Singer Gil Ofarim ‘sorry’ for making up antisemitism story

Singer Gil Ofarim ‘sorry’ for making up antisemitism story

A German-Israeli singer who accused the employees of a hotel in eastern Germany of antisemitism has confessed he made up the allegations and apologized to the hotel’s manager.

Gil Ofarim’s surprising confession came Tuesday during a defamation trial against him, more than two years after his false allegations sparked fury across the country.

In a video posted on his Instagram account in October 2021, Ofarim said employees at a Westin hotel told him he would have to “put away” his Star of David pendant before checking in.

“I am speechless, I don’t know what to say,” Ofarim said in the video, which quickly went viral.

The incident made national headlines at the time, bringing hundreds of people to protest outside the hotel.

The head of the Berlin-based Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said the “antisemitic hostility against Gil Ofarim [was] appalling,” urging the hotel to “take consequences regarding their staff.”

Jewish groups from around the world also took to social media to demand action.

“Urge Marriot to take concrete steps against Jew-hate!” the American Jewish Committee wrote on X, then-called Twitter, in October 2021.

Hotel employees vehemently denied doing so and filed a defamation suit against the singer — who later accused them of filing a false report.

On Tuesday, during the sixth day of the defamation trial against him, the 41-year-old confessed to lying about the story. “The allegations are true,” he said according to the German news agency dpa.

He also addressed the hotel manager, who was a co-plaintiff in the case

“I would like to apologize to you,” he said. “I am sorry.”

Ofarim was ordered to make a donation of 10,000 euros ($11,000) to the Jewish community of Leipzig and the House of the Wannsee Conference, a Holocaust memorial museum in Berlin.

With News Wire Services

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