Police Has “Serious Doubts” About Westin Leipzig Anti-Semitism Case

Police Has “Serious Doubts” About Westin Leipzig Anti-Semitism Case

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I’m not sure whether to be relieved that this situation maybe wasn’t quite as bad as was initially reported, or to be disturbed about the seemingly false narrative that was told, in the process very much damaging a business and an individual.

The basics of the Westin Leipzig anti-Semitism story

A couple of weeks ago the Westin Leipzig made international headlines over an alleged anti-Semitism incident that occurred at the hotel.

Long story short, a well known German singer, Gil Ofarim, claimed that a front desk associate refused to check him in because he was wearing a Star of David around his neck. The issue arose when there was a long line at check-in, and Ofarim claimed that others were being helped ahead of him.

According to his version of events, when he confronted the front desk manager about this, someone yelled “pack your star,” and at that point the manager at the front desk also stated that if he packed his star he’d be able to check-in.

This story sounded terrible, of course. I didn’t want it to be true, because this would be such disgusting anti-Semitism. At the same time, you also wouldn’t think that this is something that would be made up, especially from someone well known checking into a random hotel.

In Germany anti-Semitism is criminal, and Ofarim decided to file a criminal complaint against the employee in question. The police has now conducted an investigation, and the findings are surprising.

What the police says about Westin Leipzig incident

The police of Leipzig has “serious doubts” about Ofarim’s version of events:

  • The surveillance footage from the Westin shows that there was no chain with a Star of David around Ofarim’s neck when he checked into the hotel, spoke to someone at the front desk, or exited the hotel
  • Rather the musician wore an open leather jacket with a t-shirt underneath
  • During interrogation with the police, Ofarim stated that he did not remember whether he had worn the Star of David chain around his neck (even though in his Instagram video right after the incident he claimed that he did)
  • Now Ofarim states that this is not about the chain as such, but rather is about something much bigger; he thinks that someone else recognized him and decided to make an anti-Semitic comment — “it’s not about whether the chain was seen in the hotel or not, it’s about the fact that I was insulted in an anti-Semitic way”

The Westin employee who was accused of anti-Semitism by Ofarim has now filed a complaint against him for defamation, as he has a very different version of events.

Bottom line

There’s no doubt that there’s a ton of anti-Semitism out there. We probably won’t know if there was any anti-Semitism involved in this incident. What we do know is that the incident didn’t quite happen as Ofarim stated, and once there’s a major hole in the story, it makes it hard to believe.

The problem here is that a focal point of the story was him stating that he was wearing the Star of David, and that he was told he couldn’t check-in until he took it off. If he wasn’t in fact wearing the Star of David, then that’s all a very different story.

Could there still have been anti-Semitism, and would it be unacceptable if that were the case? Of course. But it’s hard to get over the lies that were told about the incident just moments after it happened (especially since he wore his Star of David in the video, meaning that he would have had to put it on as soon as he left the hotel).

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  1. Widerightv Guest

    This story was never about anti-semitism, racism or hate. It was always about establishing power and dominance over people and organizations. The charge of anti-semitism is the weapon used to get the accused to bow to such cowardly attacks.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Aka. The race card.
      Aka. The gender card.
      Aka. The mental health card.

  2. Al Guest

    Sadly as expected. I think the original reporting perhaps deserved more caveating as has been proven to be the case here.

  3. Antonio Guest

    If the guy doesn't travel...

  4. Indopithecus Guest

    Lucky. you say that 'There’s no doubt that there’s a ton of anti-Semitism out there'. I doubt it. I think there's a ton of anti-Zionism out there or anti-Israeli feeling but you should NOT conflate that with anti-Semitism. The 'anti-Semitism' trope is used by Zionists who want to justify the apartheid actions of Israel against the Palestinian people or who want to shut down frank discussions about Israeli settler policies in the West Bank, etc....

    Lucky. you say that 'There’s no doubt that there’s a ton of anti-Semitism out there'. I doubt it. I think there's a ton of anti-Zionism out there or anti-Israeli feeling but you should NOT conflate that with anti-Semitism. The 'anti-Semitism' trope is used by Zionists who want to justify the apartheid actions of Israel against the Palestinian people or who want to shut down frank discussions about Israeli settler policies in the West Bank, etc. Yes, there are racist anti-Semites out there, some violent, haunting the fringes of all Western societies, a legacy of millennia-old Christian prejudice against Jews. But you are doing a disservice to civilization and Jews themselves when you whip out the anti-Semitism slur at every turn.

