Photo Credit: Dov Hikind / Americans Against Antisemitism
Staten Island EMT Paul Lebowitz was bloodied in an antisemitic attack in Las Vegas.

A Jewish resident of Staten Island, New York vacationing with his wife and adult son in Las Vegas, was knocked to the ground Monday by a pro-Palestinian stranger who told him “the Jews are not going to exist.” Las Vegas police labeled the attack a simple “battery.”

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The encounter took place at a coffee shop, according to 67-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) Paul Lebowitz, who told NBC4 New York that was wearing a Star of David at the time.

The three tourists stopped for coffee by the MGM Casino, and encountered another family who began a conversation. The other man, who Lebowitz said identified himself as Sam, said he was from Palestine.

“I said, turns out I’m from Palestine also. And we were having an amicable, disagreeing conversation,” Lebowitz told NBC4 New York.

“He said, ‘Your people are not going to exist anymore.’ I said, ‘Hm. Can you tell me what that means, ‘my people,'” Lebowitz said.

“Sam” replied: “The Jews are not going to exist anymore.”

“I said, ‘Let me tell you something — you can Google it yourself, Jews have been around for 5,000 years,'” Lebowitz said.

That did not go down very well.

“Sam” yelled out “baby killers!” according to Lebowitz, and then “pushes his hand into my face, pushing me backwards. I fell flat on my head, back part of my head. What a smack on the floor.”

Lebowitz did not hit back, he told FOX5 WVVU – the man towered over him. His family called 911 but the man was gone by the time police arrived.

The EMT suffered a concussion, he said. “Being a New York City paramedic, I know a hit like that – I can have a bleed inside my brain and I could die.”

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) filed the report as “battery” rather than as a hate crime, despite the antisemitic epithets that accompanied the violence.

“Police report said it was a battery, I said yeah it’s a battery but this is a hate crime,” Lebowitz said. “When I said I’m a proud Jew, that when he hit me. You can’t just say it’s a battery case, it’s a hate crime case.”

Lebowitz was told by police that surveillance camera footage will be used in the investigation.

“I’ve lost my faith that, you know, you can have a Jewish hate crime, and it’s treated like just simple assault,” he told NBC4 New York.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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