Simon Cowell’s Syco Investigating Lebanese ‘Arabs Got Talent’ Judge Who Admires Hitler’s ‘Persuasive’ Speeches

December 12, 2013 11:27 am 11 comments
Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, who has sold 50 million records and was the Arab face of the L’Oreal cosmetics line until last year, on the Arabic-language interview program 'Talk of the Town,' in an episode aired on June 28, 2012. Photo: Screenshot.

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, who has sold 50 million records and was the Arab face of the L’Oreal cosmetics line until last year, on the Arabic-language interview program 'Talk of the Town,' in an episode aired on June 28, 2012. Photo: Screenshot.

The Lebanese host of ‘Arabs Got Talent,’ an international franchise of Simon Cowell’s Syco television empire, is in hot water with the UK parent company for saying how much she admired the public speaking abilities of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, in an interview on Lebanese MTV, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Thursday.

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, who has sold 50 million records and was the Arab face of the L’Oreal cosmetics line until last year, when asked on the Arabic-language interview program ‘Talk of the Town,’ in an episode aired on June 28, 2012, if she could choose attributes from six famous men to create the “ideal man” the first idea to pop into Karam’s head was Hitler’s “persuasive” speaking ability.

The “utterly bizarre” choice, in the words of Henry Grunwald, chair of the National Holocaust Centre, in Nottingham, UK, and former vice-chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, cited by the Jewish News, was followed an even more unlikely list, including actor Richard Gere, for his “charm,” playwright William Shakespeare for his “romanticism,” and even a Jew, physicist Albert Einstein, for his “intelligence.”

The Jewish News brought the issue to Syco, whose TV arm created the ‘Got Talent’ format which is licensed internationally by Fremantle Media, and is investigating the matter. Recording of the current series is complete  and no decision has been taken yet on a judging panel for next year, the newspaper said.

The Jewish News also contacted L’Oreal to find out if  Karam’s contract was ended because of her televised remarks, but a spokesman from the cosmetics company declined to comment.

Simon Cowell, who recently rediscovered his Jewish roots, through his father’s side, which had been kept secret from the family, is expecting a child with Jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman. Their baby, who will be raised Jewish, is due to be born in February. In October, Cowell reportedly pledged £150,000 ($243,000) to the American Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at Haim Saban’s Los Angeles fundraiser, where musician Lionel Richie performed for 1,200 guests, who contributed some $20 million for the organization, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported.

As for the Karam scandal, the Jewish News was unable to contact the music mogul directly, but found many voices in the UK who were disgusted with her comments about Hitler.

The National Holocaust Centre’s  Grunwald told the Jewish News: “She deserves to be excoriated for using Hitler as a role model, even part of a role model, of anything. It shows a complete insensitivity towards all those, not just Jews, who died or suffered as a result of Hitler’s evil activities.”

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer told the newspaper: “It is staggering that anyone should consider a mass murderer as an ideal orator, persuading people that the mass murder of six million Jews is acceptable is not a talent to be emulated. It is perhaps indicative of the entrenched and casual anti-Semitism that passes for celebrity comment in this part of the world.”

“If she believes Hitler has talents to be copied she is wholly unsuited to be a judge,” Freer said.

Jonathan Sacerdoti, a commentator on the Middle East, told the Jewish News: “It is not uncommon for Hitler to be lionized even in mainstream Arab circles. In fact Mein Kampf is an immensely popular book in some Arab countries.”

“Lebanese singer Najwa Karam’s remarks about Hitler’s oratory skills are chilling.  At best, this is abysmal ignorance.  At worst, it is insensitivity bordering on Holocaust trivialization,” Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League told The Algemeiner.

11 Comments

  • Dear Eric R. Your comments are very harsh about Arabs. Are you aware Najwa Karam is Chrstian Lebanese? Lebanon has no oil and in fact it’s greatest achievement is its intellectual citizens. Do some research on Lebanese Americans or Lebaneae Canadians who they are and how influential they are, you may be surprised.

    Lebanon has freedom of press and is the only democratic Arab nation, don’t underestimate it. You should also check out Brazil, Argentina and Mexico the lebanese communities of these three countries are the some of the wealthiest and hold most of the positions of power and influence.

    Funny how all these Lebanese achieves so much without oil.

  • Mort Angerstein

    A and K…. and Eric……..get a life. You’re giving too much energy to foolish dialogue. Write your congressman or
    do something more constructive.

