Gil Ofarim: Accusation of anti-Semitism against employees of a hotel in Leipzig

Musician Gil Ofarim claims not to have been served at a Leipzig hotel. The reason: his Star of David.

Update of Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 4:40 AM: After the incident with the musician Gil Ofarim in a hotel in Leipzig, hundreds of people took part in a demonstration in front of the building on Tuesday evening (October 6, 2021). A police spokeswoman said the event, attended by about 400 people, was peaceful and without interference. The police had secured the video in which the musician reports on anti-Semitic incidents at the hotel and presented it to the prosecutor. It was initially unknown whether Ofarim had made a report.

Meanwhile, several media outlets in Leipzig reported that the hotel management had given “the concerned employees” leave. A hotel manager said anti-Semitism was inexcusable and would not be tolerated at the hotel. A direct confirmation could not be received from the hotel on Tuesday evening.

Hundreds of people gather in front of the “Westin Hotel” in Leipzig to show solidarity with the musician Gil Ofarim and the Jews of Germany.

© Dirk Knofe / dpa

Gil Ofarim: “Incredible” Anti-Semitism in a Leipzig Hotel

+++ 5 pm: Josef Schuster, chairman of the Central Council of Jews, described the alleged anti-Semitic hostility towards musician Gil Ofarim at the Leipzig Hotel Westin as appalling. He hopes the hotel will take personnel consequences, the statement said on Twitter. Schuster also hopes that Jews will show solidarity in the future if they are attacked.

After the anti-Semitic incident in Leipzig: outrage and solidarity with Gil Ofarim

The federal anti-discrimination commissioner spoke of an “incredible case of anti-Semitism” and a violation of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). “A quick response from the hotel takes a long time. As far as we are concerned, this cannot remain without consequences,” the federal agency wrote on Twitter.

The Minister of Economy of Saxony, Martin Dulig (SPD) wrote on Twitter that he was angry about what happened to Ofarim. He spoke on behalf of the vast majority of people in Saxony when he apologized on behalf of the anti-Semitic humiliation. “We still have a lot to do in Saxony!” Environment Minister Wolfram Günther (Vegetable) was stunned on Twitter. “There should be no room for anti-Semitism. Not open, not covered. Not in Saxony, not in Germany, nowhere.” Interior Minister Roland Wöller (CDU) hopes that the musician will file a report so that the incident can be investigated by the police. “Saxony is a cosmopolitan state,” Wöller emphasized.

Anti-Semitic Discrimination Against Gil Ofarim: Police and Hotel Speak Out

Olaf Hoppe, spokesman for the Leipzig police, judged the alleged statement as “clearly anti-Semitic”. The police forward the content of the video to the Public Prosecution Service, which checks whether it is criminally relevant. This will then be determined depending on the result. Police were not on the scene at the time of the incident and they have not yet spoken to Gil Ofarim, Hoppe said.

Gil Ofarim at a photo op.

© Gerald Matzka / dpa / archive image

The Westin Hotel in Leipzig was concerned about the report and took the matter extremely seriously, a spokesperson said. The company tries to contact Ofarim to find out what happened. The aim is to include, respect and support all guests and employees regardless of their religion.

“Pack your star”: Gil Ofarim reports on anti-Semitism in a Leipzig hotel

First report: Leipzig – “Have we learned nothing from the past”, asks musician Gil Ofarim in an Instagram post. In the accompanying video, the 39-year-old raises serious charges against an employee of the Lepiziger Hotel Westin. Ofarim is said to have been insulted in an anti-Semitic manner.

In a roughly two-minute Instagram video, Ofarim, who seems distracted, describes how he tried to check in at the hotel in Leipzig on Monday (October 4, 2021). The queue was long due to computer problems. Time and again, however, people were favored while he had to wait, the musician reports. After 15 minutes it was finally his turn and the check in employee asked what the problem was. The employee, whom Ofarim in the video “Mr. W.” calls, claimed he wanted to straighten the line. The hotel employee apparently ignored the fact that Gil Ofarim was also waiting.

Then, according to Ofarim, the antisemitism– Incident at the hotel: “Pack your star”, someone shouted from a corner. Then the hotel worker said, “Pack your star.” By this the co-worker meant the Star of David that Ofarim wore on a chain. “Then he said, if I finish it now, I can check in,” Gil Ofarim explained in the Instagram video, clearly having a hard time staying calm. The musician closes the video with the words “Germany 2021”.

Gil Ofarim reports anti-Semitic abuse

After reporting about the alleged anti-Semitism incident at the hotel in Leipzig, the musician considered filing a criminal complaint against the hotel, the Leipziger Volkszeitung reports. Ofarim’s manager says the musician has broken up and is staying in another hotel, T-Online said. The hotel’s management did not respond to inquiries from various media outlets.

Gil Ofarim is the son of Israeli musician Abi Ofarim. He grew up in Munich. Ofarim already reported on his experiences with anti-Semitism in Germany in 2018. He had struggled with it all his life. “We cultivate a tradition of looking the other way in Germany,” Gil Ofarim stated on the ARD show, stern but fair.

On the occasion of the recent violence in the Middle East antisemitic attacks in synagogues in Germany. (Max Schaefer with dpa)

List of category lists: © Dirk Knofe / dpa

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