A rookie goalkeeper for the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team has claimed knife-wielding men asked him if he was Jewish and told him they’d knife him if he had said yes.
Luca Robert Lewis, the 20-year-old goalie who was recently called up to the majors, said in an Instagram post that the incident unfolded on Thursday night somewhere in New York City.
It comes amid a disturbing rise in violence targeting Jews in the U.S., following an 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant groups that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians.
Lewis wrote that he was walking with a friend in the city when ‘all of a sudden a group of 6-8 Palestinian men walk up to me and asked me where I was from.’
‘I responded and said “New York,”‘ he added, saying the men then demanded to know whether he was Jewish.
‘I saw them withdrawing knives. I obviously said no. The guy looked at me with such disgust in his eyes and said “Good,”‘ Lewis continued.
It’s unclear whether Lewis himself is Jewish and felt compelled to lie to protect himself. His agent did not immediately respond to a request from comment from DailyMail.com.
Luca Robert Lewis, the 20-year-old goalie who was recently called up to the majors, said in an Instagram post that the incident unfolded on Thursday night in New York City
Lewis described being approached by a group of ‘Palestinian men’ who harassed him
The MLS goalie described the disturbing encounter in his Instagram post
Lewis said that he began to walk away, but ‘got extremely angry and felt like I had to say something,’ and then turned around and asked ‘What if I was Jewish?’
‘The same guy says “I’ll beat the f***in s**t out of you and kill you,’ Lewis recalls, saying that the man then began to charge at him but was stopped by a few women who were with his group.
‘Luckily my friend and I were fine. However if I was visibly jewish, I don’t know what would of happened to me,’ wrote Lewis.
The young soccer player lamented the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians, saying ‘I have many friends in both countries and all they wish for is peace and happiness.’
‘I personally believe there is wrong in both sides. However this constant promotion of violence is getting out of hand,’ he said. ‘Why promote violence when peace is the best alternative.’
Lewis said that he grew up between New York and Italy, and had never experienced such an incident of discrimination.
A representative for Lewis did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com on Saturday morning, requesting more details about the incident.
The young soccer player lamented the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians
Lewis is a goalie for the New York Red Bulls MLS team based in New Jersey
It follows a series of disturbing incidents of street violence targeting Jews in New York and elsewhere in the U.S.
On Thursday, a Jewish man was beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in Times Square as he tried to make his way to a pro-Israel rally.
Joseph Borgen, 29, an accountant who lives on the Upper East Side, was wearing a grey kippa and walking toward Times Square around 6:30pm Thursday when he was chased down, beaten and pepper sprayed.
‘I thought I was going to die. I thought I was really going to die,’ he told DailyMail.com on Friday.
Borgen said there were eight to 10 people taking part in the beatdown and they were shouting anti-Semitic slurs such as: ‘You filthy Jew. We’re going to f*****g kill you. Go back to Israel. Hamas is going to kill you.’
A suspect in the assault, 23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh, of Brooklyn, was arrested on Friday night, the NYPD said.
On Thursday, a Jewish man was beaten by a pro-Palestinian mob in Times Square as he tried to make his way to a pro-Israel rally
Joseph Borgen, 29, spoke to DailyMail.com one day after he was left bruised and battered by a group of pro-Palestinian men in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday
A car convoy flying Palestinian flags is pictured rolling through the Beverly Grove section of LA on Tuesday. Witnesses said members of the caravan yelled ‘death to Jews’ and ‘free Palestine’
In Los Angeles, pro-Palestinian protesters were spotted brawling with LA restaurant diners after allegedly asking if any of them were Jewish.
Footage of the incident, recorded on Tuesday night, showed kicks and punches exchanged, as well as bottles being thrown and a velvet rope being swung outside Sushi Fumi in Beverly Grove.
Onlookers said the violence erupted after the Palestine supporters asked if any of the diners were Jews, with some responding that they were.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a witness, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said some people from the convoy of cars threw bottles and chanted ‘death to Jews’ and ‘free Palestine.’
The Los Angeles Police Department said on Wednesday that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
And police in Miami have launched an investigation after a Jewish family were pelted with garbage and subjected to vile slurs as they left a synagogue.
Eric Orgen was walking with his wife and daughter on Monday when a group of men slowed down their car and began yelling ‘Free Palestine’, ‘Die Jew’ and ‘I’m gonna rape your wife’.
The harassers only stopped when a stranger in another car intervened, brandishing a gun to scare them off.
The destroyed building housing the offices of The Associated Press in Gaza City is seen on Saturday, after it was hit last week by Israeli airstrikes
A Palestinian woman carries a girl near rubble of buildings on Saturday following cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas reached with Egyptian mediation
On Saturday, a Palestinian official said an initial assessment shows at least 2,000 housing units were destroyed in the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.
Naji Sarhan, deputy of Gaza’s works and housing ministry, told the AP that more than 15,000 other units were partly destroyed in the 11-day war, which left at least 250 dead, the vast majority of them Palestinians..
Israel launched hundreds of airstrikes on the overcrowded strip, targeting residential, commercial and government buildings. It said it was going after locations where Hamas had offices and resources.
Sarhan says four mosques were destroyed along with dozens of police offices in Gaza. He says most of the factories in Gaza’s industrial zone were destroyed or damaged.
An Egyptian diplomat says two teams of Egyptian mediators are in Israel and the Palestinian territories to continue talks on firming up a cease-fire deal – and securing a long-term calm.