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Assailant sentenced to 7 years for antisemitic attack on Joseph Borgen in 2021

(New York Jewish Week) — A man who attacked Joseph Borgen on his way to a pro-Israel rally in 2021 has been sentenced to seven years in prison for the assault.

Defendant Mahmoud Musa, from Staten Island, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault as a hate crime earlier this year. In May 2021, at the end of a conflict between Israel and Hamas, Musa and several other assailants beat Borgen, who was 29, near Times Square while he was walking to a pro-Israel rally. Borgen, who was wearing a kippah, was punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed and beaten with crutches.

Musa apologized to Borgen in the courtroom on Wednesday, a statement that Borgen dismissed as disingenuous.

“If you’re going to go attack me in the street because I’m wearing a yarmulke, shout antisemitic slurs at me, and then after the fact celebrate what you did, I don’t think you’re remorseful,” Borgen said, according to CBS.

The attack on Borgen was caught on camera and drew widespread condemnation. Borgen’s supporters pushed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to forcefully prosecute the attackers. Two other attackers have received lighter sentences than Musa in the case, and two others are awaiting sentencing.

“Today Mahmoud Musa was held accountable for his role in repeatedly assaulting a Jewish man,” District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement sent to the New York Jewish Week. “Mr. Borgen continues to suffer from significant trauma and pain from this incident. No one should have to endure the type of vicious, hate-driven attack he experienced, and I hope he continues to heal and recover.”

The sentencing came as antisemitic hate crimes have spiked in New York amid Israel’s war against Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.

Antisemitism also rose in the city during the 2021 conflict. This year, there have been fewer violent incidents surrounding protests. A Jewish security group late last month said that was likely because the prosecution of Borgen’s attackers had a deterrent effect, and because police were effectively controlling demonstrations and the surrounding areas.

According to an account in the New York Post, Musa shouted “Free Palestine” as he was escorted out of the courtroom.

The post Assailant sentenced to 7 years for antisemitic attack on Joseph Borgen in 2021 appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

i24 NewsRussia has extended invitations to various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, for discussions on the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader issues in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced the initiative on Friday, highlighting Moscow’s desire to engage with all major players in the region amid heightened tensions.

The invitation included a dozen Palestinian groups and is slated for “inter-Palestinian” talks scheduled to commence on February 29.

Bogdanov, serving as President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, emphasized the inclusivity of the invitation, stating, “We invited all Palestinian representatives — all political forces that have their positions in different countries, including Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the region.”

Among the invitees are Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, alongside representatives of Fatah and the broader Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The invitation comes at a critical juncture as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, drawing international attention and concern. Russia’s proactive stance in convening discussions reflects its growing criticism of Israel and its Western allies, underscoring Moscow’s efforts to assert its influence in the region.

The post Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow first appeared on

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Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsHamas drops its “delusional” demands, productive hostage talks could begin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, stressing Israel would not agree to the terror group’s current demands.

WATCH: PM Netanyahu delivers a statement after Hamas suspended negotiations

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) February 17, 2024

“I insist that Hamas should abandon its delusional demands – and when it does, we will be able to move forward,” Netanyahu said in a statement live on TV.

“Those who want us to desist from the Rafah operation,” the leader said in an apparent reference to the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden, “are telling us we should lose. We won’t be dictated to.”

The post Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose first appeared on

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Iran Unveils New Air Defense Weaponry

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani speaks at a press conference during the unveiling of a new surface-to-surface 4th generation Khorramshahr ballistic missile. Photo: Reuters/West Asia News Agency

i24 NewsIran demonstrated new weaponry on Saturday, including what it said was the locally made Arman anti-ballistic missile system and the Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system, said the official IRNA news agency. Saturday’s unveiling ceremony of the two vehicle-mounted systems was held in the presence of Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.

“With the entry of new systems into the country’s defense network, the air defense capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase significantly,” said IRNA.

Video of the new Azarakhsh SHORAD engaging a target drone

It’s radar has a detection range of 50km, with 25km for it’s EO/IR suite

— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) February 17, 2024

The Arman missile system is said to be able to “simultaneously confront six targets at a distance of 120 to 180 km,” while the Azarakhsh missile system “can identify and destroy targets up to a range of 50 km with four ready-to-fire missiles.”

The announcement comes amid tensions across the Middle East, with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis attacking vessels linked to the United States, UK and Israel in the Red Sea in a show of solidarity with the Gaza Strip.

Iran unveils domestically-manufactured Arman anti-ballistic missile and Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system

— Press TV (@PressTV) February 17, 2024

The U.S. and its allies in the Middle East are concerned with Iran’s growing role at the international global arms market, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday. The transformation of the industry, boosted by Russia’s “purchase of thousands of drones that altered the battlefield in Ukraine, has helped Tehran scale up its support of militia allies in Middle East conflicts,” read the report.

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