Famed singer apologizes for fabricating high-profile anti-Semitic incident in Germany

German-Turkish singer Gil Ofarim. (Twitter)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

A German singer, Gil Ofarim, has admitted to a Leipzig district court that he fabricated an anti-Semitic incident he reported took place at a hotel in the city in 2021. The news has been a major story in Germany, and sparked outrage from the public, including the Jewish community.

Ofarim, who father was born in Israel, claimed in October 2021 that he was asked to leave The Westin Hotel because he had been wearing a necklace depicting the Star of David and immediately published a video on social media that was viewed millions of times.

The case at the time was a major story, with television channels and newspaper using it as evidence of anti-Semitism in Germany. Numerous politicians, journalists, and the Central Council of Jews slammed the hotel staff and decried what Ofarim went through. f However, doubts quickly emerged about how honest the singer was in retelling the story.

The hotel commissioned its own experts, according to whom the previously unknown artist had not been wearing the necklace at the time he claimed to have been removed from the building. In fact, video showed Ofarim entering the hotel without the necklace on.

In addition, neutral witnesses dispelled all doubts as to what had actually happened.

Court: Ofarim has suffered many disadvantages

Ofarim has now apologized to the hotel manager he publicly denounced, whom he only called “Mr. W.” The latter accepted the apology.

The court immediately dropped the proceedings against Ofarim on the condition he paid a sum of €10,000 to the Jewish community in Leipzig and the association supporting the House of the Wannsee Conference.

The court stated that the defendant’s apology had also “rehabilitated the hotel manager more effectively than would have been possible through a verdict” and pointed out that Ofarim had suffered “considerable disadvantages” as a result of the false story he himself had put out into the world.

The public prosecutor’s office had accused Ofarim of defamation, making a false affidavit, and trial fraud.

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