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Violence at Pro-Palestinian Protest In Front of Adas Torah

Witnesses claim LAPD allowed protesters to block the entrance to the Pico-Robertson shul.
[additional-authors]
June 23, 2024
Screenshot from X

Violence erupted on June 23 as a pro-Palestinian protest was held in front of Adas Torah Synagogue in the Pico-Robertson area.

The protest reportedly occurred as an Israeli real estate fair was taking place inside the synagogue. An X account called “Jews Fight Back” urged the Jewish community in a June 21 post to protect the synagogue.

Videos posted to social media show pro-Palestinian protesters blocking people from entering the synagogue; one video showed journalist Cam Higby being bear sprayed. Videos also circulated of pro-Palestinian protesters attacking a Jewish man and a pro-Israel protester in separate locations.

Other videos showed altercations breaking out.

Another video shows police pushing the pro-Palestinian protesters back.

The LAPD has told ABC7 and KTLA that no official arrests were made, nor have there been any reported injuries.

Former Los Angeles City Council candidate Sam Yebri posted on X that what occurred in front of the synagogue is “a dark stain in the history of Los Angeles. Violent extremists who proudly praise Hamas and Hezbollah marched outside an Orthodox synagogue in America’s most heavily Jewish neighborhood outside of New York — where my kids go to school, where my family worships, where my family eat and shop — and brazenly terrorized Jewish Angelenos with impunity and without any consequence. These violent masked domestic terrorists bludgeoned Jews, vandalized synagogues, schools and stores, keyed cars, assaulted anyone who appeared Jewish blocked Jews from entering their synagogue, and chanted for the genocide of the Jewish people. These violent masked domestic terrorists are now dispersing into Jewish neighborhoods hunting Jews and causing more destruction and vandalism.”

“We pleaded up with our elected leaders to protect us but LAPD told us these elected officials … told LAPD to stand down and not intervene. Simply out, our elected officials are not keeping Jewish Angelenos safe. Fortunately, proud Jews and well-organized Jewish groups stepped up to prevent a mass casualty event and the total destruction of the Pico-Robertson.” – Sam Yebri

Yebri alleged that “these terrorists told us when and where they were coming.  For a week, we pleaded with our elected leaders to speak up.  Not one made a public statement condemning these extremists.  We pleaded up with our elected leaders to protect us but LAPD told us these elected officials … told LAPD to stand down and not intervene. Simply out, our elected officials are not keeping Jewish Angelenos safe. Fortunately, proud Jews and well-organized Jewish groups stepped up to prevent a mass casualty event and the total destruction of the Pico-Robertson.”

Political consultant Noah Pollak posted on X that he “was there today for an event at the shul. @LAPDHQlet the Hamas supporters take over the sidewalk in front of the shul and block its entrance. In fact, LAPD had formed a cordon around the front of the shul to keep Jews out and Hamas supporters in. I tried to enter with my kids through the front door and was turned away not by Hamas supporters but by the LAPD. Anyone who wanted to attend had to use a secret back entrance. @KarenBassLA and @LAPDHQ are an absolute disgrace — it’s clear the police have been instructed to help the Democratic Party street animals do their thuggery. They were definitely not there to protect the right of Jews to enter their shul.”

Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey I. Abrams said in a statement, “ADL is aware of an anti-Israel protest outside a synagogue in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson. We have been in contact with the Los Angeles Police Department who have ben on the scene and we will provide updates as the situation develops.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles also said in a statement, “We are aware of an anti-Israel protest outside a local synagogue in the Pico-Robertson area. Our Community Security Initiative (CSI) are monitoring the situation and working with our local law enforcement partners to make sure our community are kept safe. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as needed.”

This is a developing story.

UPDATE 1: California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office posted on X, “The violent clashes outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles are appalling. There is no excuse for targeting a house of worship. Such antisemitic hatred has no place in California.”

Mayor Karen Bass posted on X, “Today’s violence in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood today was abhorrent, and blocking access to a place of worship is unacceptable. I’ve called on LAPD to provide additional patrols in the Pico-Robertson community as well as outside of houses of worship throughout the city. I’ll be meeting with Chief [Dominic] Choi tomorrow to further discuss the safety of Angelenos. I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence. Those responsible for either will be found and held accountable. I will be joining Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation Los Angeles Rabbi Noah Farkas and other law enforcement and faith leaders in a community meeting this week as we talk about steps forward, together.”

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky said in a statement, “The antisemitic violence that broke out this afternoon in Pico-Robertson would have been completely unacceptable anywhere in Los Angeles, but that it was planned and carried out in front of a synagogue in the heart of L.A.’s Jewish community should be deeply concerning to us all. Everyone has the right to protest, and everyone also has the right to be safe from fear and violence. We deserve answers for how this situation escalated, which is why I will be joining Mayor Bass, the Jewish Federation, LAPD and others for a community meeting in the coming days. The safety and well-being of all our communities must be our top priority.”

UPDATE 2: The LAPD told the Journal, “ On June 23, 2024, at 10:52 a.m., officers responded to a large protest in West LA Division. A dispersal order was issued. One suspect was arrested for 55.07 LAMC – Possession of a prohibited item at a protest (spiked flag). The suspect was issued a RFC (citation) at West LA Station and subsequently released.  There is no further information.”

President Joe Biden (D) posted to X, “I’m appalled by the scenes outside of Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American. Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship – and engaging in violence – is never acceptable.”

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt also posted to X, “It is time for people of all persuasions and politics to speak out against this divisive, ugly hate. It is time for elected officials to recognize that these acts aren’t courageous, they are criminal. It is time for authorities to intervene before more people get hurt and then actually killed. Arrests, prosecutions, sentences — it’s time.”

Amanda Berman, founder and executive director Zioness, said in a statement, “There is a painful irony in the pro-Hamas mob attacking a synagogue on the same day as a ceremony marking the rebuilding of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which experienced a violent white supremacist attack in which 11 innocent souls were senselessly murdered. As the Jewish community grieves and commemorates a tragic attack from the extreme right, we simultaneously experience a pogrom coming ostensibly from the radical left. Violent antisemitism is coming from every direction. It is up to all of us who identify with the political left to be unequivocally clear: Not In Our Name. We do not condone violence against Jews. Our progressive values demand the absolute condemnation of this barbarous, malignant hate.”

 

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