I am so honored to be given the "Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism" by the Creative Zionist Coalition, a newly formed, fiercely passionate Zionist organization. This very special event takes place on February 24, 2013 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Los Angeles. What make this event historic is that the Shangri-La Hotel is Muslim-owned and the site of a grotesque, anti-semitic incident.
Two years ago, a number of 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.”
So fierce was the blowback and condemnation that the owner of the Shangri-La hotel, Tehmina (Tamie) Adaya, a Pakistani-American Muslim, not only apologized profusely, but offered to hold a Zionist gala for free.
It is a rare instance when Muslims apologize to Jews for their vicious anti-semitism (I don't know of any other time) and then underwrites a Zionist event honoring a fierce Zionist like me -- and Robert Spencer. It's a first. A Muslim underwriting an event honoring one of the leading voices against Islamic anti-semitism. This is a major event, because instead of whining about trumped-up Israeli "atrocities" against "Palestinians" and claiming them as a justification for their Jew-hatred, a devout Muslim is acknowledging that Islamic antisemitism is wrong, and offering to make amends for it. Taqiyya? Maybe, but how sincere they are is not the point: the point is that they're publicly admitting that Islamic Jew-hatred exists and is wrong. We're going to make the most of it, with a proudly Zionist event in which we will talk forthrightly about the roots of Islamic antisemitism in the quran and other Islamic texts.
The Jewish Journal covers the award here.
The Shangri La Purim Ball!
February 24, 2012, 5 pm
"The Jews enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and honor"
- Scroll of Esther
Creative Zionist Coalition
Requests your presence at its royally Zionist Purim ball
Purim 2013/5773 - February 24, 2013
6 pm: Buffet & Hors D'oeurvres (kosher optional)
7 pm: Program & dancing
Open wine and beer bar
And the rule for drinking was: "No restriction!"
In the tradition of Purim, the evening will be a celebration of Jewish heroism in the face of Jew-hatred
"This is what is done for the man whom the king desires to honor!"
Queen Esther Award for Jewish Heroism
Shushan Award for Righteous Gentile
Haman Award for Jew-hating Villainy
$72 General Admission
$54 Young Professionals
Royal Courtier: $180, includes 2 tickets + e-Tribute Scroll message + listing in program
Royal Adviser: $306, includes 4 tickets + e-Tribute Scroll message + listing in program