Hotelier Seeks To Make Amends for Anti-Semitism

Muslim Owner of Los Angeles' Shangri-La Ponies Up

By JTA

Published August 27, 2012.
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A Muslim hotel owner in Southern California condemned anti-Semitism and agreed to donate money to two pro-Israel groups in order to head off a protest rally.

A jury in Santa Monica Superior Court earlier this month found that Tehmina Adaya, the owner of the Hotel Shangri-La in that city, discriminated against the nonprofit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces when it held a fundraising event at the hotel.

On Aug 24, Adava announced that she would donate $3,600 each to the Koby Mandell Foundation, to help families of terrorism victims, and Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization, which helps disabled Israeli veterans. The donations were part of an agreement with the western region of the Zionist Organization of America, which had planned a demonstration in front of the hotel to mark the Santa Monica district court’s decision that found Adaya guilty of discrimination against the FIDF group.

Adava also said the Shangri-La would host a private event for Jewish and pro-Israel leaders to be coordinated and led by the ZOA, the Los Angeles Times reported.

On July 11, Adaya abruptly ended a pool party that had been approved by members of the hotel’s management in advance, ordering that all informational brochures and the group’s banner be removed from the premises. She allegedly yelled, “Get these [expletive] Jews out of my pool,” according to testimony.

Adaya and her hotel were found to have violated the state’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars hotels and businesses from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color or religion.

It was alleged during the trial that Adaya, a Pakistani-born Muslim, ordered the group to stop its event because she believed that her family would cut off her financing for allowing Jews to use the facility. Adaya inherited the hotel from her father, Ahmad Adaya, a real estate mogul and philanthropist who died in 2006.

The jury awarded the Friends of the IDF more than $1.2 million in damages.

“I care deeply about the hurt, anger and misunderstanding that has resulted, and I want the Jewish and pro-Israel community to know I condemn anti-Semitism,” Adaya said in a statement following the announcement


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