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July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
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Pakistani Owner of Swanky Santa Monica Hotel: “Get the [expletive] Jews out of my Pool”


The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.

The Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California.
Photo Credit: Promotional image.

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 that’s 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.  Ryan’s grandfather moved to Israel in 1942 and served as a captain in the Israel Defense Forces.

Seventy years 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.

Two years 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 employee’s sworn testimony, the hotel’s 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.

Ryan said,  “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.”

Tehmina (Tamie) 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.

The father bought the Shangri-La Hotel in the 1980‘s 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.

“Not 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 made.

Turken told 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.

The defense 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.

According 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.  What’s 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 to attend.”

The removal from the pool of Jews who were wearing Jewish-identified wristbands evokes a similar selection process of seventy years ago.  Ryan, recalling his grandfather’s legacy, said “I felt the weight of standing up to what he had to live through.”

The plaintiffs are seeking $ 1 million from Adaya and the Shangri-La Hotel for emotional distress, attorneys’ fees and other statutory damages.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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233 Responses to “Pakistani Owner of Swanky Santa Monica Hotel: “Get the [expletive] Jews out of my Pool””

  1. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Yes, this is 2012.

  2. Ishtar Mordechai says:

    They are racist anti-semites; sirely they can be sued for more than $1Million: that is a drop in ocean for them! Where did these pakis get the money for this hotel? They need to be investigated! There is more to this than meets the eye: who ARE their "investors" PS I wonder how the kapos in hollywood feel about this?

  3. Carol Teuchert says:

    Everyone must share this story. There are plenty of other places to stay no more business for them from any sane person.

  4. Aaron Levy says:

    Scumbag muslum bastards, they should be thrown out of the U.S.

  5. Usman Ali says:

    Bastards remain bastards

  6. Jackie Schwimer Neuwirt says:

    Horrible!

  7. Jeff Stak says:

    I can only say What Would Kahane and KOCH/JDL do in this case? Firebombs would not be good enough…

  8. Ishtar Mordechai says:

    Actually it is Kach

  9. Jeff Stak says:

    Yeah I know that Ishtar :} typo

  10. Charlie Hall says:

    We just had a Jewish commenter to another article in this very newspaper claims that anyone should be able to refuse service to anyone for any reason or no reason.

    I frankly can't believe a Jew would say such at thing.

  11. Mordechai Motti Luzia says:

    I look in to it I know same pepole in this hotel and I live here for the past 24 yr's more comment to follow.

  12. The defendant's lawyer did his client a big disservice not pushing settlement much earlier in the case.

  13. Yori Yanover says:

    Charlie Hall — The shop owners in Williamsburg didn't curse out the shoppers, they simply hung up an ad detailing the attire requirements. They barred lightly clad persons of all races, and would immediately welcome them had they donned a sweater. You must see that there's a vast difference here.

  14. This happened two years ago and this is the first time I am hearing about it.
    Why didn't the press and newspapers in the U.S. pick up this story?
    Why hasn't the U.S. Attorney General filed a discrimination law suit against.
    this Hotel?

    The U.S. attorney's office has filed hundreds of cases protecting Muslims.
    I am outraged that this discrimatory hateful action was not prosecuted by.
    the the U.S. Attorney.

    Is the government only protecting Muslims?

    Time for a change.

  15. Anonymous says:

    to the writer: the comparison with the holocaust is [expletive deleted] lame.

  16. Ron Soussa says:

    Hit them where it hurts!

  17. White Rabbitt says:

    Behind/beside all of the obvious racism and such, there once upon was a time in that the USA was a free country and respected property rights. But no longer. Now the Government, through the courts, has say so over a person's property thus negating their actual ownership any longer. As a matter of fact, property owners really have not truly owned their property since the introduction of mandatory "property taxes" that if are not paid allow Government to seize private property and do with it as it sees fit.

  18. Larry Lennhoff says:

    Don't know Michael Makovi very well, do you?

  19. Gil Gilman says:

    The wheels of injustice move quickly, justice not so quickly.

