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New York City man pleads guilty to assaulting Jews

Saadah Masoud, identified by the Canary Mission watchdog, has a history of violent rhetoric against Israel supporters.

Saadah Masoud at an anti-Israel protest in New York. Source: Canary Mission.
Saadah Masoud at an anti-Israel protest in New York. Source: Canary Mission.

An organization that documents people and groups that promote hatred of Israel and Jews helped identify a suspect recently convicted of hate crimes.

Last week, Saadah Masoud pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to commit hate crime acts, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The charges came in connection with Masoud’s “repeated physical attacks of Jewish victims” in New York City between 2021 and 2022. He was arrested in June.

Canary Mission, which had compiled a file on Masoud based on his incitement to violence against supporters of Israel and spreading of antisemitic conspiracy theories, was able to identify Masoud as the man on video assaulting a victim who was wearing an Israeli flag on a Manhattan street, leading to his arrest. He faces up to five years in prison.

Masoud, a 29-year-old Staten Island resident, is involved with Within Our Lifetime (WOL), a virulent antisemitic and anti-Israel group and offshoot of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in New York City.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that Masoud, along with others, “deliberately targeted three victims because of their religion and nation of origin.” As part of his plea, Masoud admitted to three assaults, including one on a victim wearing a kippah and other Jewish clothing, and one wearing a Star of David necklace.

“We are satisfied that Saadah Masoud is being penalized for his violent hate crimes, but his is not an isolated case,” Canary Mission wrote in a statement, asking authorities to pursue charges against Nerdeen KIswani, a co-founder of New York City’s branch of SJP, who has engaged in calls for the death of Zionists and for Israel’s destruction, in addition to glorifying intifada violence and honoring leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.

“While Masoud has rightly been convicted of hate crimes, what about his mentor and leader, Nerdeen Kiswani?” Canary Mission wrote. “Her hate-filled rhetoric includes a call for ‘Resistance, By Any Means Necessary,’ and that ‘We need allies that are gonna help us achieve a victory, not allies who are gonna to tell us to be non-violent.’ ”

Masoud is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3.

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