Alarm raised over ‘pogrom’ in LA after anti-Israel protest at synagogue turns violent

A journalist was hit with bear spray while covering the clashes, video shows.

Published: June 24, 2024 9:55am

Violent clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters outside of a Los Angeles synagogue sparked concerns about a modern-day pogrom being attempted in America.

The altercations began Sunday during a demonstration organized by the activist groups Palestinian Youth Movement LA and Code Pink LA against an Israeli real estate event at the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles' Pico-Robertson neighborhood, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Local residents Sam YebriKylie Ora Lobell, and Noah Pollak all wrote on X how the protesters blocked Jews from entering the synagogue. 

Videos show multiple people being assaulted, and another video shows journalist Cam Higby of the outlet Today is America being targeted with bear spray while he covered the protest.

After protesting the synagogue, Yebri said Sunday evening: "These violent masked domestic terrorists are now dispersing into Jewish neighborhoods hunting Jews and causing more destruction and vandalism." He and other Jewish leaders said that the Los Angeles Police Department was told to "stand down and not intervene." This allegation has not been substantiated by the law enforcement agency.

Multiple people online called the attack a "pogrom," which is the term traditionally used to refer to an organized massacre of Jewish people in eastern Europe.

"There was a modern-day Pogrom in LA today," said former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Ellie Cohanim

"What happened in Los Angeles was an attempted pogrom. They were actively looking for Jews in Jewish neighbourhoods, while beating up other Jews outside a synagogue," Jewish influencer Nioh Berg said.

"A mob attacking Jews and laying siege to a synagogue has a name. It's a pogrom," Avi Mayer, former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief, said. What happened in LA is the result of the vicious antisemitism that has run rampant on college campuses, city streets, and social media since Oct 7. It's time to fight back."

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom also condemned the violence, calling it "appalling," and writing on X: "There is no excuse for targeting a house of worship. Such antisemitic hatred has no place in California."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

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