  • Mort Angerstein

    Those of you who are bashing Dr. Denis MacEoin ought to go online and read his supportive treatises on Israel and the Jews rights, instead of bashing him with idiotic hatred.
    As a Jew and supportive of Israel to the nth degree, you sound foolish . My only qualm with Dr. MacEoin’s comments are, they seem to have gone into left field away from the subject at hand…..but so be it.. this isn’t a formal setting with limitations…. but .it doesn’t call for the
    “stuff” sent his way. I suggest that you go on line and
    put in Dr. MacEoin’s name and at least the article that I found he wrote was in favor of the Jews and Israel.

  • Stuart E. Hersh

    I am not extolling Hitlers neurotic psychopathic and schizophrenic personality. However, without going into the details, Hitler’s oratory was as spell-binding as his eyes. Consider the reaction of most of the German people. He convinced them, at least for quite a while, that he was the Aryan messiah of Germany. His meteoric rise to power is partly the result of his oratory.

    Even Winston Churchill,the French Ambassador, Poncet, The American Ambassador, Dodd and his family, praised his speaking ability.

  • Stupid mare. Got no brains. Simon is half Jewish I think or fully Jewish. I know his Dad was. He should know better. He should do something about this. I have no respect for the Arabs. I lived in the Middle East for a while. I know what they are like. They seem to thrive on hatred and revenge.

  • Speaking of Arabs Got Talent, everyone should go to YouTube and search for an American woman called Jennifer Grout. Jennifer, from Boston, took part in the last round and came 3rd. She played the oud and sang a very convincing version of the Umm Kulthum classic Ba’id ‘Anak (Far from You) in Umm Kulthum’s style, and very convincing she was. The audience and judges can’t believe an American – who speaks no Arabic – could do this so well. She has only been studying Arabic music for 3 years and now lives in Marrakesh, where she is learning Arabic (standard or Moroccan I don’t know). But if you know Umm Kulthum, the great late diva of the Arab world, then you’ll get great pleasure from Jennifer’s delivery.

  • funny k, you sound just like a Nazi

  • what do you expect from the Arabs, they should all be locked in their countries and to be killed at will, they are not humans and they are all Nazi supporters, give them a taste of their own medicine

    • K, you are no better than a Nazi yourself. Have you ever met an Arab, do you speak Arabic, have you ever listened to Arab music, travelled to an Arab country?

      • I’ve done all of the above, Dr. MacEion, and I completely agree with K.

      • Mr. MacEoin:

        Would you not agree that the Arab world is infected with virulent, irrational, psychotic, Nazi-genocidal Jew-hatred?

        Would you not agree that it is brutally homophobic? How about brutally misogynistic?

        When has the Arab world ever produced a stable democracy that respects human rights?

        Has any Arab nation been able to achieve prosperity without oil?

        How many Nobel prizes have they won?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Middle East Sports Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) said on Tuesday it was “appalled” by a Palestinian Football Association initiative to suspend Israel from FIFA, calling it another “front waged in the context of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” “We are appalled at the temerity of the Palestinan Football Association (PFA) demand that FIFA suspend Israel at your forthcoming Congress in Zurich,” wrote the group’s international relations director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in a letter to FIFA President Joseph [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    The lead actor in Son of Saul, an Auschwitz thriller featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, told the UK’s The Guardian that he believes God was “holding the hand” of each Jew who died in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. “I do not for one nanosecond like to pretend that God is off the hook. He could and should have stopped it at a much earlier stage,” Géza Röhrig, 48, said. ”But I would not be able to get [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys singer Howie Dorough took to Instagram on Tuesday to marvel about climbing the famed Masada fortress with his band during their visit to Israel, where they will perform this week for the first time. The group’s second day of sightseeing in the Jewish state included the Masada hike, and taking a mud bath at the Dead Sea. A picture from the band’s official Twitter page shows the five singers covered in mud. While relaxing in the Dead Sea, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews US & Canada ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    A new book and its upcoming film adaptation tell the true story of how three former yeshiva students who habitually smoked marijuana scored a $300 million contract from the U.S. government to supply weapons for the Afghan Army, the New York Daily News reported on Sunday. Arms and the Dudes details how the Miami Beach potheads became “the most unlikely gunrunners in history,” according to the book’s author, investigative reporter Guy Lawson. The tale begins with Efraim Diveroli, nephew of [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    JNS.org – Natalie Portman, who directs and stars in the new Hebrew-language film adaptation of author Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, says that despite Oz’s record as a vocal left-wing critic of Israel, her film is not political. Like the book on which it is based, Portman’s film is about a young boy at the time of the founding of the state of Israel. “I think the movie is very much about this very particular, specific family story. Of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.