Canadian singer Justin Bieber sparked controversy on Tuesday after he was seen waving his arm back and forth on stage during a show in Helsinki, Finland in a gesture some have compared to a Nazi salute.
A prominent European Jewish group demanded an explanation from the singer-songwriter's producers for the incident.
"This is a slap in the face of millions of Jews around the world from the famous singer," said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis.
"It is unthinkable that a singer with tens of millions of fans and followers around the world allows himself to adopt such conduct on European soil soaked with the blood of millions of Jews and other minorities, who were brutally murdered by the Nazi oppressor," he said.
He added that an "obscene" gesture on such a broad platform is "an image of victory for anti-Semites and constitutes incitement to hatred.”
"I demand an explanation from the singer on this humiliating behavior, and I call on the State of Israel to consider canceling his show scheduled in Israel in October," he continued.
This incident comes two months before Bieber’s performance in Israel, scheduled for October 13, 2022. This will be the pop star's third show in the Jewish state after two highly successful concerts in 2011 and 2017.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.