Pro-Palestinian NYU students won’t recant claim that Israeli army influences US police brutality


A pro-Palestinian student group at New York University that blamed Israel for recent police shootings of black men is now scaling back, somewhat, on the accusations it made on Facebook.

In the original Facebook post from July 7, Students for Justice in Palestine at NYU held Israel accountable for the black people “lynched” by police forces in the United States because “many U.S. police departments train with the Israel Defense Forces.”

“The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians,” the post said.

The post attracted plenty of attention, but not many likes. The majority of the more than 600 comments expressed disgust, amusement and incredulity at the group’s claims.

The NYU Students for Justice in Palestine responded to the backlash by denying it had directly implicated Israel in the killings of black Americans but reiterated that the IDF bears culpability for oppressive practices aimed at African-Americans.

“Our statement regarding the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile — and the rampant murders of Black Americans by the police — was not a suggestion that their deaths are part of an Israeli conspiracy. Israel did not literally kill either of these men: that much is obvious,” the SPJ chapter said in its follow-up post on July 9.

The latter post reiterated the assertion that the IDF training of some American police officers is behind a brutal ethos.

“The IDF assists the NYPD and other American police departments in their oppression and murder of black people,” the second post said. “These groups share a common logic that manifests in several types of oppression, white supremacist racism among them.”

The Anti-Defamation League sponsors trips by U.S. law enforcement officers to Israel, where they learn how to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks and how Israel protects airports, shopping malls and public events. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs has run a similar program.

The accusation among pro-Palestinian sympathizers that Israel’s counterterrorism training of American officers contributes to police brutality is not new.

Pro-Palestinian activist Alice Rothschild recently wrote an opinion piece for the anti-Zionist website Mondoweiss called “Modern day lynchings: an international view” in which she asserted that such law enforcement exchange programs demonstrate that “parallels between white racism and Jewish supremacy flourish here and abroad.” In 2015 black student groups at Yale, Columbia and the University of California, Berkeley, signed on to a statement calling for solidarity between blacks and Palestinians that denounced “police and soldiers from the two countries [who] train side-by-side.”

On July 8, the Zionist Organization of America called on NYU President Andrew Hamilton to condemn the student group and demand it apologize for “nefariously using Israel as the scapegoat for problems of racism in this country – problems which Israel could not possibly have anything to do with.”

BDS is not pro-Palestinian, it’s anti-Semitic


You probably heard about the storm over reggae singer Matisyahu’s on, off, and then on again invitation to sing at the Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Spain last weekend. Matisyahu is a talented Jewish reggae singer from Los Angeles, whose 2006 song ‘Jerusalem’ and 2008 song ‘One Day’ captured the hearts of millions of teenagers across the globe. In those days Matisyahu was hasidic in lifestyle and appearance, although since then the beard and peyot have come off. The invitation for him to perform at this obscure Spanish reggae festival would hardly have been newsworthy had it not been for the interference of the BDS movement.

Just in case you are wondering if you misread that last sentence, let me confirm that, yes, the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, whose stated aim is ‘to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to [ensure] the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees’, applied pressure on a bunch of Spanish music lovers to either force an apolitical American Jewish singer to sign a declaration in favor of their non-music related political agenda, or face protest demonstrations and a coordinated boycott. Matisyahu understandably refused to sign any such declaration, so the festival organizers decided to disinvite him rather than deal with the bad publicity.

But rather than prevent bad publicity, the move backfired badly and attracted international condemnation. Following phenomenal pressure from multiple sources, including various governments, European Jewish leaders, and ELNET, which is a European version of AIPAC, the festival decided to re-invite him, and Matisyahu performed in front of an enthusiastic audience. Meanwhile the local BDS group that precipitated this outrage was unrepentant, claiming spuriously that the gentle singer was someone who was guilty of ‘incitement to racial hatred and connections to extremist and violent fundamentalist groups.’ More incredibly, the group accused the media of misrepresenting the incident ‘as part of the global BDS movement’, which compelled them to make clear that their efforts were ‘outside the remit of the cultural boycott of Israel.’

