Two Women Arrested on Hate Crime Charges for Assaulting Jewish Woman Who Confronted Them for Tearing Israeli Hostage Posters

Mehwish Omer and Stephanie Gonzalez
Mehwish Omer and Stephanie Gonzalez in images shared by NYPD on Twitter. Twitter/NYPD

Two women have been arrested for beating up a Jewish woman who confronted them on a Manhattan street for ripping down hostage posters, police said Monday.

Mehwish Omer, 26, was arrested Monday for assault and criminal mischief, both as hate crimes, police said. An accused accomplice, Stephanie Gonzalez, 25, was charged Nov. 20 with assault and attempted robbery, both also as a hate crimes.

'F—k Israel'

Police said the duo on the evening of Nov. 9 got into a row with a 41-year-old woman who recorded them on her smartphone as they were ripping down the posters on the Upper West Side.

One of the attackers spat, "F–k Israel, f–k your white privilege," before ripping a Star of David neckless off the victim's neck and knocking her phone to the ground, officials said.

The altercation took place after the victim confronted them for ripping the "Missing Persons" posters of Israeli hostages being held by Hamas from a light pole at the intersection, according to police.

A day after the incident, Mayor Eric Adams described it as a "deeply misguided act of disrespect to victims of terrorism."

"As we see the fallout from this violence spill over into New York City, we must reiterate that hate has absolutely no place here," he said at the time.

Victim Suffered Cuts, Popped Blood Vessels in Her Eye

The suspects ran off, with police later releasing surveillance photos of them to the public. The victim suffered cuts, pain to her head and popped blood vessels in her eye, prosecutors said. Gonzalez were both released without bail following arraignments in Manhattan Criminal Court.

The incident comes as Muslims, Palestinians and Jews in the US say they are becoming increasingly fearful of hate-motivated attacks as war between Israel and Hamas rages in the Middle East.

Israel declared a military offensive against Hamas after the militant group's surprise attack on the country on October 7, which left 1,400 people dead. Since then, Israeli attacks have killed more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, drawing from sources in the Hamas-controlled territory.