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News Every Day |

Los Angeles Has Failed Its Jewish Residents

Anti-Israel demonstrators outside the Adas Torah synagogue in the heavily-Jewish Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles, June 23, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

Over the past few days, my hometown of Los Angeles has been gripped by a wave of antisemitic unrest that shows no sign of stopping. In the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, one of the city’s most Jewish areas, pro-Palestinian demonstrators showed up to the Adas Torah Synagogue to protest an Israeli real estate event.

The so-called “activists” circulated threats on social media before arriving, urging people to come show synagogue congregants that “Our land is not for sale” and that “racist settlers are not welcome in Los Angeles.”

Unsurprisingly, the demonstration swiftly descended into chaos and violence, with videos showing the protestors blocking entrances to the synagogue, chasing down Jews, holding signs like “Nazi Israel,” and chanting “There is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

Verbal confrontations between Jews trying to enter the house of worship and the mob of protestors quickly erupted into violence, with footage from the scene showing demonstrators throwing punches, kicking, and using the handles of their signs as weapons. Only one pro-Palestinian activist was arrested — for holding a spiked flag.

A viral image from the unrest showed an Israel supporter with a bloodied face. Another Israel supporter told Ynet News that a demonstrator punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground, where he was kicked and “hit many times on my head.” A woman was beaten in the streets.

This unrest is only the latest example of a disturbing recent trend, in which pro-Palestinian demonstrators target Jewish spaces under the guise of “activism,” terrorizing houses of worship, university Hillels, and Jewish community organizations while claiming that there is nothing antisemitic about their campaign of intimidation. Such despicable behavior has been going on for months — including in Los Angeles, where only a month ago, UCLA was home to some of the most blatant instances of virulent campus antisemitism, with videos emerging nearly every day of their student encampment, where masked pro-Palestinian students blocked Jewish students from entering public campus spaces.

Last year, two visibly Jewish men were shot in Los Angeles — and targeted for death because of their religion.

This pattern has undoubtedly been facilitated by the permissiveness of city and university officials, who have allowed an antisemitic climate to fester without taking decisive measures to combat the rising temperature of hostility.

In Los Angeles, city officials have repeatedly shrugged off the obvious antisemitic threat — including at the Adas Torah event. The synagogues’ rabbi told The New York Times that the city clearly did not send enough LAPD officers, and reports showed that it took hours for the police to receive orders to intervene and separate the protestors, despite their initial vague presence at the scene.

The inadequacy of this response is particularly galling because it is not the first time the city has seen protests at such conferences, which have been going on since March and attracting significant crowds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators each time. The city’s inability to properly allocate resources to keep its Jewish residents safe, despite an obvious track record of intimidation and unrest, shows that Jewish safety is simply not a priority at all for the city’s leaders.

On top of that, while the police are still investigating two reported incidents of battery, no arrests were made besides the spiked flag. This, too, speaks to a pattern of leniency for antisemitic threats and violence. Despite the months of unrest at UCLA, during which Jewish students were subjected to verbal and physical harassment, it took an extreme escalation into a night of violent clashes before the police made a single arrest.

The city’s message to its Jewish residents is clear: we take every crime against a minority seriously, except the ones that are committed against you.

Los Angeles city officials downplayed, mishandled, and failed to prosecute the violence at Adas Torah, and they will continue to make these mistakes unless they are held accountable for the myriad ways they have let down the Jewish residents of this city.

Sheila Nazarian is a Los Angeles physician and star of the Emmy-nominated Netflix series Skin Decision: Before and After. Follower her on Instagram (drsheilanazarian) — and on X.

The post Los Angeles Has Failed Its Jewish Residents first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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