Israel’s contestant in the international Eurovision music festival was barred from wearing a dress by designer John Galliano, who has come under fire in the past for making racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
The decision of the Israel Broadcasting Authority followed a recent interview for the Hebrew news website Mako, in which Eurovision hopeful Moran Mazor said that her "stylist reached out to several international designers among them John Galliano. Fortunately, he accepted the challenge of designing a dress."
Two years ago, the designer was fired by French luxury goods company Dior after he was caught on video camera shouting “I love Hitler” in a Parisian café.
He was convicted by a French court on charges of "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity", receiving a suspended 6,000-euro ($8,400) fine, after apologizing and expressing remorse for his actions.
The Anti-Defamation League issued a press release, expressing outrage over the decision.
“I am outraged and embarrassed that an entity representing Israel would reject Mr. Galliano,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “To reject someone who has now embraced Israel and the Jewish people is outrageous. This is not the lesson that you give your children. Rejecting someone who gave a sincere apology is not Jewish tradition. We are a people that forgive and this is not the way to overcome bigotry.”
“Mr. Galliano is a changed man,” Foxman continued. “The Israel Broadcasting Authority must realize this. It is great to see that he is working with Israeli artists.”
“He has continued to work hard in establishing relationships, and has shown us and the world that he is taking steps to understand and grow from his past mistakes. To continue to boycott him is not constructive,” Foxman added.