Lost in translation? Israeli outraged after getting ‘no guests from Israel’ reply from German hotel
A company of four Israeli families booked a trip to Germany for August next year involving several legs, Jerusalem Post reported. Yet one of the facilities, a guesthouse located in a tiny community of Zell am Harmersbach in the southern Federal State of Baden-Wurttemberg later asked for the cancellation of the booking, saying they don’t want “guests from Israel.”
Igor Tsehansky, one of the tourists in question, took to social media, posting the alleged response from the Mattenhof hotel, written in poor English or automatically translated.
"We don't Want have Guests from Israel, because our apartments are Not for them. Please cancel the Booking," the message said.
In the immediate aftermath of the revelation by Tsehansky, people voiced their outrage and frustration over the incident.
“We need to be certain this guest house is boycotted by all nationalities whom believe that these Germans are repulsive. I am going to yelp it and spread it to everyone I know all over the world and ask them to spread it further,” one of comments said.
Another person wrote: “Unbelievable that this can happen! These people should be charged with racism! There is no excuse or justification for such a thing!”
“If this is true, you should legally proceed against the guesthouse, because this is forbidden in Germany, and claim damages for pain. This story is shocking and scandalous,” a message said.
Booking.com, a service which the Israeli tourists used for the hotel reservations stated that it is looking into the issue and that it does not “tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
The family running the guesthouse in return said they were “shocked” by the incident, calling it a misunderstanding and mistranslation, German media wrote.
“The mistake is indeed in the translation into English. The guesthouse was simply fully booked at that point and the Schmiders [owners] wanted to tell that to the Israelis,” Samy Hammad, lawyer of the family is being quoted by Baden Online.
The owners added that the email was written by a family member who did not know English while in the normal case the responses and confirmations are being done by the daughter, who speaks the language.
According to the Hammad, the Schmid family is “very sorry” for the incident and is offering the Israelis a week free of charge in their guesthouse. The representative added that the hotel hosts guests from across the world and welcomed “60 to 80 tourists from Israel last year alone.”