Muslim employees of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington said they felt discriminated against after being barred over the weekend from floors where an Israeli delegation was staying, a Muslim advocacy group said.
The hotel’s general manager, Amanda Hyndman, said the hotel rearranged some shifts and told some workers not to come in after a routine State Department background check found “irregularities” in the checks of 12 employees.
An official at the Israeli Embassy said that “as a policy, the embassy does not discuss the logistical arrangements for visiting Israeli officials.”
A record number of anti-Semitic attacks is “deeply troubling,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today. More than 924 reports of bigoted violence and abuse — 460 of which were in London — were received last year by the Jewish Community Security Trust. The charity, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, said the figures marked the worst year since records began in 1984. They included violent street attacks, arson, egg-throwing, racist graffiti, website hacking and hate mail.
Researchers said the surge was fuelled by the ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces last January. Almost a quarter of incidents (23 per cent) included some form of reference to the conflict. The fighting was marked by protests around the world, including ugly confrontations outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington.