Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Holocaust Memorial Day, and the Hate-Filled Three Who Attacked a Rabbi Are Locked Up for Three Years

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Holocaust Memorial Day, and the Hate-Filled Three Who Attacked a Rabbi Are Locked Up for Three Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy Court Reporter rob.kennedy@ncjmedia.co.uk

A GANG who attacked a Rabbi on the streets of Tyneside as a protest about conflict in the Middle East are today behind bars.

Four teenagers from the West End of Newcastle hatched a plot to randomly attack a member of the North East's biggest Orthodox Jew community in Gateshead.

Balawal Sultan sent a text message saying he was going to "smash some Jews up" hours before him and three friends travelled to Bensham to carry out their threat.

As reported in the Chronicle on Monday, Sultan, Kesa Malik, Hassnain Aliamin, and a 16-year-old lay in wait behind a parked van in Bensham, Gateshead and pounced on a Jewish man as he walked home to his family.

The victim screamed in fear as the pack of thugs chased him down the street, throwing a piece of wood at him. A court heard the 41-year-old victim, a non-practising Rabbi, tripped as he fled in fear and was surrounded by the teenagers as he lay on the ground.

One of the thugs was threatening to kick him in the head when he was saved by his friend's intervention.

Now the four attackers have been sent to young offender institutions after admitting racially aggravated common assault.

Judge Brian Forster QC, at Newcastle Crown Court, told them: "I hope this case sends out a clear message to anyone tempted to behave in a similar way. The courts will not in any circumstances tolerate a situation where one person is tempted to attack another by reason of their race or religion.

"Anyone who chooses to attack someone for their race or religion commits a very serious offence.

"Our country is the stronger because people come from many different backgrounds and people do their best to live together in harmony.

"It's important everybody should understand that the law gives the same protection to all. That's a fundamental of our society.

"Gateshead is renowned for the large Jewish religious complex which is based there and members of the local community now feel unsafe as a result of what has taken place."

The attackers claimed they were only in the area looking for a new mosque but one of them admitted the planned attack was motivated by the dispute between Israel and Palestine.

The night before the attack Sultan sent a text message saying "I'm going to go Jew bashing. Haha" and asked a friend: "Do you want to go to Gateshead to smash some Jews up".

Hours later, just after midnight on July 18, him and the others set about carrying out the threat. …

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