    1. Dude26 Guest

      I see you just had to show up here with your ever lasting hatred.

      "I doubt it" , "...the fringes..."- how would anyone dare say that in today's US woke culture about any other group, just discounting how they feel (let alone it's evidenced by data, not that facts really matter, it's all about 'narratives' with wokism - truth, facts, science, history don't matter anymore)

      We see you. Just another modern day anti-semite reincarnated...

      I see you just had to show up here with your ever lasting hatred.

      "I doubt it" , "...the fringes..."- how would anyone dare say that in today's US woke culture about any other group, just discounting how they feel (let alone it's evidenced by data, not that facts really matter, it's all about 'narratives' with wokism - truth, facts, science, history don't matter anymore)

      We see you. Just another modern day anti-semite reincarnated in today's modern version of it (if you were to actually to speak to the vast majority of jews they would tell you this isn't new to them - every generation has it's own version of 'justified anti-semites', one time the jews are communists, other time they are capitalist overlords, they're czarist, they're anti-czarist, they're christ killers, they're zionists and on and on...)

      You seem to also show up in the comment section of OMAT almost exclusively on Israeli / Jewish related stories - obsessed Troll indeed. Yuck.

    2. Trevor Mack Guest

      But, he's right. 99% of all the charges of anti-Semitism come after someone dares says anything critical of Israel. It's a bad faith charge made by duplicitous Israel nuts. Look at the two Muslim Congresswomen, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. For 3 years they've been viciously slandered as anti-Semites and neither has ever said or done anything anti-Semitic in their lives.

    3. Donato Guest

      I currently reside in NYC, a City with a fairly large Jewish population. Anybody that feels that anti-Semitism does not exist is a fool. Ditto for washing it away as anti Zionism. Just recently a minority Woman poured gasoline in front of a historic Yeshivah School in NYC and lit a fire, she knew little other than cursing Jews.
      I can not speak regarding Leipzig but I would wait for the final report. It...

      I currently reside in NYC, a City with a fairly large Jewish population. Anybody that feels that anti-Semitism does not exist is a fool. Ditto for washing it away as anti Zionism. Just recently a minority Woman poured gasoline in front of a historic Yeshivah School in NYC and lit a fire, she knew little other than cursing Jews.
      I can not speak regarding Leipzig but I would wait for the final report. It is old East German games to throw out tid bits to deflect the mood. It will be over when it is over. The fact that there have been incidents in that Westin with other minorities is significant.

  5. Brian Guest

    The real crime here is the atrocious grammar in the headline and the post....
    "Police Has 'Serious Doubts' About Westin Leipzig Anti-Semitism Case" & "The police of Leipzig has 'serious doubts' about Ofarim’s version of events...." I guess OMAT's editors had the day off. :)

    1. Jibed Guest

      If Ben would go back to reviewing hotels and airlines he wouldn’t have to fill his blog with crap stories like this.

    2. Antonio Guest

      He got too old., as a healthy retiree he is in Tampa walking with the dog and eating ice cream. He could transfer me his points.... it seems they will expire

  6. David Guest

    Paging Jessie Smollett

  7. Bob Guest

    Like I said from the get go this story didn't sound right. No manager of a large chain would react that way even if they felt it. On top of that every other person would have filmed it and uploaded it. Every bit of the original story should have triggered doubts left and right.

  8. Biz Traveler Guest

    German Jussie Smollett

  9. Carl WV Guest

    When somebody is caught telling lies on such specific details they lose all credibility. Any further "explanations" are not worth being listened to or disseminated.

  10. Jordan New Member

    Ben, you ran with this story to create uproar on here, which = eyeballs/$$ - resulting in conversation/arguments.

    You are equally to blame alongside other non-journalists (bloggers) across the web, and are partially accountable for helping to destroy this hotel's reputation, and I'll be curious to see how this hotel legally responds overall to those who ran with the story, and their attributing commentary.

    I have said before, that your words/posts have real-world...

