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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 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.

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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.

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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. melvinmosson says:

    The Justice Dept. should look into their so called “Charitable Contributions” but under the administration of Sheik Barak HUSSElN Odumber don’t hold your breath.

  2. White Rabbitt says:

    The bottom line, in my opinion, is that laws regulating social behavior and/or such will never work as well and/or completely as would education and understanding. As well as simple economics, as in boycotting such privately owned businesses, depriving them of what matters most to them, income/profits. Just saying.

  3. Don Gardner says:

    so when your little mind spits out chinks and japs and sp**ks that's ok too. pos.

  4. They are Pakis, or Paks. It is Paki-stan. Just like Afghan's live in Afghanistan. That wasn't racists.

  5. Sandra Briggs says:

    You haven't heard about it because the media has been covering up anything which might show a negative light on Obama–that and the media is owned by Leftist. Obama's press secretary refused to answer "where does this admin say is the capital of Isreal." Just about anyone could answer this–except, Pres. Obama. I believe he does favor the Muslims & Islams over Americans. Why do you think he has had his personal history "Sealed by the Courts". What is he afraid will come out?

    Your foul language and hateful comments do little to help. While I
    detest the horrible actions and anti semetic actions of the Muslim
    Pakistani owners of the Hotel, I do not want to sink to their level
    or lower.

    Express your opinion in a dignified, intelligent way. This will get the
    message across .

  7. Tina Tanaz, well its a charity for the IDF, an army which muders and plunders palestinian property. Its not like its going to the poor and needy, is it?

    What is this was a collection for the Pakistani ISI? Or any countrys` intelligence agency? Charity is not for those who carry weapons ready to kill people. Charity with a clear political agenda is disgusting. If any Israeli hotel had object to fundraisings for Hamas or Hizbollah, then yes…I woul have said the same. Even though Hamas and Hizbollah do have charity schemes for the poor and needy.

  8. Maryanne Greenberg The comments about Jews is disgusting, but should be seen in context. The did not react to jews, but to people standing up for the IDF. If jewish supporters of Israel people cant differenciate between IDF and Jews, or Zionism and Judaism then they should really not blame others for not being able to differenciate.

  9. Tina Tanaz says:

    thats not how america works. this isn't private property. a hotel is a property where guests are considered licensees/invitees. PAYING guests are more so considered. Even if the guests at question were tresspassing, there is a landowner/tresspasser duty that must be ascertained and here itw asn't met. Thanks.

  10. Tina Tanaz says:

    Mustafa Chaudhary , if you read the article, it states "raise money to send CHILDREN of fallen IDF soldiers". There is nothing propelling the IDF agenda by having compassion for children who have lost their parents. Compassion should be met for children of all religions, these men were only gathering charity for one cause. Point being, the treatment of the plaintiffs in this case was in fact discriminatory, and will hopefully be met with justice.

  11. Tina Tanaz says:

    babe, half the people on this website had to reread that paragraph twice to understand what you were even saying. me being one of them. unnecessary wordiness just makes you sound like an *******, not eloquent.

  12. Susan Cohen says:

    Liron Kopinsky MUCH BETTER IDEA! BRILLIANT! (Oh, now you've compounded to the stereotype of the smart Jew! Ooops!)

  13. Susan Cohen says:

    My father was once almost thrown out of a pool – until the Xian he was with stepped up to the desk & said, "If you don't let him in, I am taking my entire family & we're dropping out." This was in 1957. & they let him in. Just like the Xian wives of Jews in the Holocaust who demanded the return of their husbands (& got them) – that's really all it takes.

  14. Susan Cohen says:

    You are destroying your points with disgusting language & generalizations that do not take into account the overwhelming majority of MILLIONS of Muslims who eschew terrorism.

  15. Susan Cohen says:

    Chaiya Eitan "Your comment is awaiting moderation" Yeah, NO WAY is she going to post the link of this article that I just put there! <snort>

  16. Susan Cohen says:


  17. Susan Cohen says:

    Thanks for admitting that when someone says "****ing Jews" you think that's ok. I realize why you have the completely backwards view most Arabs do of Israel – your leaders tell you what they want you to hear, & then you are deaf to everything else. But the rest of the world isn't & the rest of the world doesn't allow Jews to be discriminated against under the fasle flag of "anti Israelism".