  20. Gil Gilman says:

    I have yet to see any comments about the lack of foresight by the friends of IDF, in this incident. I wouldn't have registered at that hotel in the first place. That being said I would really like to hear about the disposition of this matter. If you have more info, please reply here or on my Facebook page…thnx…I guess we can all agree, that big money does not equal big intellect in this case. We had a local case, where the perp went to prison for bribing public officials, but outside of that type of thing looks like it will only be about the money.

  21. that she was heard worrying out loud about her family "disowning" her is hilarious. Maybe she is lucky they didn't murder her as well.

  22. And NOT surprisingly: The L[ying]ATimes byline on the article puts the emphasis on the OWNERS retorte. It implies that Jews were in the wrong and not being kicked out: "Muslim Owner says pro-Israel group…were Trespassing".

  23. Yuliya Mazur says:

    How about the Jewish Travel Business Community publicize this story as much as possible. Shangri-la is a chain that should make a note of this. As usual – money will talk.

  24. Inga Binga says:

    Considering the subject, the press and Santa Monica – I'm not so surprised about the suppression of facts. This is a shameful situation and should be exposed.

  25. Anonymous says:

    hhmmm I added a thoughtful comment (unlike Aaron Levy below) and it didn't get posted. What does this mean?

  26. Scarlett Mullins says:

    If you had read the story, the man brought it up when he compared it to how his grandfather had felt. Your comment is lame.

  27. Scarlett Mullins says:

    Oh…and if it had been a Jew yelling "Get that Pakistani out of my pool!" you would have been okay with that? Sure, sure..

  28. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Hey, Adaya – YOU get the (expletive) out of the United States!

  29. Chaiya Eitan says:

    http://www.tamieadaya.com/about/ WRITE THE B*TCH HERE

  30. Charlie Hall says:

    Yori,

    I completely agree and indicated that I supported the shopowners in that other thread. The shopowners were not engaging in any kind of discrimination and were treating people with respect. This case is that of a bigot engaging in illegal discrimination and I hope they throw the book at him. The commenter on the other thread would permit this guy to do what he is doing.

  31. Charlie Hall says:

    It is difficult to prove discrimination suits in federal court. The process is deliberately long. This case is being tried in state court which may be more efficient.

  32. Charlie Hall says:

    And we should be grateful that "property rights" are limited. Bigots can't put "no Jews or dogs" signs outside their businesses any more.

    Property taxes go back to the middle ages. Back then, there was no such thing as true property "ownership" in Europe as everything was part of the feudal system. Property taxes date to early colonial times in the US.

    And since this is an orthodox Jewish site, it is worth mentioning that the Torah severely restricts property rights in a way that no democratic country does. The Torah is not libertarian.

  33. Charlie Hall says:

    This is incitement to terrorism; the comment should be removed.

  34. Charlie Hall says:

    Good point — maybe a boycott is in order until they drop this bigoted franchisee?

  35. Ishtar Mordechai says:

    And you work at Albert Einstein college? Wonders may never cease!

  36. Charlie Hall says:

    There are a lot of wealthy Pakistanis. Many are large landowners dating back to British rule, others have benefitted greatly from political graft.

  37. Ishtar Mordechai says:

    Same here in UK, a mozlem who tried to kill his daughter has been let off. Charlie Hall, above would like us all to lie down and wait for the Gestapo!!

  38. Charlie Hall says:

    I'm old enough to remember segregated swimming pools. My parents refused to join the private segregated swim club that everyone else in the neighborhood belonged to; we paid to swim at a local motel. I am still proud of them for doing that.

  39. Liz Hall says:

    I grew up never belonging to a pool, but able to use the pool and beach at communities where my parents provided security, Charlie. Then at 17, I started life guarding and used the pools where I life guarded for 7 years. Not until I lived on my own did I ever truly belong to a pool. Yet I never felt like an outsider. Pools, especially, aren't the place for this.

  40. Debi Terry says:

    BOYCOTT HOTEL! IN the name of the one and only God Israel!

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