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Israeli UNM student victim of possible hate crime

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A 19-year-old Israeli Jewish student at the University of New Mexico says he was attacked during an off-campus party by six males who beat him, shouted antisemitic slurs, and stole his Nike shoes and Apple watch.

The incident occurred May 7 at an apartment building in the 3000 block of Transport SE, according to an Albuquerque police report.

The student told police that a friend at the party subsequently informed him that the attackers were Palestinians “who took issue with his religious beliefs,” the police report said.

The report also said the attack may have been “motivated by hate.”

The student was taken to a local hospital, where he was admitted overnight for various injuries and possible internal head bleeding.

The incident was also reported to the regional office of the Anti-Defamation League based in Denver. The ADL said the student was wearing a T-shirt with a stylized Nike logo and slogan, saying “Just Jew it.” The ADL said the student informed UNM police of the incident, and they referred him to on-campus resources and support services.

“We are outraged and appalled by the violent attack against a University of New Mexico student and the alleged antisemitism that prompted the attack,” said Scott Levin, ADL Mountain States Region director.

“It is abhorrent that anyone would be attacked simply because of who they are. We strongly encourage law enforcement to fully investigate this assault, including the allegations of antisemitism,” Levin said. “We encourage prosecutors to pursue hate crime charges if the evidence in the case shows that the student was attacked by the group because of his Jewish identity.”

The ADL’s recently released 2020 Audit of Antisemitic Incidents showed that such incidents remained at historically high levels across the U.S., with 2,024 reports of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to the League.

The audit also showed that the number of antisemitic incidents in New Mexico remained little changed over 2019, with four cases of harassment and four cases of vandalism reported in 2020.

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