nashville hotel is being accused of violating federal and Tennessee civil rights laws by pulling the plug on a pro-Israel event slated to take place next week.

The Sonesta Nashville Airport hotel abruptly canceled the summit, hosted by pro-Israel Christian group HaYovel, citing “credible threats” confirmed by law enforcement.

“I think that the hotel jumped the gun and decided that they were going to just sort of dump this Israel event a week before it was going to happen, which is very unfortunate for the hotel because that’s in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act as well as Tennessee state law,” Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel at First Liberty Institute, told “Fox & Friends First” Wednesday.

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A hotel in Nashville, Tennessee is facing criticism for canceling a pro-Israel event over alleged safety concerns. (John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Texas-based legal organization penned a letter to the hotel on Monday outlining the “religious discrimination” and urging them to uphold their contractual obligations.

In a statement to “Fox & Friends First,” a Sonesta Nashville Airport spokesperson insisted the “safety and well-being” of its team and guests is their “top priority.”

“After thorough consideration and consulting with local law enforcement, we determined that proceeding with the event presented a considerable risk to the safety of our team, our guests and those attending the event given heightened security concerns. We therefore informed the meeting organizer that our property could no longer host the event,” the statement continued.

Metro Nashville Police insisted they played no role in the event’s cancelation, writing in a separate statement to FOX 17 News, “The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department did not advocate, in any shape or form, for the cancelation of the conference at the Sonesta Hotel. Any inference to the contrary is false.”

Luke Hilton, director of marketing at HaYovel, described the summit as a three-day conference intended to bring pro-Israel Americans together to “learn about the truth and the beauty of Israel and also learn how to stand against antisemitism.”

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Speakers slated to appear included former GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, journalist Caroline Glick, Intl. Spokesperson for Hebron Yishai Fleisher, President/CEO of the NRB Troy Miller and others, according to a Monday press release from First Liberty.

Former Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R-Minn.) (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Sasser said, despite the setback, Ramsey Solutions, the financial consulting firm founded by Dave Ramsey, has since offered to take up the event.

“We’ve been able to move the event, but that has not absolved the Sonesta hotel of their legal liability, and we are in communication with them to see how we’re going to get that resolved,” he added.

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