Thursday, August 16, 2012

Santa Monica hotel found guilty of civil rights violations against Jews

First, I never thought I would hear of anti-semitic behavior at a luxury hotel in Santa Monica, California, and second the fact that the hotel is owned by a Pakistani should have been an alert for the Jewish group having their gathering at the Shangri-La Hotel.  Alas, political correctness precludes any questioning or a persons beliefs or religious bent, especially when it comes to Muslim.  Asking questions would be Islamophobic, doncha know.

From The New York Times August 15 by Michael Cieply

California Hotel Found Liable in Civil Rights Case
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A jury in a state court here found the Hotel Shangri-La, an ocean-view stop for the Hollywood set, and Tehmina Adaya, its proprietor, liable in a case that accused Ms. Adaya of violating a California civil rights law by attempting to evict a Jewish group in 2010, people on both sides of the dispute said on Wednesday.

The case, which has been on trial in the Santa Monica division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court since late July, raised rare claims of anti-Semitism here.

In 2010, Ms. Adaya, who is a Pakistani-born Muslim, ordered the shutdown of a poolside event sponsored by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, but eventually allowed the group to stay after insisting that signs and literature identifying its purpose be removed. In testimony by a former employee and others, she was said to have couched the order with an obscenity aimed at the Jews who had assembled for the event, and to have said her family members would cut off financing if they learned of the gathering.

In her testimony, Ms. Adaya denied those claims.

After deliberating for a week, jurors on late Wednesday found Ms. Adaya and a company that owns the hotel liable for the civil rights violation and for inflicting emotional distress and other violations. They awarded over $1.2 million to a group of plaintiffs that included 18 individuals and Platinum Events, a company that had worked with the hotel in setting up the event, said James Turken, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

He said the awards required the assent of at least nine members of the 12-member jury. The exact breakdown of the jury’s vote will not be publicly known until jurors are polled individually on Thursday. They will also consider the possibility of awarding punitive damages.

Susan Neisloss, a spokeswoman for Ms. Adaya, said she had been advised by Ms. Adaya’s lawyers of the decision, but was not advised of details and had no immediate comment.

“I’m incredibly proud of my clients,” Mr. Turken said by telephone on Wednesday after the verdicts were read in a session that ended well after the court’s normal closing time of 4:30 p.m.

Mr. Turken described the group as “twenty- and thirty-somethings” who are involved in a number of charities, not all of which are aligned with Jewish causes. The event in dispute was meant to help send the children of Israeli soldiers to summer camps in the United States, he said.

“They stood up,” Mr. Turken said. “They couldn’t afford to take this on.”

No comments: