(JTA) — A Florida man has been charged with transmitting an interstate threat after he allegedly called the New York headquarters of a major Jewish organization and said he wanted to “kill every single one of you Israelis.”
Deep Alpesh Kumar Patel, a 21-year-old Sarasota resident, faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted, according to an announcement by the United States Attorney’s Office for the region.
The affidavit against Patel says that on Oct. 21, he called the New York headquarters of the World Jewish Congress and said, “If I had a chance, I would kill every single one of you Israelis. Every single one of you. Cause mass genocide of every single Israeli.”
The World Jewish Congress is a nonprofit advocacy group led by Ronald Lauder, a billionaire heir to the Estée Lauder fortune and a longtime Republican donor. It recently opened a branch in the Vatican, a first for any Jewish organization.
Patel’s arrest comes amid a rise in antisemitic rhetoric and actions both in the U.S. and around the world following Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. In recent days, a Cornell University student was arrested for threatening Jewish students at the school and a Las Vegas man was arrested for directing antisemitic death threats at a Jewish senator.
“These arrests are a reminder of the never-ending task of surfacing threats that lurk across the country,” Michael Masters, head of the Secure Community Network, said in a statement about Patel’s arrest.