Shangri La ONE
It happened in the days of President Barack Obama - that President who reigned over fifty states from Los Angeles to New York. In those days, when President Obama occupied the White House in the fortress Washington, in the second year of his reign, Jewish young professionals held a party on behalf of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at Hotel Shangri La in Santa Monica - for the young professionals of the Los Angeles province. For several hours in the hotel's poolside courtyard did the young professionals display their love for Israel through banners and materials extolling the Israel Defense Forces and the State of Israel.
At that time the owner of Hotel Shangri La, Tehmina Adaya, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, was on the premises and was presiding over a viewing party of the World Cup at a cabana of the Shangri La Hotel.
There were stylish lounge chairs and sofas, columns and awnings of the hippest design. The drinking-ware was served at the bar in plastic cups, lest glass be broken near the pool. And there was wine and beer in abundance as befits a glamorous LA party. And the rule for drinking was, "L'Chaim!" For the organizers had given orders to every hotel steward to comply with terms of the oral agreement made between the Jews and the hotel.
In the afternoon, when the Jews were having fun splashing in the pool, the stewards of the hotel advised Tehmina Adaya that a group of Zionists was holding a party at the hotel. Tehmina Adaya ordered the stewards in attendance to remove the Jews, saying, "get the F^@#-ing Jews out of the pool!" The Jews, identifiable by their blue wristbands, were asked to take down the Zionist literature decorating the pool area and to leave the premises. At first the Jews refused to leave, saying they had agreed to hold the party there. But the owner did not budge, and she had security remove the Jews and block re-entry.
Then the Jews consulted lawyers who were learned in civil rights procedure. (For it was the civil practice to turn to all who were versed in law and precedent.) "What," they asked, "shall be done, according to law, to Tehmina Adaya for kicking Jews out of the hotel because they were Jewish?"
Thereupon the lawyer declared: "Tehmina Adaya has committed an offense not only against your party but also against all of the Jews who are victims of anti-Semitic discrimination. For the owner's behavior will make all anti-Semites believe they can treat Jews with contempt. This very day Islamic Jew-haters who have heard of the owner's behavior will think they can humiliate and degrade Jews and there will be no end of anti-Semitic scorn and provocation!
"If it please the young professionals, let a lawsuit be filed invoking the Unruh Civil Rights Act, and let it be written into the laws of the United States, so that it cannot be abrogated, that no business owner shall ever discriminate against Jews again. Then will the judgment executed by the court of law resound throughout the United States, vast though it is; and all people will treat Jews with respect, religious and secular alike."
The proposal was approved by 18 young professionals - the Santa Monica Chai - and the Jews did as the lawyer proposed. A lawsuit was filed in the Santa Monica Courthouse.
Shangri La TWO
Some time after the lawsuit was filed, Tehmina Adaya thought of all that the Jews had done and what had been decreed against her. The owner's lawyers who attended her said, "Let us plead 'not guilty.' Let you appoint Jewish employees in every business of your realm and to assemble witnesses in the court of law. Let them defend your close relationships with Jews. Let the argument be made that Jews violated the instructions of the hotel." The proposal pleased the owner, and she acted upon it.
In Los Angeles there was a Jewish group by the name of Zionist Organization of America. The LA branch was headed by Steve Goldberg, National Vice Chair of the ZOA. The ZOA was the only major pro-Israel organization that spoke out against the Expulsion of Jews from their homes in Gaza in 2005. Steve Goldberg was supervisor to Orit Arfa, who was Executive Director of the ZOA Western Region at that time.
When the lawsuit was proclaimed in the press, Orit and other ZOA supporters visited the courthouse to understand the events that had transpired. Steve Goldberg and ZOA board members and supporters would read about the lawsuit in the press to learn how the Jewish plaintiffs were faring and what was happening to them.
When the Jews were assembled a second time to listen to the verdict, the ZOA closely monitored the press. But the ZOA did not reveal their plans to organize a protest against the anti-Semitism of the hotel owner until the verdict was announced, as Steve Goldberg, a litigator, had instructed.
At that time, when Tehmina Adaya was testifying on the stand, hotel executives plotted to handle the negative publicity that a liable verdict would no doubt bring upon the hotel.
