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Activist Joseph Borgen, who survived a brutal attack at a New York pro-Israel rally this year, spoke of the importance of keeping stories like his own alive in remarks at The Algemeiner’s 8th annual “J100” gala on Tuesday night.

“The attack that you guys saw that happened to me, realistically speaking, it can happen to anyone in this room. I was viciously attacked in the heart of Times Square, rush hour primetime, simply because I was Jewish and wearing a kippah,” said Borgen, who in May was assaulted by pro-Palestinian protestors amid Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

“Before I could even make a sudden move or anything, I was surrounded by a group of people who kicked me, punched me, beat me with weapons, including crutches, pepper spray or mace …  they were shouting antisemitic slurs all while doing this. Really, in that moment, I thought that I really could die.”

Borgen praised the NYPD for intervening, and spoke of the physical and emotional consequences that still linger months after the assault.

“I personally never ever thought I would say the cliché, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’ — but I was clearly wrong in that assumption,” he said.

Borgen cited The Algemeiner’s coverage of the attack and similar incidents that occurred worldwide in the wake of the Mideast conflict in May.

“They have really made sure that antisemitism — not only in my case, but in all cases that unfortunately happened over this past year — that they’re not washed away or forgotten.”

Watch Borgen’s speech below:

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