Pro-Palestinian activist jailed for 18 months after Jewish man 'beaten with crutches'

The man was also called a 'dirty Jew' and was punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed


A New York court has sentenced a pro-Palestinian activist to 18 months in jail for attacking a Jewish man two years ago.

Joey Borgen was attacked by Waseem Awawdeh and four assailants while walking to a pro-Israel rally in Manhattan in May 2021.

Borgen was called a "dirty Jew" before being punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed and beaten with crutches, causing numerous injuries, including a concussion.

He had been wearing his kippah.

Awawdeh pleaded guilty in April to attempted assault in the second degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

He received consecutive jail terms of 12 months for the assault charge and six months for the weapon charge.

Borgen delivered a victim impact statement at the sentencing of Waseem Awawdeh, 24, who was filmed beating Borgen with crutches, calling him a 'dirty Jew' and pepper spraying him. 

According to the New York Post, Borgen told the court: "Why is he getting a break? I really can't fathom why he's getting a deal. Me, personally, I wanted to go to trial, I wanted to see full justice".

Awawdeh had faced up to seven years in prison, but Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office offered the 18 month sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.

Awawdeh said: "I have no problem doing it again" after his arrest, according to prosecutors, adding: "If I could do it again, I would do it again."

Another attacker in the case, Faisal Elezzi, pleaded guilty in April to attempted assault in the third degree as a hate crime.

He will serve three years of probation and go through mandatory anti-bias programming, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.

The three remaining defendants — Mohammed Othman, Mohammed Said Othman and Mahmoud Musa — will stand trial in August.

They will be tried on hate crimes charges and “face significant state prison time if convicted,” the district attorney’s office said.

“No one should ever feel unsafe because of their religion, and we do not tolerate the antisemitic hate displayed by the defendant in this case."

The five attackers are required to make public apologies.

The attack took place during a spike in antisemitic incidents in New York City around the time of the May 2021 conflict between Israel and Gaza terror groups.

It followed the series of attacks by the Palestinian activist who violently attacked Jews in 2021 and 2022. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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