It is this last statement that I would like to focus on, because it exposes BDS activists for what they are – virulent anti-Semites who target Jews, even though that is not officially part of their agenda. And not just Israeli Jews, but all Jews. American Jews. British Jews. Spanish Jews. If you are a Jew, know that you are a BDS target. You are assumed to support every aspect of Israel’s policies and military strategy. Your only ‘get out of jail’ card is to publicly sign up to the repugnant BDS campaign, an agenda that hides under a musk of humanitarian concern for Palestinian Arab suffering, but which is in fact intent on destroying the State of Israel by creating one state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, and repatriating any Arab descended from Arabs who became refugees in 1948. In other words, BDS is not interested in a peaceful solution or prosperity for Palestinian Arabs, only in ensuring that Jewish statehood is no longer viable. Even if the Jewish State complied with every ridiculous UN resolution, they would still hate it – because it is Jewish, and it exists.

I am going to say something now that may shock you, but it is important to put it on the record. If you support Israel and are against BDS, please please stop defending Israel to BDS supporters. You are wasting your time. No one in the BDS camp is interested in complex defenses of Israel’s right to exist and right to defend itself. Because they are anti-Semites. I don’t care if they are Jews or non-Jews – they are anti-Semites. If Jews irrationally hate other Jews, they are anti-Semites, pure and simple. We must stop using the definition ‘self-hating Jew’. It is meaningless to the wider world. If a former Catholic criticizes the Pope, no one calls him a self-hating Catholic, they call him an anti-Catholic. If someone born a Jew hates other Jews for being proud of their heritage and their history, and demands that they reject that heritage and history in order to be accepted, they are not self-hating Jews, they are anti-Semites. It’s that simple.

Now that BDS has been exposed – correction: has exposed itself – as a group that targets all Jews, it is obviously pointless to discuss or debate with them on the issues. If they are blackmailing music festivals to boycott American Jewish singers with loose connections to Israel and no political history, then we need to start calling them what they are: anti-Semites and racists. BDS is no different than the Nazis of the 1920s and 1930s who created a myth that all Jews were guilty of insidious crimes against the international community, and were intent on world domination. When people spread malicious lies about you, don’t waste time refuting their lies – expose them for what they are: vicious liars motivated by hatred.

The Torah portion this week ends with the famous commandment to destroy Amalek, the nation that attempted to exterminate the nascent Jewish nation as it emerged from Egypt. The instruction from Moshe is unequivocal: תִמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק מִתַחַת הַשָמָיִם לֹא תִשְכָח – ‘never forget your duty to obliterate any memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens.’ If it is a choice between them or us, make sure it is them, not us. My friends, our battle with BDS is a fight for the survival of the Jewish nation, not a gentlemanly discussion over coffee about the rights and wrongs of Israel’s actions and policies. BDS is a relentless and vicious campaign against Jews. That this makes you a target – in Los Angeles, or in New York, or in London – is not an accident. BDS must be uprooted and destroyed. Your life could depend on it.


Rabbi Pini Dunner is the Senior Rabbi at Beverly Hills Synagogue, a member of the Young Israel family of synagogues.

In U.S., Gaza conflict reverberates on air and in the streets


In Europe, the fight over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has prompted violent street battles, firebombs thrown at synagogues and even a mid-game attack against a visiting Israeli soccer team by protesters in Austria.

In America, it has been more a battle of commentary, slogans and demonstrations.

There were 134 anti-Israel demonstrations in U.S. cities during the first 15 days of the conflict that began July 8, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Californians led the nation in anti-Israel agitation, followed by New York, Ohio, Washington State and Texas, the ADL said.

At many pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the ADL has documented comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany, such as a placard at a protest in New York that read, “Jerusalem 2014 smells like Berlin 1939… #Zionazism.”

Paul Goldenberg, national director of Secure Community Network, the American Jewish communal security initiative, said that at first he was concerned that anti-Israel protests in the United States might turn violent, but that hasn’t happened.

“I would say at this juncture we are cautiously optimistic that we will not see the type of violence we have seen in Europe,” he told JTA.

