German Jewish group condemns treatment of singer in hotel

BERLIN (AP) – A prominent Jewish group in Germany said on Tuesday it was shocked by a report from a German-Israeli singer that he had been turned away from a hotel in the city of Leipzig, Germany. the East, because he wore a Star of David pendant.

BERLIN (AP) – A prominent Jewish group in Germany said on Tuesday it was shocked by a report from a German-Israeli singer that he had been turned away from a hotel in the city of Leipzig, Germany. the East, because he wore a Star of David pendant.

Singer Gil Ofarim, who lives in Germany, shared a video on Instagram on Tuesday showing him outside the Westin Hotel in Leipzig and saying that a hotel employee asked him to put his collar away in order to check in at the hotel.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, replied on Twitter, claiming that “the anti-Semitic hostility against Gil Ofarim is appalling”.

“Hopefully the Westin will take its toll on its staff,” Schuster tweeted. “I also hope that in the future we will meet solidarity when we come under attack.”

The Westin Leipzig told The Associated Press in an e-mail that it was “concerned and alarmed by the intolerable accusations of Mr Ofarim”.

General manager Andreas Hachmeister wrote that the hotel employee in question had been put on leave as the hotel tried to reach Ofarim to shed light on the whole incident.

Ofarim manager Yvonne Probst could not be reached immediately for comment. German news agency dpa quotes its management team that Ofarim, 39, did not want to comment further publicly.

Ofarim is the son of Israeli singer Abi Ofarim, who performed with his first wife, Esther, in the 1950s and 1960s. The couple were known internationally for their renditions of folk songs and songs.

In his Instagram video, Ofarim says he was standing in line to register at the hotel and noticed that the people standing behind him were receiving service long before him.

“I was standing there, with my collar on, and one person after another was pulled out from behind me,” Ofarim said.

He said that when he finally got to the front row and asked why everyone was getting preferential treatment, a hotel employee told him that he too could check in if he was tidy. first her Star of David necklace.

Ofarim, who was on the verge of tears when he opened up about his experience on Instagram, did not say what happened next but added, “Really? Germany in 2021. “

Later Tuesday, hundreds of people demonstrated against anti-Semitism outside the Westin Hotel in Leipzig, dpa reported. Several people held up a large banner saying “Against all forms of anti-Semitism. We remember.”

Irena Rudolph-Kokot, one of the protest organizers, said “we support Jews in Germany who are too often exposed” to anti-Semitism. Several hotel workers also joined the protest and helped put up a banner with the Israel flag in front of the building’s entrance, dpa reported.

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Isaac Sharf contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press




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