ZOA Action Alert: Please Attend Court Hearing on Thursday Morning March 9 at 9:30 A.M.
On May 20, 2021, a Jew-hating gang viciously assaulted Joey Borgen, a Jewish accountant wearing a yarmulka who was simply walking to a pro-Israel demonstration in midtown Manhattan. The gang knocked Joey Borgen to the ground; beat him with a metal crutch, signs and fists; kicked Joey Borgen in the ribs, stomach and all over his body; and burned Joey Borgen’s face with mace and pepper spray. During this brutal attack, one of the alleged assailants, Waseem Awawdeh swung the crutch and called Borgen a “dirty Jew,” and threatened: “F–k Israel. Hamas is going to kill all of you.” Joey Borgen was hospitalized with a concussion and severe injuries that required surgery. Later, Awawdeh, allegedly stated that “I would do it again” and “I have no problem doing it again.” And after Awawdeh was released on $10,000 bail three days later, Awawdeh was celebrated as a hero by fellow anti-Israel antisemites.
Yesterday, twenty-three caring Jewish organizations sent a letter (reprinted here) to officials expressing their shock and concern that Manhattan District Attorney Bragg’s office reportedly agreed to a six-month plea deal with alleged unrepentant anti-Jewish hate crimes perpetrator Waseem Awawdeh. Six months is insufficient for such savage crimes. The letter urges that Awawdeh should serve the maximum sentence, and urges the Department of Justice to pursue civil rights violations against Awawdeh. Especially in this era of rapidly increasing anti-Jewish hate crimes, assailants cannot be allowed to attack Jews with impunity.
ZOA thanks: all the concerned Jewish organizations that came together and signed on to this important letter; Jewish activist and former Emunah president Mindy Stein for originating this important effort; ZOA attorneys Liz Berney (ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects) and Susan Tuchman (Director of the ZOA Center for Law and Justice) for drafting the letter; Mindy, Liz and ZOA Gov’t Relations Director Dan Pollak for helping to collect signatures; and all the activists including attorney Lauri Regan who made helpful suggestions.
The concerned Jewish organizations signing the letter are: Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA); Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI); Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT); American Friends of Ateret Cohanim; AMIT Children Inc.; Atlanta Israel Coalition; Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV); Conference of Jewish Affairs (CJA); Emunah; End Jew Hatred Movement; Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET); NORPAC; One Israel Fund (OIF); Rabbinical Council of America (RCA); The Lawfare Project; Save the West; Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME); StopAntisemitism.Org; Students Supporting Israel (SSI); Yom Hashoah Mobilization Committee; Young Jewish Conservatives (YJC); and Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).
Joey Borgen mentioned to us that he very much appreciates everyone’s support for him. We all wish Joey a Refuah Shelaima – a full recovery.
ACTION ALERT: A hearing is scheduled for this Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 9:30 A.M., at the New York State Supreme Court, 100 Centre Street, Part 62, Room 1111, Manhattan, NY for four of the alleged assailants (Waseem Awawdeh, Mahmoud Musa, Faisal Elezzi, and Mohammed Othman) who brutally attacked Joey Borgen. Please try to attend. Showing up sends a message that we care, that we are watching, and that perpetrators of anti-Jewish hate crimes must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Please also voice your concerns to District Attorney Bragg’s office at 212 335-9000.