Tensions in the Middle East lead to a fight in Los Angeles involving pro-Palestinian protesters, Jewish diners; LAPD launches hate crimes investigation

BEVERLY GROVE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) – A disturbing video shows an apparent group of pro-Palestinian protesters attacking diners outside a restaurant in the West Hollywood area on Tuesday evening.

The incident appears to be an anti-Semitic attack amid renewed conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The footage is part of a hate crimes investigation launched by the Los Angeles Police Department after the violent brawl erupted on La Cienega Boulevard just before 10 p.m.
Witnesses told Eyewitness News that the pro-Palestinian group was shouting anti-Semitic statements at diners. Video of the chaotic scene shows several men hitting another man on the sidewalk as passers-by shout.

We spoke to the man in the video about getting kicked and hit. He only wanted to be identified as Mr.

M said he was out to eat with four Jewish friends. They were celebrating an upcoming wedding when things took a violent turn with Palestinians demonstrating on the same street.

“We turned around, they started screaming. They stopped the car… they were insulting the Jews,” he said.

Hundreds of protesters march in support of Palestine, halt traffic in Westwood

M. said within minutes glass bottles were thrown at their table. Next, the video shows the men get out of their vehicle and push M’s friend to the ground. It was then that he grabbed the rope barrier.

“I realized I had to take something to scare them. There were a lot of girls behind us. I was afraid they would attack everyone,” he said.

The men followed M to his car and the beating continued. Suffering from pepper spray and head trauma, M went to the hospital and is doing much better today.

M said he was grateful that the group was not armed with knives or guns. But he worries about his Palestinian and Israeli friends who are afraid during this time of turmoil.

The Council on US-Islamic Relations issued a statement stating in part: “We condemn this hate crime in the strongest terms and urge the authorities to find and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law. According to the FBI’s 2019 Hate Crime Statistical Report, the most recent year of publication, Jews are at the center of 60% of hate crimes related to religious bias, targeted at a significantly higher rate than any other religious group. “

A second anti-Semitic incident was also reported on Tuesday, when the glass door of a kosher restaurant in Sherman Oaks was smashed.

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a reward of $ 5,000 for information that leads to the attackers involved in the La Cienega incident.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All rights reserved.


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