In an ongoing alleged anti-Semitism saga in Germany, CCTV footage has emerged that seems to refute a singer’s claims that he was told to ‘put away’ his Star of David pendant before he could check in to a hotel.
Singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim alleged in an emotional video on Instagram on October 5 that an employee at the Westin hotel in Leipzig had told him to ‘put away’ his Star of David pendant – a symbol of Jewish identity – before he would be allowed to check in, an act that left the performer ‘speechless’.
He has since filed a criminal complaint against the worker, with the hotel having suspended two of its employees during the ongoing investigation, one of whom has filed a defamation claim against Ofarim.
The incident also sparked a protest of over 600 people outside the hotel later that night.
CCTV footage published online by Bild am Sonntag shows the singer entering the hotel lobby in a T-shirt and leather jacket but apparently without the Star of David pendant around his neck that he can be seen wearing in his Instagram video upload.
It is not clear if this is footage of the incident in its entirety, and the video was reportedly leaked without sound to the German media, so exchanges cannot be verified.
In a comment to Bild am Sonntag about the seeming inconsistency, Ofarim claimed the comment had come from behind his back.
He said: ‘That means someone recognised me. This isn’t about the pendant. It’s about something much bigger. Because I am often on television wearing the Star of David, it was used to insult me.’
The 39-year-old is the son of Israeli musician Abi Ofarim, and speaks German, Hebrew and English.
Marriott International, the chain that owns the Westin Leipzig hotel, initially told DPA that the hotel was ‘deeply concerned’ and treating the case ‘extremely seriously’.
According to the Guardian, the chain said it would wait for the final outcome of police investigations before commenting further on the matter.
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Gil Ofarim and Marriott International for confirmed comment.
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