The Leipzig Hotel Westin reacted to anti-Semitism allegations by the singer Gil Ofarim and on Tuesday put the “employees concerned” on leave. This was confirmed by the deputy manager Antje Reichstein in the evening. “We are a cosmopolitan hotel and we strongly reject any form of intolerance, discrimination and anti-Semitism. That is why we are concerned and alarmed about the intolerable allegations from Mr. Ofarim, ”Reichstein continued. Anti-Semitism is not excusable and is not tolerated in your hotel. The hotel management tries to get in touch with Gil Ofarim personally in order to fully investigate the incident. “Our goal is to integrate, respect and support all of our guests and employees, regardless of religion, skin color or sexual orientation, says the manager.

Ofarim makes the incident public

According to his own statement, the musician Ofarim was insulted in an anti-Semitic manner in the Hotel Westin. As the 39-year-old reported in social networks, he tried to check in on Monday in the house on the inner city ring. Due to his openly worn Star of David chain, this was denied him by the staff.

As Ofarim said in a two-minute video, apparently recorded in front of the hostel entrance, he waited in a queue at check-in. Gradually, other customers were preferred. When he asked why he had to wait longer, the receptionist first explained that the queue had to be straightened out. Another employee is said to have called: “Pack your star!” Then, according to the artist, the man at the reception should also have said: “Pack your star.”

Leipzig public prosecutor examines allegations

As the artist’s management said on Tuesday, Ofarim was in the fair city on Monday due to a TV recording by the MDR. It is currently being considered to criminally report the incident. “Gil has to digest the recent events yesterday in Leipzig and is still visibly shocked. Today would have been his father’s birthday, “said a spokeswoman on Tuesday.

The Leipzig police said that the artist’s video posted on Instagram has since been secured. “We submitted the case to the Leipzig public prosecutor for legal review,” said agency spokesman Olaf Hoppe. If the allegations are substantiated, a preliminary investigation based on the abuse of religious beliefs (Section 166 StGB) would be conceivable.

A spokeswoman for the Marriot chain, to which the Leipzig hotel belongs, said on Tuesday: “We are concerned about the report and take the allegations very seriously. We are trying by all means to contact Mr. Ofarim and find out what happened. It is our goal to treat all guests and employees with respect, regardless of what religion they belong to. “

Dulig apologizes to Gil Ofarim

Ofarim’s descriptions caused outrage in social networks and sparked a wave of support on Tuesday. Several politicians and other personalities stood behind the artist. Josef Schuster, President of the Central Council of Jews, wrote on Twitter: “The anti-Semitic hostility against Gil Ofarim is terrifying. Just as it is to be hoped that the Westin will draw personnel consequences, I also hope that in the future we will meet with solidarity when we are attacked. “

Saxony’s Vice Prime Minister Martin Dulig (SPD) said: “It is unacceptable and makes me angry what happened to Gil Ofarim in my home country. I speak for the vast majority of the people in Saxony when I apologize on behalf of the anti-Semitic humiliation. ”Saxony Environment Minister and Vice Prime Minister Wolfram Günther (Greens) also reacted dismayed. “There must be no place for anti-Semitism. Not open, not covered. Not in Saxony, not in Germany, nowhere. ”Member of the state parliament, Kerstin Köditz (left), called for the scandal to be resolved quickly. “Starting with an apology to personal consequences! That is no trivial matter. “

Saxony’s Interior Minister Roland Wöller (CDU) said on Tuesday that he hoped Gil Ofarim would file a complaint with the police. “Saxony is a cosmopolitan state – with the shadows you know. We fight to keep it a cosmopolitan country. And we rely on guests who come to us to feel safe. “

Christopher Zenker (SPD), chairman of the city partnership Leipzig-Herzlia (Israel), urged the management of the Hotel Westin to show a clear edge: “If the allegations are confirmed, there must be consequences, especially in a hotel that attracts people from all over the world every day World with different religions houses. Anti-Semitism has no place in Leipzig. ”

The Saxon AfD European politician Maximilian Krah, on the other hand, did not want to get into the multiple expressions of solidarity. “Alleged anti-Semitic incident in a Leipzig hotel. I don’t think so until you’ve asked the hotel employee, ”wrote the 44-year-old on Twitter.

Demonstration on Tuesday evening

Demonstration with around 500 people from “Leipzig takes a seat” at the Hotel Westin in Leipzig, after the musician Gil Ofarim was apparently asked by hotel staff the day before to remove his Star of David.
Source: Dirk Knofe

The “Leipzig takes place” initiative had announced a rally at the Westin Hotel for Tuesday evening, as spokeswoman Irena Rudamolph-Kokot said. Hundreds of people took part in the demonstration. Several employees of the hotel also set an example a little away from the demo and stood in front of the entrance of the house with a banner that showed, among other things, Israeli flags.

Employees of the Hotel Westin want to send a banner against anti-Semitism.
Source: Dirk Knofe

Gil Ofarim is the son of Tel Aviv (Israel) born singer and producer Abi Ofarim. In the 1990s he had several chart hits as the child star “Gil” and toured worldwide. In recent years he has participated in the casting show “The Voice of Germany” and the dance show “Let’s Dance”. Ofarim also appears as an actor and voice actor.