Germany. Jewish musician charged with ‘false’ allegation of anti-Semitism | News | DW
Jewish musician Gil Ofarim faces charges of unjustified suspicion and defamation after he alleged anti-Semitic abuse by a hotel employee last year, German prosecutors said Thursday.
Thorough investigations found “no evidence” to support Ofarim’s claims and concluded the incident did not happen as described by the singer, the Leipzig prosecutor’s office said.
What is the case about?
Last year, Ofarim posted a video on social media alleging that staff at the Westin hotel in Leipzig ordered him to put away a Star of David pendant hanging from a chain around his neck.
At the time, the video sparked outrage across Germany and particularly within the Jewish community, with people demonstrating in solidarity with Ofarim and opposing anti-Semitism.
Prosecutors said the investigation against the hotel worker has now been dropped, adding that the musician posted the video ‘knowing it was false and would have defamatory consequences for hotel workers’ .
Anti-fascist activists staged protests at the Westin Hotel after the incident was made public last year
Ofarim’s version of events came under scrutiny when security camera footage, released by German media in the weeks after the incident, did not seem to support his account. .
In response to the footage, Ofarim — who grew up in Germany and describes himself as a “secular Jew” — told the tabloid Picture newspaper: “I don’t know if I wore the chain over or under my shirt. But it’s not about that, it’s about being Jewish in general.”
The staff member then brought his own defamation charge against the singer.
A higher court in the eastern city, the Leipzig Regional Court, must now decide whether to allow the charges against the musician.
fh/nm (dpa, AFP)