Justin Bieber's comments in a guest book at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam are being debated around the world, with varying degrees of sympathy.
Allison Kaplan Sommer, a columnist for the Tel Aviv-based daily Haaretz, wrote:
Bieber might be better at singing songs and making girls swoon than in penning meaningful impressions at the Anne Frank house. But let's give him some credit for going there in the first place.
Scott Simon, a host on US-based National Public Radio, said on Twitter:
Anne would be wise enough to just laugh.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League which exists "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people", said:
If you read Anne Frank’s diary, she was into celebrities, she was into pop culture. So for [Bieber] to say he would have hoped that she would have been a fan, it’s a nice thing.
Anne Frank was a typical teenager who was interested in popular culture including music and film stars of the day. She closely followed what those stars said and did.
Justin Bieber’s visit to the Anne Frank House has undoubtedly introduced Anne, her story and her diary to a new audience.
Unfortunately, his message was insensitive to the memory of Anne, but we hope that the visit has had a positive impact on him.
– Gillian Walnes, Executive Director and Co-Founder Anne Frank Trust UK
Today marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, tragically just a few weeks after Anne and Margot died from typhus and starvation.
In memory of Anne and all victims of the Holocaust, we aim to make sure both Anne and her diary are known to every teenager, and in turn, encourage them to challenge prejudice and hatred in their own lives today.
The Holocaust Educational Trust said they "were lost for words" after Justin Bieber said that he hoped Anne Frank "would have been a Belieber."
The Anne Frank House said Justin Bieber's visit to their museum was "very positive" amid controversy over him writing that he hoped she "would have been a Belieber".
– Anne Frank House statement
The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday.
We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum.
He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour.
We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.