Operation Guardian of the Walls is officially over, but its shockwaves are likely to be felt for some time, in Israel, in Gaza, and beyond.

Every single day reports come in relating to anti-Semitic attacks in one part of the world or another, and perhaps one of the most shocking examples of this conflict spreading beyond the Middle East occurred last Thursday, in broad daylight, in the heart of New York City.

Yosef Borgen, a Jew headed to a peaceful rally in defense of Israel’s right to protect its citizens from Hamas rocket fire, found himself surrounded by a hate-filled mob, and was beaten to the ground and clubbed from all sides.

Thank G-d, he’s already back home with his family, and Arutz Sheva spoke with him on Sunday.

“I didn’t realize the extent of the attack until I saw the video,” he relates. “I’m just thankful to be alive.”

Borgen notes that several days prior to the attack, he went to another rally in support of Israel, and spent several hours there, wearing his yarmulka, and nothing untoward occurred.

“On Thursday, it was the exact same routine. I took the subway and then I was walking along, with my kippah [yarmulka] on, and out of the corner of my eye I saw someone chasing me,” he relates. “A moment later, I was surrounded by a whole group who proceeded to hit me, punch me, beat me with crutches and flagpoles.

“I fell to the ground – I was in a fetal position, and I grabbed my head and face and just tried to hold on and brace myself to make it out alive.”

Asked if Borgen feared for his life during the assault, he replies, “One thousand percent. They also pepper-sprayed me for almost a minute and initially, I thought I was seriously hurt.”

Is it hard to comprehend that this happened in the heart of New York?

“I’ve been in New York for my entire life. Never in a million years did I think that such an incident could happen. To be honest, it shakes up your world. I’m in complete shock.”

All too often, people explain away such attacks, calling them “anti-Zionist” or “anti-Israel” rather than anti-Semitic, but Borgen points out that at the time he was spotted by the mob, he wasn’t wearing anything that would identify him with Israel or Zionism.

“I wasn’t wearing anything Israeli, or carrying a flag. Just my yarmulka. So, when people see a yarmulka, they think ‘Jews’ and ‘Israel.’ It goes hand in hand.”

Nevertheless, Borgen insisted that he intends to keep attending pro-Israel rallies, albeit with friends around him for “an extra level of protection” and “with my kippah.”