  18. Susan Cohen says:

    I just posted this link on their Facebook page: we'll see how long it stays up :-)

  19. Elan Lamden Thank you for exposing yourself as a terrorist. You are the one who claim to have killed people, not me. A clear depiction of the Zionist mentality. Please use social media more widely, so people can get an insight into what kind of animals you are.

  20. Elan Lamden Not quite right. The British called it "British Palestine", the same did the Ottomans. If you go by the notion of an independent statehood, then there was nothing called Israel either, "Israel" have existed only as a Biblical illusion until you guys started the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948. I'm sure you must be very proud of that.

    The city of Safed used to be the center of Jewish learning, under Ottoman rule. The Muslim Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab who captured Jerusalem even built a synagogue at the Temple Mount for the Jews, which got destroyed by the crusaders. So much for religious harmony, your fault you didn't learn a thing or two from us. Today, you are the same people who want it all. How can you live with yourself…

  21. Susan Cohen Didnt I just say "The comments about Jews is disgusting"….you could save your energy and pay more attention…

  22. Tina Tanaz The children of the "fallen" IDF-solders are not quite poor and needy. I'm sure Israel has got some welfare system for them, as much as they love their "heroes". There must be poor Israelis also, what about donations to street-children, rehabilitation programs for drug-addicts, for prostitutes, I know Tel Aviv has got much of those….

    As long as IDF has got something to do with this, it is politically motivated. It has nothing to do with the holocoust, or the jews…as long as you people don't differentiate between IDF and Israel, or Zionism and Israel, then don't expect other people to the the same. Even though I myself differentiate very well. I know many Israelis and they are the most wonderful people on earth. They dare to speak up against the injustices carried out by their own government.

  23. Haaahhh. I eat people like you alive. Exactly what are you aiming at? You think you can provoke me by your nonsense? I'm laughing like crazy over here….

    So, listen my bitch…Armenia already has a land, they started a revolt against the Ottomans, but yeah, what happened to them was not good. But then again…who are you to speak on their behalf…you are sitting here praising your country for treating Palestinians like animals…but now that we have touched the topic, what about the over 2 million chechens that were massacred or deported by Russia to Central Asia? Do you have any symphonies for them? No. Coz they are muslims. Right?

    Israel existed 2000 years ago. Palestina existed 60 years ago. A portion of that still exists, and will exist till the day of judgement.

    Yeah, we have 98% of the Middle East. You Jews have the whole American continent. And Europe. No Europeans have ever made the native population of any place in the Middle East. Keep making you Aaliyah, your religious obligation to steal others property. Thats what you are good at. There is no human dignity inside your messed up brains…

  24. Susan Cohen says:

    Mustafa Chaudhary you also showed that not only do YOU not differentiate between Jews & the IDF, you also spew the same propaganda bout the IDF that all Jew-haters do. If anyone should think a little before speaking, it's you.

  25. Peedro Paula says:

    Aaron Levy I didn't realize there were Jews in the Tea Party.

  26. Peedro Paula says:

    Sandra Briggs You too, huh. smh

  27. Peedro Paula says:

    Elan Lamden Does this page have no moderators? Your language and personal attacks violate the TOS of most comment pages. Were I a business owner (or a page moderator), I'd kick your ass out not for being an outraged Jew but for general douchebaggery.

  28. Ronnie James says:

    How do I get a blue wristband?

  29. Cal Brisbin says:

    Anti-semitism has NO place in Santa Monica. That being said, let's wait for the facts to come out before everyone attacks this woman. I've met her before and she seems like a great person. She certainly has close Jewish friends, which doesn't mean she's incapable of anti-semitism, but it does mean that such behavior, if true, would be very surprising and out of character. PS The racism on some of these comments is worse than the claims against the hotel owner. Don't try and combat racism and prejudice with racism and prejudice.

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