    Ben, you ran with this story to create uproar on here, which = eyeballs/$$ - resulting in conversation/arguments.

    You are equally to blame alongside other non-journalists (bloggers) across the web, and are partially accountable for helping to destroy this hotel's reputation, and I'll be curious to see how this hotel legally responds overall to those who ran with the story, and their attributing commentary.

    I have said before, that your words/posts have real-world consequences.

  11. Joe Chivas Guest

    Is it common for Germans to tell Jews in Germany to "pack their stars"?

  12. Tortuga Gold

    @Aussie, why don't you and @Timo just sit for a while with what you said.

    1. "Are there any true aggrieved minority victims?"

    2. "The majority of these 'hate' crimes in the US turn out to be false."

    Read those quotes. Read them aloud. Reread them ten times. Seriously, do exactly this. Comprehend, to the word, what you have said.

    Then ask yourself, "Who am I that I would say such a thing? What...

    @Aussie, why don't you and @Timo just sit for a while with what you said.

    1. "Are there any true aggrieved minority victims?"

    2. "The majority of these 'hate' crimes in the US turn out to be false."

    Read those quotes. Read them aloud. Reread them ten times. Seriously, do exactly this. Comprehend, to the word, what you have said.

    Then ask yourself, "Who am I that I would say such a thing? What do I gain by ignoring all of recorded history? When did I become such a dessicated husk of a human being that I began to entertain such thoughts? Where did I learn this hateful behavior? Why would I whisper such profound evil?"

    Your (assumed) Christ is surely smiling down upon you, happy to see that his teachings of love and compassion have found purchase in your heart.

    1. Aussie Guest

      Questioning attention seeking behaviour and victim mentality is not “hateful behaviour”. Try again.

  13. Stuart Guest

    In defense I thought the original post here did question and raise suspicions of the events. However, there’s still a debate to be had as to whether these things should be appearing in a blog in the first place and written by someone with no journalistic background and with little accountability. Sadly though it’s these posts that probably gain the highest traffic and clicks for bloggers. The tragic reality of our society today.

    1. Towelie196 New Member

      Can the same be said of someone who not only clicks on the article, but feels compelled to post a comment?

    2. Stuart Guest

      I do not make money commenting. Otherwise, yes.

  14. Timo Gold

    I would think this is something made up. The majority of these "hate" crimes in the US turn out to be false. But the demand for racism outstrips the supply...

    1. Moe Guest

      Really!
      Move to NYC where there was video (and an arrest) for a gasoline fueled fire in front of a Jewish School, accompanied with Anti-Jew rants. Video is available.
      Quite honestly, I am appalled by any made up incidents and equally appalled by those that think these true incidents are mostly made up.

  15. Aussie Guest

    Jussie Smollett, now this clown. Are there any true aggrieved minority victims? Or are they all wolf crying attention seeking whores?

    1. Wes New Member

      What is wrong with you? I had the n-word carved out on my mailbox at an apartment I lived in for less than a week in college. Specifically, it said "Go home n*****". I was there in 2014. I left because their cameras were broken and they couldn't find out who did it, and I obviously felt uncomfortable. Luckily, they let me out of my lease with only a one month fee. Point is, racism...

      What is wrong with you? I had the n-word carved out on my mailbox at an apartment I lived in for less than a week in college. Specifically, it said "Go home n*****". I was there in 2014. I left because their cameras were broken and they couldn't find out who did it, and I obviously felt uncomfortable. Luckily, they let me out of my lease with only a one month fee. Point is, racism is alive and well in America, and I went to school in a major city. Pulling out the Jussie example is pathetic. Most of us don't report our stories to the media. That doesn't mean racism isn't common in the USA. The same situation exists with rape. Are you pro rape too?

    2. Aussie Guest

      Questioning victim mentality and attention whoring = pro racism/rape? Great logic. Should have stuck with college for more than a month.

    3. Wes New Member

      I graduated with a triple major in business/economics. Thanks for sharing your bigotry.

    4. Aussie Guest

      Amazing. Please tell me more about the business of #believeallxxx where xxx = any clown that wants their 15 mins in the sun.

  16. David Guest

    Shame on you and you may want to take a sabbatical from writing for a while to think about your actions. This was obviously not a true story and anyone with an inkling of knowledge about Germany would have known there were certainly wild exaggerations in the allegations. That you published this with so little regard for that would writers who work for others get people fired from their jobs. Time for this column to be banned for a bit.

