Before the trial against Gil Ofarim begins, the singer sticks to his allegations of anti-Semitism against a hotel employee. He has trust in the judiciary. Ofarim is accused of false suspicion and slander.
More than two years after Gil Ofarim made anti-Semitism allegations against a hotel employee in Leipzig, the defamation trial against the musician begins. Great public interest is expected at the start of the trial at the Leipzig Regional Court on Tuesday. Ofarim’s allegations caused a stir at the time and are currently given particular weight given the war in the Middle East.
Before the trial began, the 41-year-old told “Welt am Sonntag”: “I know what happened to me. It wasn’t about the employee, but about anti-Semitism.” He is happy that a lot will now come out that has not been said or written before. He has trust in the judiciary. Ofarim said in the newspaper interview that he would record the video again: “I didn’t even begin to expect what this video would trigger. And I would do it again.”
Gil Ofarim made allegations of anti-Semitism in a video
Ofarim is accused of making false allegations of anti-Semitism against an employee of the Leipzig Hotel Westin. On October 5, 2021, the musician described in a video shared on social networks that he was asked by a hotel employee when checking in to take off a necklace with a Star of David.
The video made waves at the time. The public prosecutor’s office is convinced that the incident described by Ofarim did not actually happen. Because the musician later repeated his allegations to the police and reported them, he now has to answer for false suspicion and slander.
After the musician’s accusations, the Westin initiated an investigation by a law firm, which, according to the hotel, exonerated the employee in question. After months of investigation, the Leipzig public prosecutor’s office also came to the conclusion that the incident described by the 41-year-old did not happen and that his allegations were deliberately “untruthful”.
Ofarim, who lives in Munich, was charged in March 2022. However, the investigations against the hotel employee were discontinued. He is taking part in the trial as a co-plaintiff.
Great public interest in the process
Aside from the defamation allegations, Ofarim is also charged with making false statements under oath. The background to this is two applications for the issuance of interim injunctions intended to prohibit press publications. In it, Ofarim is said to have falsely sworn that he had not said that the video he had created should “go viral”. The public prosecutor considers this to be untrue.
The fact that the charges were not brought before the local court, as is usual for such allegations, but at the regional court was justified by the great public interest. Ofarim’s lawyers spoke in advance of a “show trial”. They announced that the defense would “turn over every stone twice” before the Leipzig regional court.
Ten days of trial were initially scheduled until December 7th for the proceedings, in which more than 20 witnesses were called.
The process was originally supposed to begin a good year ago, but was postponed at short notice. The regional court justified this at the time, among other things, with an application for damages submitted at short notice by the co-plaintiff and outstanding decisions on legal remedies lodged by the defense.
Gil Ofarim is the son of Israeli singer Abi Ofarim, who died in 2018. The 41-year-old appeared in front of the camera in several television films and series and released various music productions.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.