The Conference of Rabbis in Europe is calling for the cancelation of superstar Justin Bieber’s upcoming show in Israel over what appeared to be a “sig heil” salute march by the singer during his concert Tuesday night in Helsinki.
CRE President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt expressed outrage in a statement about the singer’s faux pas, which he said “slapped the face of millions of Jews around the world.”
ג’סטין ביבר הצדיע במועל יד במהלך הופעתו בפינלנד;
הקהילות היהודיות דורשות הבהרות.
נשיא ועידת רבני אירופה, הרב פנחס גולדשמידט הגיב בזעם: “הזמר המפורסם סטר בפרצופם של מיליוני יהודים ברחבי העולם”. pic.twitter.com/R3omVtxK6Y
— Zvika Klein צביקה קליין (@ZvikaKlein) August 10, 2022
Goldschmidt contends that Bieber “chose to miraculously start the “Sig Heil” movement that symbolizes identification with the values of the Nazi party and its leader, the Jewish oppressor Adolf Hitler.
“It is unthinkable that a singer with tens of millions of fans and followers around the world allows himself to carry out such a movement on European soil soaked in the blood of millions of Jews and other minorities who were brutally murdered by the Nazi oppressor,” Goldschmidt said.
“Using this movement on such a platform . . . is an image of victory for the antisemites and it provides an incentive for future attackers,” the rabbi warned.
He demanded “explanations from the singer about the humiliating movement” and called on the State of Israel to “consider canceling his planned appearance in Israel this October.”
This is not the first time that Bieber has fallen afoul of the Jewish community. In March 2015, he was sued by former neighbor Jeff Schwartz for emotional distress to his family after the star’s bodyguard called him a “little Jew boy,” TMZ reported.
The bodyguard reportedly used the epithet twice – in 2013 and again in 2014 – before the singer egged Schwartz’s house in 2014. He had also previously spit on his neighbor and hurled obscenities at his wife and daughter.
Bieber, who pleaded “no contest” to the charges, paid Schwartz $80,900 in damages, was sentenced to five days of community service and was ordered to attend an anger management program. He was also warned to stay away from Schwartz and his family for two years, Rolling Stone reported.
But as for the so-called “Nazi salute” – Bieber has used the dance move before in his concerts, and he may not have any idea that it resembles the hateful march and salute that signified death to millions of Jews and other minorities.