German Hotel Turns Away Singer Wearing Jewish Star, Sparking Protests


A Jewish singer wearing a Star of David necklace was denied service at a German hotel Tuesday, sparking hundreds of people to protest outside the establishment. Gil Ofarim, a 39-year-old Israeli-German singer, posted a video called “Antisemitism in Germany 2021″ in which he accused the Westin Leipzig hotel, a Mariott hotel, of refusing him a stay at the hotel minutes before because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. “I am speechless,” Ofarim said. After waiting in line to check in, Ofarim said others who arrived after him were told to go in front of him. The manager at the check-in told Ofarim he needed to take off his Star if he wanted to be admitted, Ofarim said. Ofarim said he has worn the Star his “whole life.” At least 600 people, some of them carrying signs with both a Star of David and the Muslim crescent, protested outside the hotel that night, Leipziger Zeitung reported. A spokesperson for Westin Leipzig told the German DPA newspaper that the hotel was “deeply concerned” with the incident which it said was “extremely serious.” The Central Council of Jews in Germany said in a statement it was “shocked” by what it called antisemitic behavior at the hotel. The American Jewish Committee, which tweeted Ofarim’s video with English subtitles, described the incident as “heartbreaking.” The AJC launched an online petition “calling on Marriott to not only apologize, but to commit to training its employees about antisemitism.”

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