  17. edgar Guest

    Ben you excel in adding gossips and housewives tales rather than concentrating on purely travel reviews..sick of it and your blog is not what it used to be.

    1. Lukas Gold

      I agree. Spending a few minutes about the likelihood of it being true would have resulted in the article being scuttled. Blatant antisemitism in a well-known CHAIN in GERMANY including the MANAGEMENT is extremely far-fetched. Hope this will be a learning lesson for Ben. Would appreciate his comments on this debacle.

  18. Another Lump Guest

    Perhaps stop posting incindiary stories sourced from a single victims account without any confirmation from anyone else? Maybe let the facts come out first? Nahhh, it's much more fun fanning the flames of outrage culture, nevermind the damage done.

  19. John T Guest

    It's almost as if you publishing the original story before anything was actually proven and needlessly smearing the name of the hotel, was the wrong thing to do, eh Ben?

  20. Florian Guest

    "...he thinks that someone else recognized him and decided to make an anti-Semitic comment..." and went on explaining that people know he often wears the star in question.

    I have to admit I had never heard about this so-called celebrity before. I think it's highly unlikely someone actually recognized him AND knew he usually wears a chain with a star.

    1. Nils Guest

      It's pretty obvious he was lying, then tried to change his story. I was also very doubtful since there were no witnesses coming forward.

  21. Max Guest

    1.) This guy was not "a well known German singer". He was a z list 'celebrity' at best.

    2.) He was so unsuccessful in the real world, that he is depending on subsidies from some local backwater state TV channel that only a handful of 80+ year old people are watching out of tradition.

    3.) After the invented incident, he has not been going to the police to file a report for well over a...

    1.) This guy was not "a well known German singer". He was a z list 'celebrity' at best.

    2.) He was so unsuccessful in the real world, that he is depending on subsidies from some local backwater state TV channel that only a handful of 80+ year old people are watching out of tradition.

    3.) After the invented incident, he has not been going to the police to file a report for well over a week, until the public started to question the media reports of the alleged incident. But his theatralic Instagram video was up within minutes.

    4.) There were at least 2 witnesses who have essentially confirmed the version of the hotel employee that no such incident took place.

    5.) Unfortunately much like in the US, the mainstream media in Europe is no longer to be trusted. Instead of factual, neutral reporting and questioning things they are out for manufacturing scandals to cater to a small but loud woke crowd.

    1. Richard Guest

      Two facts are clear.
      1, I was not there.
      2, You were not there.
      I have some experience in investigations on campus and experience tells me that filing charges late is not evidential of anything. I have also realized that witnesses will always crop up with different viewpoints, literally.

  22. S Gold

    Some people are just shameless clowns.

  23. Beachfan Guest

    Thanks for covering , and in such a balanced way.

  24. Endre Guest

    His false accusations have not helped the Jewish community in Germany. It reinforces stereotypes and will make matters worse.

  25. WorldTravelerPlus Guest

    If this story is proven to be false, it will actually have a "cry wolf" effect and worsen anti-Semitism.

  26. Pete Gold

    For the accuser, the free publicity generated everywhere including here, was mission accomplished. Truth be damned.

    1. Stefan Guest

      Ask Jussie Smollett if the free publicity generated around his hoax can be considered "mission accomplished".

    2. Carl WV Guest

      Now that you mention it this publicity may help with the sales of his new book that was published earlier this year.

      It will be interesting to see if the story update gets the same attention as the original (usually not). Ben was certainly not the only circulation of the video and related original story. We'll see if others at least put out the new developments as Ben has.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

John T Guest

It's almost as if you publishing the original story before anything was actually proven and needlessly smearing the name of the hotel, was the wrong thing to do, eh Ben?

8
Another Lump Guest

Perhaps stop posting incindiary stories sourced from a single victims account without any confirmation from anyone else? Maybe let the facts come out first? Nahhh, it's much more fun fanning the flames of outrage culture, nevermind the damage done.

6
edgar Guest

Ben you excel in adding gossips and housewives tales rather than concentrating on purely travel reviews..sick of it and your blog is not what it used to be.

5
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