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Pro-Palestinian Group Attacks LA Jewish Men

Jewish groups condemned the attack. “To those who still believe there is a dividing line between hatred of Israel and antisemitism: open your eyes,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted.
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May 19, 2021
Screenshot from cell phone video

A group of pro-Palestinians attacked Jewish men at a diner in the La Cienega area of Los Angeles on the evening of May 18.

Witnesses to the attack told NBC Los Angeles people in cars displaying Palestinian flags were shouting antisemitic slurs at Jewish diners. Another witness told CBS Los Angeles that the caravan was throwing bottles at a group of people sitting outside of Sushi Fumi.

One witness told KTLA that one car asked the group if they were Jewish. Two men said yes and were attacked; one of the men fought back. Video footage of the attack circulated on social media.

One of the victims was hospitalized after being pepper-sprayed, according to CBS Los Angeles. Police told CBS Los Angeles the suspects were “white men wearing all black” and haven’t been arrested yet. They are investigating the matter as a possible hate crime.

Jewish groups condemned the attack. “To those who still believe there is a dividing line between hatred of Israel and antisemitism: open your eyes,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted.

Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles also tweeted, “We are outraged over reports of an antisemitic assault on diners at an LA restaurant and thank @LAPDHQ for investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Criticism of Israeli policy is not always antisemitic. Violent attacks while yelling antisemitic slurs is a hate crime.”

 

Iranian Americans for Liberty similarly tweeted, “We are deeply troubled by the videos surfacing from last night in Los Angeles. In these videos, Pro-Palestinian groups harass & assault both Persian & non-Persian Jews. We condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms & call on law enforcement to arrest these thugs.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz also denounced in the incident in a statement to KTLA. “We’re not going to allow this in the city of Los Angeles,” Koretz said. “We’re not going to bring the conflict from the Middle East here and allow people to be attacked on our streets because of what they look like and what they appear ethnically.”

The Israeli-American Council said in a statement, “We condemn this hate crime in the strongest possible terms and urge authorities to find and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law. According to the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics Report for 2019, the most recent publication year, Jews are the focus of 60 percent of religious bias-related hate crimes, targeted at a significantly higher rate than any other religious group.”

Another video circulating showed two cars displaying Palestinian flags chasing an Orthodox Jewish man. The Jewish man was not injured. Police are investigating this as well.

 

“Jewish residents are reaching out to us scared to wear their stars of David on the streets of LA!” Stop Antisemitism tweeted.

Earlier on May 18, a pro-Palestinian rally organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement took place outside of the Israeli consulate in the Westwood area. Protesters reportedly chanted slogans like, “Gaza, Gaza don’t you cry. Palestine will never die.”

UPDATE: Dr. Hillel Newman, Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Southwest, told the Journal in a phone interview that the recent attacks are “just an extension of the fact that Hamas attacks Jews indiscriminately in Israel… Here we see the extension when pro-Palestinian demonstrators attack Jews indiscriminately. People should understand that it’s the same phenomenon.” He added that it shows why “anti-Zionism is a manifestation of antisemitism.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti also denounced the attack on Twitter, stating, “We as a city condemn last night’s organized, anti-Semitic attack. Jewish Angelenos, like all residents, should always feel safe in our city. @LAPDHQ is investigating this assault as a hate crime, and we will respond with the full force of the law.”

He added in a subsequent tweet, “There is simply no place for anti-Semitism, discrimination, or prejudice of any kind in Los Angeles. And we will never tolerate bigotry and violence in our communities.”

Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Abraham Cooper said in a statement, “Los Angeles is the second city for almost every national and ethnic group in the world. That means wherever there is a flashpoint around the world, someone feels it intensely. That is doubly true about the Gaza War for both Jews and Palestinians.

“With social media lit up with anti-Israel and blatant Jew-hatred 24/7, there is reason to be concerned. We have seen what has happened in Toronto, Montreal, UK, France and Germany; the anti-Semitic chants, the violence, even targeting of Jewish institutions. We need local leaders everywhere to step up and defend against any violence but also to establish lines of communication with other community leaders.”

ADL Los Angeles also announced that they offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information on the suspects behind the attack. “We are outraged over reports of this antisemitic assault and thank the Los Angeles Police Department for investigating the incident as a potential hate crime,” Regional Director Jeffrey Abrams said in a statement. “These acts of hate have no place in our community, and we hope this reward will bring about information that will lead to an arrest or arrests and the prosecution of these hate crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”

More video of the Jewish man being chased by cars with Palestinian flags has also emerged on social media:

 This is a developing story.

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