When Matt Greenman heard about a pro-Palestinian rally in Manhattan in April, he grabbed an Israeli flag, met the demonstrators on 42nd Street and marched ahead of them, wearing the flag like a cape.
His counterprotest didn’t last long. Moving toward the sidewalk, investigators say, he was attacked by Saadah Masoud — a founding member of Within Our Lifetime, a Palestinian activist group — who punched him and dragged him across the pavement, causing a concussion.
In June, the Justice Department charged Masoud with a federal hate crime, saying he targeted Greenman, who is Jewish, because of “his perceived national origin, and actual and perceived religion.”
The case is part of a surge of federal hate-crime prosecutions this year under Attorney General Merrick Garland; in the first six months of 2022, the Justice Department filed 20 cases, a pace that would eclipse any single year of the Obama or Trump administrations.
Officials tout the prosecutions as one way the Biden…
This article was written by David Nakamura and originally published on www.washingtonpost.com