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German Jewish group decries hotel’s alleged denial of entry to singer wearing Star of David

A screenshot from video of singer Gil Ofarim posted to his Instagram account, on October 5, 2021. (Screenshot/Instagram)
A screenshot from video of singer Gil Ofarim posted to his Instagram account, on October 5, 2021. (Screenshot/Instagram)

BERLIN — A leading Jewish group in Germany says that it’s shocked by a German-Israeli singer’s report of being turned away from a hotel in the eastern German city of Leipzig because he was wearing a Star of David pendant.

Singer Gil Ofarim, who lives in Germany, shared a video on Instagram today showing him in front of the Westin hotel in Leipzig and saying that a hotel employee asked him to put away his necklace in order to check into the hotel.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, responds on Twitter, saying “the antisemitic hostility against Gil Ofarim is appalling.”

“One hopes that the Westin will take consequences regarding their staff,” Schuster tweets. “I also hope that in the future we will encounter solidarity when we get attacked.”

The Westin Leipzig tells The Associated Press in an email that it is “concerned and alarmed by the intolerable accusations by Mr. Ofarim.”

General manager Andreas Hachmeister writes that the hotel employee in question was put on leave while the hotel tries to reach Ofarim to shed light on the entire incident.

Ofarim’s manager, Yvonne Probst, can’t immediately be reached for comment. German news agency dpa quotes his management team as saying 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, during the 1950s and 1960s. The couple were known internationally for their renditions of folksongs and chansons.

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