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Hotel Challenged on Anti-Semitic Boycott at Convention

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Credit:  Westin Bonaventure Hotel

Credit: Westin Bonaventure Hotel

American Center for Law and Justice

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) is calling on a California company to reject a planned boycott of Israeli academics and academic institutions at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA) in Los Angeles in November. The ACLJ contends that enforcing the ASA’s anti-Israel boycott would cause Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, which is hosting the ASA convention, to discriminate on the basis of national origin, race, and religion in violation of California law.

“The ASA’s exclusionary, functionally anti-Semitic policy has been condemned by academics across the political spectrum,” said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “Invidious discrimination has no place in American higher education, and it certainly has no place in public accommodations. We’re calling on the Westin hotel to do the right thing and ban unlawful discrimination on its property.”

In a letter sent to Westin Bonaventure today, the ACLJ argues that no other nationality other than Israelis is subject to an exclusionary policy, and since the overwhelming majority of Israelis targeted by the boycott are Jewish, the policy is also exclusionary on the basis of race and religion.

French added: “California law prevents hotels from discriminating on the basis of national origin, race, and religion. We’re calling on the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, which is hosting the ASA’s annual meeting in November, to take steps to ensure that the ASA will not enforce its anti-Semitic policy during its annual meeting scheduled for November 4th — 9th. Simply put, we’re demanding that the Westin obey California law.”

The ACLJ letter gives the Westin five days to respond on whether it will change its discriminatory and unlawful boycott rules to be applied or face possible legal action.

The letter concludes: “We hope that the situation will not culminate in litigation, and the Westin Bonaventure and Interstate Hotels will do the right thing, and fulfill their legal obligations to prevent unlawful discrimination before it happens at the Westin Bonaventure.”

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© 2014 ACLJ

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