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New images seem to challenge singer’s claim of antisemitic discrimination at German hotel

Screen capture from video of Gil Ofarim, a German-Israeli singer, explaining how he had been denied a hotel room in Leipzig, Germany, because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. (Screenshot from Instagram video via JTA)
Screen capture from video of Gil Ofarim, a German-Israeli singer, explaining how he had been denied a hotel room in Leipzig, Germany, because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. (Screenshot from Instagram video via JTA)

New images published by German newspaper Bild are raising questions about an Israeli-German musician’s claim that he was refused service at a hotel for wearing a Star of David necklace.

In security footage from the hotel in Leipzig, the necklace does not appear to be visible around Gil Ofarim’s neck.

Gil Ofarim, posted a video to social media earlier this month, in which he accused the Westin Leipzig hotel of denying him service because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. The video, which he titled “Antisemitism in Germany 2021” in all capital letters, went viral, with antisemitism watchdogs and others sharing it widely.

“I am speechless,” Ofarim said in the video, in which he can be seen clearly wearing the Star of David pendant.

German media outlets, however, report that police have “serious doubts” about Ofarim’s account and that surveillance footage from the hotel appears to shows he did not have a Star of David around his neck when he tried to check into the hotel.

Additionally, the Bild newspaper reports that while giving a statement to police, Ofarim stated that he did not remember whether he was wearing the Star of David chain at the time, even though in his Instagram video he claimed was.

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