Scores of Jews and Arabs nearly came to blows Wednesday in a raucous confrontation outside a Manhattan courtroom where a judge set $300,000 bail for El Sayyid Nosair, 35, of Cliffside, N.J., the man charged with the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane.
"No bail for murderers!" yelled the Jews, and the Arabs shouted, "God is great! Thanks be to God!" as they met in the 13th-floor hallway of the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building. Armed court officers wedged themselves between the groups and forced the Arabs to leave the building by one set of elevators while directing the Jews down another. Outside, both groups marched and chanted.
After State Supreme Court Justice Alvin Schlesinger set bail, Nosair's lawyer, Michael Warren, said, "We will raise the bail as quickly as we can." He was joined by Dr. Abdel Halim Mandour, an Egyptian lawyer who said he was here to help Nosair, who emigrated from Egypt in 1981.
He is also accused of wounding two other men and threatening a third as he allegedly fled. Nosair was stopped when a U.S. Postal Service police officer, Carlos Acosta, fired a bullet into his neck a block from the hotel.