Pro-Palestinian attacker of NY Jewish man sentenced to 18 months in jail

Prosecutors said that Awawdeh walked up to the victim and called him a “dirty Jew” and said “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A pro-Palestinian activist who brutally beat a Jewish man on a New York street and bragged afterwards that he’d “do it again” was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Tuesday.

In May 2021, Waseem Awawdeh, 25, and four other men targeted Joey Borgen, who was identifiably Jewish due to the kippah (yarmulke) he was wearing, as he walked to a pro-Israel rally in Manhattan.

Awawdeh and his accomplices pepper-sprayed, kicked, punched, and beat Borgen with crutches in the unprovoked attack, leaving the victim hospitalized with a concussion.

He was reportedly originally offered a lenient plea deal to serve six months in jail by liberal Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, but that agreement was rescinded after widespread outrage from Jewish advocacy groups.

In April, Awawdeh pleaded guilty to charges of attempted assault in the second degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, as part of a new plea deal that will see him serve up to 18 months in jail.

During a 2021 arraignment hearing shortly after the attack, prosecutors said that Awawdeh walked up to the victim and called him a “dirty Jew” and said “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”

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Prosecutors added that Awawdeh had bragged about his crime, telling a jailer, “If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again.”

“I’ve heard of waves of hate increasing through the city, and maybe I was a little naive to think it would never happen to me,” Borgen told the New York Post following the assault.

“I’ve been in New York for my entire life and I would never in a million years have thought that it would get to this point where I would have to second guess wearing a yarmulke in public.”

Another participant in the attack, Faisal Elezzi, was sentenced to three years of probation and mandatory “anti-bias training” in April 2023.

Three other men are currently awaiting trial for their roles in the assault on Borgen.