Setting the record straight on all of the nonsense:
Taunting the Lions in the Lions’ Den The Jewish Press, January 30, 2013
CZC is holding a Purim gala honoring Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer at Santa Monica’s Shangri-La Hotel.
It is a rare instance when Muslims publicly make amends to Jews for
their vicious anti-Semitism and then underwrite a Zionist event
honoring two fierce Zionists. In fact, we don’t know of any time this
has happened other than this one: the newly formed Creative Zionist
Coalition (CZC) is holding a Purim gala honoring Pamela Geller and
Robert Spencer at Santa Monica’s Shangri-La Hotel, which is owned by a
woman who has lost a case for anti-Semitic discrimination. She is
appealing, but meanwhile, she has reached out to Zionist protesters and
invited them to hold an event that exposes and repudiates Islamic
It’s a remarkable story. In 2010, the Muslim owner of the Shangri-La Hotel, Tamie Adaya, told
an employee to “get the f—king Jews out of the pool.” The Jews were at
the hotel for a fundraising event for the Friends of the Israeli Defense
Forces (FIDF). The FIDF volunteers who were thrown out of the
Shangri-La Hotel’s pool sued Adaya in a California state court. The jury
determined the hotel owner had committed various acts of anti-Semitism
and returned a verdict against Adaya,
finding that she had repeatedly violated the California Civil Rights
Act and committed various other acts of discrimination against the group
of 18 plaintiffs.
When word spread about Adaya’s anti-Semitism, two Jewish activists,
Orit Arfa, at the time the executive director of the Western Region of
ZOA, and Steven Goldberg (who is the National Vice Chairman of the
Zionist Organization of America), scheduled a demonstration in front of
the Shangri-La Hotel. Facing a public relations disaster, Adaya sent a
hotel employee to meet Arfa and Goldberg and promise that if they called
off the protest, she would host an event for them at the Shangri-La at
her own expense.
Goldberg and Arfa agreed. Goldberg explains that Adaya’s “agreement
was with me personally, not with anyone else or any organization, that I
had the right to give the party to whatever organization I wanted, and I
chose to make it the Creative Zionist Coalition.” This was fitting,
since Arfa was the driving force behind the protest against the
The sincerity of Adaya’s repentance has been discussed at length.
This is not really at issue. No one involved in the CZC event thinks she
has had a change of heart. Goldberg explains: “I personally made the
decision to cancel the protest because I thought a single protest that
would just last a couple of hours was less of a victory than a public
statement by Adaya supporting the State of Israel and condemning
anti-Semitism, donations by Adaya to an Israeli charity to benefit
wounded IDF veterans and another Israeli charity to benefit the Israeli
victims of Arab terror, and a free pro-Israel party at the hotel. I
stand by that decision. I have no doubt that Adaya is an anti-Semite,
and I thought all this would humiliate her. I still think so. I expect
she will be getting a lot of heat from MPAC, CAIR and other Muslim
groups as the party approaches. The whole point of this is to be in her
face on this.”
It is just what we should be doing: confronting Islamic
anti-Semitism, refusing to back down, and demanding that Muslims make
public actions affirming universal human rights and human dignity. The
event at the Shangri-La Hotel on February 24 is a first: a Muslim
underwriting an event honoring two leading voices against Islamic
anti-Semitism. This is a major event: whatever is in her heart, a devout
Muslim is publicly acknowledging that Islamic anti-Semitism is wrong,
and making public amends for it.
Goldberg sums it up: “We are all going into the lions den to taunt the lions. It’s not for the faint of heart.”
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