Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg defends ‘sweetheart deal’ in NYC anti-Semitic attack

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg defended his controversial decision to offer a sweetheart plea deal in a vicious anti-Semitic attack in Midtown, saying he opted to go easy on the suspect based on “the full context” of the case.

“We do this in all of our cases, a kind of individualized justice depending upon a person’s role in the charged conducts,” Bragg told Jewish Insider of the May 20, 2021 attack on Joseph Borgen, a Jewish man brutally beaten while on his way to a pro-Israel demonstration near Times Square.

“We’re looking specifically at the person, the crime and the person’s role in the crime,” Bragg told the outlet in an article published Tuesday.

The progressive prosecutor has come under fire for offering one of the alleged anti-Semitic attackers, Waseem Awawdeh, 24, a slap-on-the-wrist, six-month plea deal in the case.

Awawdeh allegedly called Borgen “a dirty Jew” during the cowardly gang attack, and later told his jailers that he would do it again if he could.

Two of the other defendants in the case, Mohammed Othman and Mahmoud Musa, were offered sentences of three-and-a-half to 15 years in prison, which Bragg called “commensurate” with the alleged attack.

Joseph Borgen, a Jewish Upper East Side accountant, was beaten by an anti-Semitic mob on May 20, 2021, near Times Square while on his way to a pro-Israel rally.
Rob Bertrand via Storyful

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Controversial Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg defended his soft, six-month plea deal with accused anti-Semitic attacker Waseem Awawdeh.
Robert Miller

Bragg’s office defended the light proposed sentence earlier this month, telling The Post Awawdeh did not initiate the attack but rather was the sixth person to join and left before it was over.

“We do the work,” Bragg told Jewish Insider. “We are in the arena. We are in court. We’ve got an obligation to focus on the facts and the facts and the evidence. And that’s where, certainly, my focus is and the office’s focus in every case, including this case.”


The deal has irked Borgen’s family.

“It’s disgusting how Mr. Bragg calls himself a crime fighter, the man does nothing,” the Upper East Side accountant’s father, Barry Borgen, told The Post last week.

Accused anti-Semitic attacker Waseem Awawdeh.
Accused anti-Semitic attacker Waseem Awawdeh, 24, told authorities he would do it all over again after getting busted in the 2021 attack on Joseph Borgen.
Steven Hirsch

“He offered people who tried to kill my son six months in jail, one guy to walk away because maybe he hit him once. It is a hate crime.”

Bragg has taken heat since he took office last year and announced he would not seek prison time on a slew of charges and downgrade felony charges in hordes of cases — including armed robbery and drug offenses.