“People are afraid to go to synagogues and Jewish community centers abroad. I don’t want that to happen here. That’s not what we have here in this country,” Goldenberg said. “People need to continue going to synagogue, going to federations, going to their community centers. At this point there’s no imminent or specific threat that we are aware of.”

There have been a few cases of anti-Semitic vandalism.

On Monday morning, an Orthodox synagogue in North Miami Beach, Fla., Congregation Torah V’Emunah, found a swastika and the word Hamas scrawled on the outside of the building. A day earlier, cars owned by a Jewish family in Miami Beach were egged, smeared with cream cheese, and defaced with graffiti reading “Jew” and “Hamas.”

In Malibu, Calif., graffiti reading “Jews=Killers” and “Jews are Killing Innocent Children” appeared near the entrance to a Jewish summer camp. Pro-Palestinian graffiti was sprayed on a Chabad center in Las Vegas and on an Orthodox synagogue in Lowell, Mass. 

In Chicago, leaflets threatening the Jewish community were left on car windshields on July 19, a day after hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters held a rally in downtown Chicago. That rally included a “die-in” where 400 people lay supine to represent the Palestinians said to be killed in the conflict up to that point.

Last week, Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization focused on criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, organized a “die-in” outside the New York office of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. The demonstration resulted in nine arrests of protesters who entered the office and refused to leave, including Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s executive director.

Meanwhile, pro-Israel supporters took to the streets in a variety of U.S. cities to voice their support of Israel’s actions in Gaza. Pro-Israel rallies in New York and Chicago on Monday drew thousands of Israel supporters, including U.S. senators and congressmen.

“We are here today to say we cannot have any cease-fire before Israel gets rid of Hamas’ weapons,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at the New York demonstration, held in midtown Manhattan outside the United Nations.

Many of the battles in the United States over Israel have taken place in cyberspace. Use of the Twitter hashtag #Hitlerwasright has soared since the launch of Israel’s operation in Gaza, according to the ADL.

The website of Cong. Beth Am Israel, a synagogue in Penn Valley, Pa., was hacked, with the homepage replaced with images of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Palestinian teenager killed in Jerusalem in early July by Jewish extremists.

On a JetBlue flight from Florida to New York on July 7, just before the IDF launched its Operation Protective Edge, an argument over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out between two passengers that got one of them, a Jewish doctor from Queens named Lisa Rosenberg, kicked off the flight before takeoff. Later it emerged that the passenger with whom Rosenberg argued, who on the plane had identified herself as a Palestinian, was in fact Jewish.

In a much talked-about July 14 “Daily Show” episode, host Jon Stewart aroused the ire of many Israel supporters with a segment in which he lamented the “asymmetrical nature of this conflict.” Noting the Israeli military’s practice of warning Gaza residents to leave before their building or neighborhood is bombarded, Stewart said, “At that point what are Gazans supposed to do?

“Evacuate to where? Have you [bleeping] seen Gaza?” Stewart said. “What – are they supposed to swim for it?”

David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel, slammed the segment as unfair and misleading. “Jon Stewart — so funny, so wrong on Israel-Gaza,” he wrote.

Stewart responded to critics with a follow-up bit caricaturing the pitfalls of wading into commentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the segment, a gaggle of critics popped up around Stewart’s chair and yelled at him every time he tried to open his mouth to talk about the conflict. The segment was called “We need to talk about Israel.”

Days after the segments aired, a Gallup poll conducted July 22-23 showed that younger Americans — Stewart’s core audience — are much less likely than older Americans to view Israel’s actions against Hamas as justified. Fifty-five percent of those over age 65 said Israel’s actions were justified, compared to 53 percent of those between 50 and 64; 36 percent of those 30-49, and 25 percent of those 18-29.

While celebrities who took stances on the war were alternately hailed and criticized for their comments, two pro-Israel outbursts drew special plaudits in pro-Israel circles: radio shock jock Howard Stern’s on-air tirade ripping fellow celebrities who opposed Israel’s campaign against Hamas, and Joan Rivers’ rant to TMZ about how the Palestinians are to blame for the conflict.

“They started it!” she yelled in the impromptu interview with TMZ outside an airport terminal. “You’re all insane! They started it!”

