Pro-Palestinian Activist Facing Hate Crimes Charge for Violent Assault on Jewish Demonstrator
A pro-Palestinian activist has been charged with a hate crime by federal prosecutors for a violent assault upon a Jewish counter-protestor at a rally in New York City on April 20.
Saadah Masoud is the subject of a criminal complaint filed by the Manhattan US Attorney’s office, the New York Post reported on Thursday. Masoud is accused of an attack on 28-year-old Matt Greenman, who attended the pro-Palestinian demonstration draped in an Israeli flag.
Greenman recounted the attack in an interview with New York broadcaster PIX 11. A group of men marching in a pro-Palestinian demonstration spotted him on the corner of Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
Masoud’s friends “started to make a little circle and he got me from behind, got me on the ground, and punched me in the face,” said Greenman. “I got this black eye. He kicked me in the face a whole bunch.”
According to the criminal complaint filed against him, Masoud repeatedly struck Greenman, dragging him face-first across the sidewalk while shoving bystanders who intervened to stop the assault. As Greenman fled the scene, Masoud followed, telling him, “this is what happens when you are a terrorist” and “I have something for you, wait until we’re in private.”
After images of the assault on Greenman were published on social media, Masoud is alleged to have sent a direct message to an activist group combating antisemitism, declaring, ”I wish I could show you the things I do to Zionist, but I can’t post them;” “Just keep watching my stories I’m going to keep violating you dirty zionist;” and, “I feel bad for you zionist people when judgment day comes and we slaughter all of them like sheep.”
Gerard Filitti, a lawyer representing Greenman, said that his client’s ordeal demonstrated the importance of reporting hate crimes to the authorities.
“The biggest thing is coming forward. We are thankful and appreciative of Matt for reporting it, and more people need that courage. And the police are there for this,” Filitti told PIX 11.
“There needs to be a change in the narrative. We need to be more inclusive and accepting of the Jewish community, so we do not have this level of hate and antisemitism. It is notable that, for this event, the people who put it together were fueling hate, hateful rhetoric,” he added.
The New York rally was organized by two militantly anti-Zionist groups, Within Our Lifetime (WOL) and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM). Both groups are committed to Israel’s elimination and its replacement with a single Palestinian state.