Pro-Palestinian activist sentenced to 18 months for attacks on Jews in New York City

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A pro-Palestinian activist from Staten Island was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Friday for for attacking Jewish at protests regarding Israel

Saadah Masoud, 29, was sentenced at the Federal District Court in Manhattan to one count of conspiring to commit hate crimes.

The sentence is notable because most hate crime charges in New York City are dropped before conviction, according to a 2022 report by The City. Recent NYPD data showed that antisemitic incidents have increased recently in the five boroughs.

In the spring of 2021 — amid a raucous public debate over conflict in Israel and Gaza, as well as a spike in antisemitic attacks — Masoud went to a pro-Israel rally in Manhattan. There, he asked a man wearing a Star of David necklace if he was Jewish, then punched him in the face. The man was walking with his wife, according to court papers.

Two weeks later, Masound alo shouted antisemitic insults at Heshy Tischler, an outspoken Orthodox activist in Brooklyn who had also railed against pandemic restrictions. After Tischler began filming, another associate of Masoud ultimately hit Tischler, who was running for City Council at the time.