Morton Williams, a New York supermarket retailer with a history of pro-Israel marketing efforts, went a different way to demonstrate its support for the Jewish state. The company pulled all Turkish products from the shelves of its 12 New York-area stores in response to a boycott in Turkey of Israeli products.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been an ardent critic of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, branding Israel a terrorist state and saying its actions in Gaza “surpassed what Hitler did to” the Jews.

“Israel is the one true democracy in the Middle East trying to survive against hostile neighbors seeking its destruction,” CEO Morton Sloan said in a statement cited by CBS News. “Turkey, by siding with those who would destroy Israel, deserves our condemnation. We will lift our own boycott of Turkish products when Erdogan changes his anti-Semitic course.”

With the Gaza conflict now in its fourth week and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to press on until all of Hamas’ tunnels into Israel are destroyed, Goldenberg says the greatest security concern for American Jews should be the prospect of so-called lone wolf attacks.

“My concern is as this goes on it’s that lone wolf — the individuals that are being inspired by the Internet or media as the media attention continues on the casualties in Gaza — that may become inspired to act much more violently,” he said. “If you see something, say something.”

(JTA’s Miriam Moster contributed to this report.)

 

Violence at pro-Israel rally underscores passion over Israeli-Palestinian conflict


A sea of bodies jumped up and down to the beat of Israeli dance music. Tiny Israeli flags flapped in the sky. 

On July 13, an Israel solidarity event organized by Stand With Us and the Israeli American Council (IAC) drew between 1,200 and 2,000 people — depending on who’s counting — who showed up in front of the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood to demonstrate their support for Israel. 

Across the street, on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard, some 200 pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered for a counter-protest. 

At around 5:30 p.m., 90 minutes into the pro-Israel rally, violence overshadowed the festive atmosphere when a clash broke out between pro-Israel demonstrators and a group of pro-Palestinian men driving a pickup truck eastward on Wilshire, where Israel demonstrators lined the north-facing sidewalk.

According to eyewitnesses, everything started innocently enough. 

“Cars were going very slowly on Wilshire, most of them had Jewish flags and music playing, and it was almost in a way like a festival — we were responding to them and singing with them, and it was very relaxed,” eyewitness and Beth Jacob Congregation member Batia Zimmerman said in an interview with the Journal. “Once in a while, a [pro-]Palestinian car would drive by, and we would yell at each other — we’d say, ‘Am Yisra’el Chai’ — and they’d look at us, and they’d yell something at us” but nothing more.

“And there is one car, and it’s a truck, they have a large Palestinian flag hanging out of their car, so of course, somebody [on the pro-Israel side] was boiling … something angered them [the pro-Palestinians in the truck] and … in a split second this happened, they all jumped out of their car waving … sticks and lunging at us.” 

“When police became aware of the situation, they came to the front line. Security came in and got smacked two to three times with a wooden pole, and everybody was screaming and running and people were moving back,” Barry Poltorak, an off-duty Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who witnessed the incident, said in an in-person interview minutes after the incident occurred. “I moved up to back up the security guy.”

Jennifer Sabet, who identified herself in an email to the Journal as a “46-year-old Jewish woman, pro-Zionist,” said she witnessed the pro-Israel side starting the fight after someone grabbed a Palestinian flag from the truck and began stomping on it.

“The reason the [pro-]Palestinian men got out of their truck in the first place was in direct response to a pro-Israel supporter running up to their vehicle on Wilshire and taking one of their flags from out of their hands, and throwing it on the asphalt, repeatedly stomping up and down on it in front of them,” Sabet wrote in an email. 

Amid the chaos, the pro-Palestinian men returned to their vehicle. According to Poltorak, a law enforcement official grabbed the back of the pickup truck. 

“When [the pickup truck] … gained speed, the police officer could no longer hang on,” Poltorak said. 

The officer ordered the men to stop, but they kept driving, and the officer fired at the truck, he said. 

