Religious Jewish man wears a kippah at the Kotel
Religious Jewish man wears a kippah at the KotelFlash 90

One of Jerusalem's top hotels barred a band from wearing yarmulkes and tzitzit, i.e. Jewish religious garb, out of fear of offending its Arab workers. 

The King David hotel invited the Inbalim band to play for its workers, Army Radio reports - the vast majority of whom are Arab.

As such, the band adapted its repertoire to suit its audience, including many songs from Umm Kulthum and Farid al-Atrash. But half an hour before the show, the producers banned the band from wearing their yarmulkes, "because it will hurt the feelings of our Arab workers." 

The band's director, secular Israeli Noam Cohen, refused to order his musicians to remove their yarmulkes, but offered to have them wear baseball caps as a compromise. 

Despite this, half an hour after the show began, the director demanded one musician remove his tzitzit, forcing the band manager to confront hotel management over the demands.

Audio of a conversation Army Radio received between the hotel manager and the band manager reveals the former indicating he was "disappointed" that the band was not an Arab band, claiming that the band manager did this on purpose as an insult. The band manager furiously denied those claims.