Shapiro Fighting Anti-Semitism As Jews Are Thrown Out of Santa
Israel News Agency
Israel --- August 1, 2012 ... An upscale hotel on a Santa Monica,
California, beach is an odd place to be singled out from a crowd
and removed because you are Jewish, but thats what happened
to 18 young professionals who are telling their story to a jury
in a discrimination trial taking place in Santa Monica Superior
Court this week.
Ari Ryan is
the grandson of a Ukranian Jew who lost most of his family in
the Holocaust and narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis.
Ryans grandfather moved to Israel in 1942 and served as
a captain in the Israel Defense Forces.
later Ryan says he got a small taste of what his grandfather lived
through, but rather than in the forests of the Ukraine, it took
place at an upscale hotel in Santa Monica. Ryan and more than
a dozen others have brought a lawsuit alleging anti-Semitic discrimination
against them by a multi-millionaire Muslim American hotel owner.
ago Ryan and other twenty- and thirty-something Jews planned to
raise money to send children of fallen IDF soldiers to camp with
a charity event at the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.
On the morning
of July 11, 2010, Ryan and others arrived at the hotel and began
setting up Friends of the IDF
banners, literature and piles of shirts for the event guests.
But the event
was aborted after, according to one employees sworn testimony,
the hotels owner told staff members, Get the (expletive
deleted) Jews out of my pool.
Then the hotel
security and other employees began removing the materials and
ordering the guests to leave.
Anyone wearing a blue wristband, which identified
them as being with the Friends of the IDF, was asked to
get out of the swimming pool and the hot tub. In fact, no
one who was identifiable as Jewish was so much as allowed
to dip their feet in the water.
Adaya, a Pakistani-American Muslim, is the owner of the Shangri-La.
Her father, Ahmad Adaya, was a founding partner of the California
real estate company IDS Real Estate Group. He also was a founder
and benefactor of the New Horizon School for Muslim religious
education in Southern California.
bought the Shangri-La Hotel in the 1980s and the daughter
took it over in 2004, investing $30 million to renovate the property
into a design award-winning opulent destination. In addition to
the hotel, Adaya runs an upscale artist collective called the
Crown Jewels which she blogs about at her site Culture Shock
to Culture Architect.
In the cross-complaint
she initially filed, Adaya claimed Ryan and his friends were trespassing
on the Shangri-La property and became unruly.
so, said James Turken, managing partner of the California
office of the DC-based law firm Dickstein
Shapiro, attorney for the plaintiffs. He explained that Adaya
withdrew her complaint after he interviewed her, under oath, and
she was unable to substantiate any of the allegations she had
The Jewish Press that witnesses will testify that, in addition
to cursing the Jews and yelling at her staff to remove them from
the pool, Adaya was heard saying, my family will disown
me, and that her investors will be furious,
if the plaintiffs remained on site.
claims there was no discrimination and that, instead, the promoters
of the event had failed to properly schedule the event with the
hotel, and therefore they were trespassing.
to Turken, however, all the necessary arrangements had been made
in advance, as evidenced by the initial assistance provided by
the Shangri-La employees, which included putting up a rope and
stanchions and a check-in table. Whats more, he said, the
day before the event the head of hotel security gave a briefing
to the staff to prepare them for the crowd of 150 that were expected
from the pool of Jews who were wearing Jewish-identified wristbands
evokes a similar selection process of seventy years ago. Ryan,
recalling his grandfathers legacy, said: I felt the
weight of standing up to what he had to live through.
are seeking $1 million from Adaya and the Shangri-La Hotel for
emotional distress, attorneys fees and other statutory damages.
Leyden, Editor's Note: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is also president
of Z STREET, a pro-Israel, pro-truth organization, and Chair of
the executive committee of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.
is among the most creative and dedicated journalists who serve
the Jewish world.
Joel Leyden - bringing the news from Israel online since 1995.
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