Shortly after the incident, authorities pulled over the pickup truck and arrested four pro-Palestinian demonstrators, Mostadafa Gamaleldin Hafez, 19; Haddah Mustapha Kreidieh, 41; Mohammed Said Elkhatib, 35; and Fadi Ali Obeidallah, 38; who now face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department news release. Authorities released the men on July 14 after they each posted a $30,000 bond, the release said.

Meanwhile, the still-to-be-identified Federal Protective Services (FPS) officer who fired his weapon has been put on paid leave as a result of his action. His firearm has also been taken into custody.

“An FPS law enforcement officer on-site attempted to stop the four male suspects who were attempting to flee the scene in a vehicle, and discharged one round from his service weapon,” FPS spokesperson Jacqueline Yost said in a statement.

FPS requested an ambulance for a girl who allegedly was struck by the four males, Yost said. There were no other serious injuries, witnesses said. 

As for the gunshot, Edmon Rodman, a Jewish Journal contributor who was at the rally, said he was surprised by the officer’s decision to fire, “given how close the crowd was.”

“The people around didn’t have any strong reaction. I am not sure if they understood what had just happened,” he said in an email.

The pro-Israel rally took place as violence was escalating in the weeklong conflict between Israel and Hamas-run Gaza in the wake of the killing of three Israeli teens and one Arab boy. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in response to missiles from Gaza. As of early this week, more than 100 Palestinians have died as a result of the operation. Israel has suffered only one casualty, attesting to the effectiveness of the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. 

At the rally, many high-profile speakers addressed the crowd. Israeli actress Noa Tishby directly addressed Israel’s critics who have pointed to the imbalance in casualties. “What is a ‘proportionate response’ to [hundreds of] rockets being launched on you?” she said.

Lihi Shaar, the aunt of one of the teens whose murder sparked the current conflict, spoke to the crowd, as did Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel; Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz; L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer; Simon Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and other leaders from the Los Angeles community. StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein served as moderator of a speakers’ program. 

Attendees crowded the lawn at the southeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue, and many stood on platforms to see above the crowd and catch glimpses of the speakers. 

A festive tone was struck, as well, by musicians brought in by the IAC, one of the co-organizers of the event. When the DJs spun high-energy music, which blared from large speakers next to their booth, the crowd went wild: At times, the day resembled a dance party more than a community rally in the face of war.

Pro-Israel demonstrators lined the edge of the north-facing sidewalk, their bodies pressed up against banners, hands holding high their pro-Israel signs. At times, they appeared engaged in a competition with the counter-protest across the street over who could chant the loudest. 

After the fight that led to the gunshot, several law enforcement agencies worked together to shut down Wilshire Boulevard from Sepulveda Boulevard to Gayley Avenue.

Dozens of law enforcement personnel, including some wearing riot gear, arrived on the scene after the incident, but the rallies did not end right away. Authorities escorted the Israeli rally to the Federal Building parking lot, but not before law enforcement broke up a much smaller scuffle that erupted on Veteran Avenue, across the street from the parking lot where authorities were escorting pro-Israel demonstrators to their cars.

Authorities cleared out both rallies by 7 p.m.

Because the incident occurred as the pro-Israel rally’s speakers program already was underway, many event organizers did not know about the fight until after the rally was over. The sound of the gunshot was drowned out by the music, the speakers’ amplified voices, and the cheering and chanting of the crowd. 

Community members from across the city attended the rally.

Aimy Zodieru, a paralegal and a member of Nessah Synagogue, said the State of Israel faces tough choices in determining how to respond to the rocket fire from Gaza. 

“I think what they’re doing is the best decision they can make, considering the circumstances in Gaza. I just feel really badly for the families in Sderot and the innocent civilians in Gaza,” she said, wearing a tiny
Israeli flag tucked behind each ear. 

Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe also attended the rally. During a phone interview, Wolpe said that the fight shows how polarizing the conflict can be, even thousands of miles away from the action. 

“It’s just frightening, and this is in the most peaceful possible setting — in Westwood, in Los Angeles,” he told the Journal.

