The investigation into a “vile, anti-Semitic” attack on a New York Jewish leader by Palestinian sympathizers at a basketball game earlier this month took an unexpected twist Tuesday when a Palestinian woman claimed she was actually assaulted first.
But a video of the incident shows nothing of the kind.
At a news conference, the woman, a Palestinian-American student at the City University of New York, told reporters she was punched in the stomach during a scuffle inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Oct. 7 after the Brooklyn Nets played an exhibition game against an Israeli team, according to the New York Daily News.
The evening was also a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, which Palestinian sympathizers attempted to disrupt by unfurling a large Palestinian flag. When scuffling broke out, the Palestinians shouted “Free Palestine” at those attending and “Your people are murderers,” according to the New York Post.
Leonard Petlakh, president of the Kings Bay Young Men’s Hebrew Association, was punched violently in the face, suffering a broken nose and requiring eight stitches to close wounds under his eyes, the Post reported.
That crime was reported immediately and 25-year-old Shawn Schraeder has been charged with third-degree assault, according to the Daily News. Jewish groups are pressing for a hate crime charge against the suspect.
Now, two full weeks later, comes the story from 20-year-old Nerdeen Kiswani that she was punched in the stomach during the jostling, even though a video posted on YouTube by Petlakh’s supporters Tuesday shows no evidence of a punch.
Unruly behavior, sure. A snatched flag? Yes. But a punch? Nope.
At the news conference, Kiswani’s attorney claimed the punch happened so fast the video didn’t pick it up.
“It happens so quickly you can’t see it,” Lamis Deek.
In a statement Tuesday, former New York City Councilman and attorney Lew Fidler, who is representing Petlakh, said it didn’t happen at all.
“Not by Leonard nor any other person,” Fidler said.
Take a look at the video. Who do you think’s telling the truth?
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