Southern California breaking news and trends

Hotel Shangri-La donation halts protest plan after anti-Semitism trial

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A screenshot of the Shangri-La hotel in Santa Monica.

The owner of Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, Tehmina Adaya, announced Friday a plan to make donations to Jewish organizations following a jury decision which determined the hotel and Adaya violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act barring discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color or religion.

In a Hotel Shangri-La statement, Adaya said she never made disparaging remarks about the 2010 event attendees, and that she planned to appeal the jury decision. The owner said she believes the allegations were based on "false information from a disgruntled former employee" who did not appear in court.

Per Hotel Shangri-La:

Ms. Adaya, who has always supported diversity, announced an equal donation of $3,600 to both the Koby Mandell Foundation and Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization to reinforce her commitment to supporting Israel and appreciating diversity.

 

In addition, she extended a personal invitation to leaders of the Jewish and pro-Israel community to attend a private event, hosted by the Shangri-La, to be led by and coordinated with the Zionist Organization of America in Los Angeles within the next 12 months.

 

"I care deeply about the hurt, anger and misunderstanding that has resulted and I want the Jewish and pro-Israel community to know I condemn anti-Semitism. I welcome diversity and never made disparaging comments to anyone who attended an event here," said Ms. Adaya.

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Mel Gibson still not a fan of the Jews, says screenwriter Joe Eszterhas

25th American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey, Jr. - Show

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

A severe letter has surfaced from screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (of "Flashdance and "Basic Instinct" fame) to Mel Gibson (of anti-Semitic rants and "Lethal Weapon" fame) after a falling out during their collaboration on "The Maccabees," a film about Judas Maccabeus (of warrior/Hanukkah fame).

Obtained by The Wrap, the Eszterhas letter quotes a number of offensive statements allegedly made by the actor, and makes a variety of pointed accusations that Gibson denies in his reply letter, obtained by Deadline.

Eszterhas says Gibson's participation in "The Maccabees" project was an attempt at deflecting charges of anti-Semitism. Gibson says Eszterhas' work was below standards.

The project was put on hold, the L.A. Times reported Wednesday, after Warner Bros. rejected Eszterhas’ script.

 

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner

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Jewish family's Sherman Oaks home is a target of anti-Semitic scrawling, again

swastika in sherman oaks

Screenshot via NBC LA

Swastikas marked on three Sherman Oaks homes this week are being categorized as hate crimes, authorities say, because the victims of the vandalism are Jewish.

Residents woke Wednesday to find Nazi iconography on the cars, walls, gates and mailboxes of their Leghorn Avenue community. A second-generation Holocaust survivor who lives in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood was visibly shaken by the event, NBC LA reported.

Resident Jennifer Niman, whose grandparents perished in the Holocaust, remarked to KTLA, that "this is not something you want to walk out and see in Sherman Oaks," continuing, "It's like Germany 1938."

Niman, who told the Jewish Journal that her neighbors were too upset to speak with the media, wondered about the houses that were defaced. "There are 12 Orthodox Jewish families on the block," she said. "Why pick these three?"

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