L.A. pro-Israel rally interrupted by violence


UPDATE 9:50 a.m. (7/15):  Jennifer Schirg, 46 and a self-identified “Jewish woman, pro-Zionist, a professional and a resident on the Westside of Los Angeles” wrote in an email to the Journal that she witnessed the unfolding of the violence at the rally: “…the reason the Palestinian men got out of their truck in the first place was in direct response to a Pro-Israel supporter running up to their vehicle on Wilshire Blvd. and taking one of their flags from out of their hands, and throwing it on the asphalt repeatedly stomping up and down on it in front of them. I was there standing on the curb and saw what happened first hand and how the scuffle unfolded.”

UPDATE 11:37 a.m. (7/14): According to the Los Angeles Times, the four detained men in connection with the fight at yesteray's rally have been “identified as Mostadafa Gamaleldin Hafez, Hassan Mustapha Kreidieh, Mohammed Said Elkhatib and Fadi Ali Obeidallah. They were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. They were expected to be released after posting bail Monday morning.”

UPDATE 10:30 a.m. (7/14): The FPS officer is on paid leave while the organization investigates the alleged discharge of his weapon.

Statement from FPS

Statement from LASD

An altercation between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protestors took place at a community solidarity rally on Sunday, July 13. Photos by  Aliya Slepkov-Dror.

UPDATE 7:00 a.m. (7/14): The four men were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, according to NBC4. LA County Sheriffs Department said the weapons were wooden flag poles that the men were holding as they drove through the crowd. Additionally, the shot was allegedly fired not by a DHS officer, as the LAPD initially told the Journal, but by a Federal Protective Service (FPS) officer.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. (7/13): Four men are handcuffed and being held by the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department in a sheriff's car in a parking lot at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue in Los Angeles.

The pro-Palestinian counter-demonstrators who were involved in an altercation with pro-Israel demonstrators were seen leaving the July 13 demonstration in this silver pickup truck. The federal officer at the rear of the truck, seen here with one hand on the truck and the other on his holster, allegedly fired one round when the truck pulled away heading east on Wilshire Boulevard. Photo by Edmon J. Rodman


Follow @TheSichel and @ryanharrytorok for more details


A peaceful pro-Israel rally in front of the Federal Building in Westwood in West Los Angeles was interrupted late Sunday afternoon when three or four men wielding Palestinian flags arrived carrying long wooden sticks and alledgely attacked the pro-Israel demonstrators. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that more than 1,200 attended the rally.

Witnesses said several of the pro-Israel participants were hit by the sticks, but police would not immediately confirm or comment on whether anyone was wounded. A separate counter protest of about 200 supporting the Palestinians was held across the street.

When police who were already on the scene stepped in to break up the scuffle, the attackers returned to their pickup truck and drove off.  As they left, witnesses say, a gun was fired in the direction of the truck by a  Department of Homeland Security officer who was at the scene, according to Brian Thomas of the LAPD West Los Angeles Patrol Division.

There were five people riding in the truck, all Arabs living in Anaheim, according to one of them, Hany Rafai, who said he got out of the truck before the police stopped it. Rafai denied that they were hitting the pro-Israel rallyers. Rafai lives in both Jordan and Orange County.


Hany Rafai. He was the fifth man in the truck but escaped before it was pulled over. Photo by Jared Sichel

Barry Poltorak, an off-duty Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who witnessed the incident Sunday afternoon said the perpetrators could be charged with “felony assault.” The perpetrators are believed to have been apprehended according to an officer on the scene.

Poltorak said he had heard over his radio that the police pulled the car over in Westwood, for a “felony traffic stop,” he said.


Four suspects currently being held by LASD on suspicion of assault. Photo by Jared Sichel

Adam Milstein, an Israeli-born philanthropist and board member of the Israel American Council (IAC) said that the rally was one of the largest pro-Israel rallies that LA has had. Speakers included Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel,  Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Roz Rothstein co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Israeli actress and activist Noa Tishby, among others.

The IAC and StandWithUs were the co-organizers of the event, along with many other local Jewish and pro-Israel organizations.

Jewish Journal staff reporter Jared Sichel contributed to this report.

VIDEO OF THE DISRUPTION AT RALLY (Video credit, Allyson Basch, 20 year old student at Cal State Uni. Northridge):

+