A Manhattan grand jury indicted a woman accused of an anti-Semitic attack on a New York City subway with a hate crime, Fox News reported, citing the victim's attorneys.
What are the details?
Lihi Aharon, an Israeli college student, told the cable network that in the outset of the December incident she asked Zarinah Ali, 38, to move her belongings because she was occupying three seats on a "full" train — but Ali refused.
Then a seat across from Ali opened up, and Aharon sat down, Fox News said.
"I happened to sit next to a visibly Orthodox Jewish man," she told the cable network. "He had a beard and a yarmulke, and he turned out also to be an Israeli."
Image source: Fox News video screenshot
Aharon added to Fox News that Ali "was yelling at him, shouting at him, 'Allahu Akbar' [God is most great] and 'Allah will kill you,' 'nasty Jews': she was citing clauses from the Koran, and 'when you see a Jew you got to kill him,' and she used a lot of profanity."
Aharon told the cable network Ali knew she was Jewish since Aharon was speaking Hebrew.
In a video, Ali can be heard saying, "You f***in' nasty-ass Jews" and "you stinking-ass Jew," Fox News said.
"After a few minutes she stood up ... and smacked my phone down, and I told my friend ... in Hebrew, 'Record this,' and my friend started recording, and then she smacked my friend's phone out of her hands twice," Aharon added to the cable network.
Then Ali "ran to me and pointed on my face, and then she was grabbing my face — like she was trying to pull my face off — and she scratched me so hard, and my face started bleeding," she told Fox News.
Aharon added to the cable network that she hit the emergency button on the subway and asked people to call 911; police arrested Ali that night and charged her with assault.
What happened next?
It was far from a slam-dunk hate crime investigation at first.
More from Fox News:
The Manhattan district attorney originally was “very resistant" to prosecute the charges as a hate crime, but after media reports and public outrage, the DA switched course, Aharon's lawyer Kenneth Belkin, with the Spodek Law Group, told Fox News. Belkin and The Lawfare Project partnered to provide Aharon pro bono representation.
“Just because one minority is persecuting another minority doesn't mean it is not a hate crime," Brooke Goldstein, attorney and executive director of The Lawfare Project, told the cable network.
Aharon told Fox News that “I still bear the physical and emotional scars from my attack, and I expect they will be with me for many years to come. Today, at least I can feel satisfied that my attacker will be held responsible for her actions and I hope that my experience may help bring this type of hatred to light."
'Anti-Semitism doesn't look like white people wearing swastikas'
Belkin added to the cable network that the prosecutors are “going to have to start speaking the language of new forms of anti-Semitism" in the wake of the spike in anti-Semitic attacks in recent years.
“In the Jewish population centers of America, concentrated in metropolitan areas, anti-Semitism doesn't look like white people wearing swastikas," he added to Fox News, noting that a sector of the black community was being propagated by the Nation of Islam and the Black Hebrew Israelites.
“Prosecutors may not be hip to the language, but a lot of what this attacker was saying was similar to the language of Black Hebrew Israelites," Belkin told the cable network.
As for Goldstein, she told Fox News that the “really alarming rise of violent attacks" aren't getting coverage in the mainstream media when Jews are the victims compared to when members of a minority group are the victims. However, she added to the cable network that the public must “resist politicization" of anti-Semitic attacks.