A German Jewish singer is claiming The Westin Hotel in Germany where he had reservations, claiming a hotel employee is guilty of antisemitism. Gil Ofarim is alleging that he was told to take off his Star of David pendant in order to be served at a hotel in Leipzig. Now, he’s planning on taking legal action, DW reports.
Ofarim, who lives in Munich, Germany, says he will “not only testify as a witness to the police in Munich” about the alleged incident but will also file charges personally. His manager, Yvonne Probst, told local media outlets.
The singer shared a video to his social media account regarding the incident. He claims a hotel staffer told him that in order to check-in, he must remove his Star of David pendant
The video garnered much attention and caused outrage amongst both German and Jewish groups.
The hotel staffer is denying Ofarim’s account. He is accusing the singer of libel and threatening behavior, saying he’s been on the receiving end of threatening messages over social media as a result of Ofarim’s allegations. Local police say the hotel staffer described the incident “in a clearly different way from the comments of the artist.”
The public prosecutor’s office says they received a complaint against the hotel employee from someone who was not involved in the incident. In a separate complaint, someone accused the hotel staffer of hatred. That claim was already being investigated at the time of Ofarim’s claim, for incitement of hatred.
The Westin hotel has suspended two employees while the investigation continues. They are also seeking legal advice over the accusations of antisemitism. An external law firm also plans to investigate and evaluate the statements from witnesses and other guests who were present.
Ofarim describes himself as a “secular Jew.” He was in the area for a shoot. Ofarim is the son of Israeli music legend Abi Ofarim. “I am speechless, I don’t know what to say,” he said in the video after the alleged incident. He continued explaining that he had been standing in line to check-in at the hotel, alleging he was constantly ignored. Per Ofarim, he was finally told to remove his Star of David pendant if he wanted to be attended to.