Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    For Alan Gross, Cuban Prison Didn’t Harden His Heart or Weaken His Ambition

    JNS.org – Alan Gross used to be nothing more to me than a tragic headline. When I started my position at this news service in July 2011, Gross had been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 for what that country called “crimes against the state.” Gross, a subcontractor for the United States Agency for International Development, went to Cuba to help the Jewish community there access the Internet. After his arrest, he received a trial he describes as a “B movie,” […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Features New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    New Movie Shows How Global Economic Instability Grew From Very Local Greed

    JNS.org – When I saw the recent Academy Award-winning film “The Big Short,” I was struck by the sheer genius of the financiers who devised the schemes and packaged the loans for resale, but it left me with unanswered questions about how the properties these loans represented were moved. “The Big Short” was largely about paper transactions, big money, and wealthy investors, and it mildly touched on the way the actual end-users — the home buyers and brokers — played into this […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Psychiatry and the Spirit

    Why do we think so negatively about psychiatrists that we still insult them by calling them shrinks? Some medics might be quacks, but we don’t generally refer to them as witches! Shrinks; The Untold Story of Psychiatry, by Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, is a sobering account of how psychiatry has swung from a marginal, unscientific mixture of weird theories into one of the most common and pervasive forms of treatment of what are commonly called “disorders of the mind.” Is it […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    At Forbes Summit in Israel, Entrepreneurship Is a ‘Common Language’

    JNS.org – Nine months ago, Seth Cohen, director of network initiatives for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Randall Lane, editor of Forbes Magazine, were schmoozing about the “vibrancy of Tel Aviv and soul of Jerusalem,” as Lane put it. They dreamed about how they could bring young and innovative millennials to the so-called “start-up nation.” From April 3-7, Forbes turned that dream into a reality. Israel played host to the first-ever Forbes Under 30 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) […]

    Read more →