JDL members may be charged with hate crime for attack on 55yo teacher
Kamal Nayfeh was visiting his daughter in Washington DC and accompanied her to a demonstration outside the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting. He was attacked by a group of JDL members wielding flags on poles.
“All what I was thinking is, ‘Is this happening to me? Oh my God, I can’t believe it,” Kamal Nayfeh told WSOCTV. “I feel hits from everywhere, and I fell down and I can feel the kicks everywhere on my body.”
The two men, Yosef Steynovitz from Ontario and Rami Lubranicki of New Jersey, are members of the JDL – a group the FBI considers a “right-wing terrorist group.”
The pair were arrested and charged with felony assault with significant bodily injury, and a simple assault misdemeanor.
The state police report on the attack listed “suspected hate crime” based on “anti-Arab” under the “other felony involved” section, JTA reported. Hate crimes automatically increase penalties when added to a conviction.
Nayef’s daughter Dayna said she had to ask the police to take action as the attackers “were left to freely walk around for a while before being detained.”
“I asked him directly, ‘Did you hit my Dad?’” Dayna said. “And this guy told me with a police officer standing beside me, ‘Yes I hit your dad, and I hope he learned a lesson.’”
Dayna said her father walked her to the protest, but was not participating. When members of the JDL shouted something about there being no Palestinians there, Nayfeh said, “I am Palestinian,” according to Dayna. He was then attacked.
“The only thing I told them was I am a Palestinian,” Nayfeh said. “They didn't know anything about me.”
Jason Charter, an organizer with Americans Take Action, was also attacked by JDL members and suffered a concussion after he was hit over the head with a pipe.