update deskU.S. News

Judge gives Florida man who threatened Israeli genocide six-month sentence

Alpesh Kumar Patel, 21, left his full name on hate-filled voicemail messages to the World Jewish Congress and a synagogue near Tampa, Fla.

Illustrative photo of a judge and gavel. Credit: Zolnierek/Shutterstock.
Illustrative photo of a judge and gavel. Credit: Zolnierek/Shutterstock.

U.S. District Chief Judge Timothy Corrigan in Tampa, Fla., handed down a sentence on March 14 for a Florida man who threatened two Jewish entities on Oct. 21, saying that he wanted to “kill every single one of you Israelis.”

Alpesh Kumar Patel, 21, received six months in federal prison for threatening the New York-based World Jewish Congress (WJC), in addition to a synagogue near Tampa, Fla. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, admitting that he chose his targets because they were Jewish. That resulted in a hate-crimes “penalty enhancement” on his sentence.

Patel left two expletive-laden voicemail rants—the first to the WJC, where, repeating his desire to kill Israelis and leaving his full name, he said he sought to “cause mass genocide of every single Israeli.” Later the same day, he called the synagogue in Florida and also left threats.

According to the complaint, when law enforcement confronted Patel about his actions, he acknowledged calling the WJC but denied making threats. He reportedly “explained that he had called Jewish centers to express his family’s anger with Israel for the genocide of the Palestinian people.”

Roger Handberg, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, said that “no one should live under the threat of violence or intimidation because of their religion, race, ethnicity or beliefs” and that “we stand united against hate.”

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