Shangri La THREE
In the last week of August in the fourth year of Obama's reign, the date for the protest was set for Sunday, August 26, 2012, at 11 am. The ZOA in Los Angeles, under Steve Goldberg's leadership, said to the Jews of Los Angeles, "There is a certain hotel whose behaviors are different from those of any other hotels in Los Angeles, and it did not let Jews assemble there, and it is not the Jewish community's interest to tolerate it. If it please the Zionists of Los Angeles, let an edict be drawn for a protest against the hotel." Thereupon ZOA West issued a press release announcing a protest in front of the hotel.
On August 22, 2012, the e-mail list was summoned and an e-blast was issued, as Steve Goldberg directed, to heads of Jewish organizations in Los Angeles, Zionists, Jews and Christians alike, to young professionals, and to members of the media. The press release was issued in the ZOA's name and sealed with the ZOA logo. Accordingly, e-mail instructions were dispatched to all the Jewish communities to make signs, carry Israeli and American flags, and protest in front of the hotel to defend the rights of all Jews, young and old, children and women, on a single day, on August 26, 2012. The press release was to the effect that a line should be drawn in the Santa Monica sand that says: "Never Again." Signs and Israeli & American flags were to be publicly displayed to all the people walking down the sidewalk and to all the press, so that they might know that Jews will defend their interests.
The journalists covered the protest posthaste, and the protest was proclaimed in the media. The ZOA and its supporters sat down to make signs, but the leaders of major Jewish organizations did not agree to participate in the protest.
Shangri La FOUR
Goldberg had this message delivered to the Jews: "Do not imagine that if a protest is held in front of the hotel, that her business will be ruined or that her appeal will be affected by events that occur subsequent to the verdict. On the contrary, if we don't accept this deal, relief and deliverance will not come to the victims of Arab terror and IDF veterans that Tehmina Adaya agreed to support. And who knows, perhaps we have staged the protest for just such a victory!"
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Shangri La SIX
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Thereupon Steve Goldberg refused, saying: "I do not deserve it, nor do I believe in bestowing honors for service to the Jewish people."
Shangri La EIGHT
That very day Steve Goldberg gave the right to throw the party to Orit Arfa's new Zionist organization, Creative Zionist Coalition. Orit collaborated with the hotel to organize the party with food, drink and music. The hotel would take care of all expenses.
Orit spoke with Steve Goldberg and the planning committee concerned that the party fell on Oscar Sunday. Orit extended to them a proposal: "If it please Your Zionist fabulousness," she said, "and if the CZC has won your favor and the proposal seems right to Your Zionist vision - let CZC hold the 'Keter (Crown) Awards for Online Israel Advocacy.' For how can we bear to see the apathy which will befall our people if they choose the Oscars over Purim! And how can we bear to see the cowardice of our kindred who are afraid of standing up for Jewish interests!"
Then Goldberg said to Orit and the Shangri La planning committee, "I have given CZC the right to throw the party, and you may honor whomever Jew and whatever pro-Israel organization you see fit. Create the Keter Awards in CZC's name and seal it with the CZC logo, for creative ideas that inspire Jewish heroism is what your new Jewish organization is all about."
So the CZC's graphic designers were summoned at that time, and invitations and e-blasts were sent to the Zionists, Jews and non-Jews alike, from young professionals to senior citizens, to the heads of all Jewish and pro-Israel organizations and to members of the media. Orit had them written in the name of CZC and sealed with the CZC's logo. Invitations were dispatched via e-mail and snail mail to this effect: Jewish activism is alive and well in the city of Los Angeles. CZC encourages Jews of every city to assemble and stand up for their rights; if any person or business discriminates against them or attacks them, they may fight back through protests, rallies, online production, entertainment, moral use of force (when justified for self-defense), and also a Purim party! On a single evening in the Los Angeles province, namely, on Purim 2013, the Jews should celebrate their identity and willingness to stand up to hate. The text of the invitation was covered in every major newspaper: it was to be publicly displayed to all the citizens, so that the Jews should be ready for that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. The postcards went out in urgent haste, and one was even sent to President Barack Obama.
CZC disobeyed Goldberg's wishes and conferred upon him the "Mordecai Award for Jewish Heroism" for his Zionist dedication and activism. And the city of Los Angeles ran with joyous cries. The Jews enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and honor. And in every province and in every city, where the invitation to the Shangri La Purim ball had arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many of the people of the land professed to be Zionists, for respect of Zionists had fallen upon them.