Kicking off the first full week of November with more LA protests, a group of pro-Palestinian protestors and pro-Israel protesters were each demonstrating in Thousand Oaks. Around 3:15 officers received calls about the protests turning violent, with one person being assaulted and then staying on the ground.
Tended to by two people, with one clearly a pro-Palestine protestor, 65-year-old Paul Kessler had been protesting for the pro-Israel side. Laying on the ground with a severe head wound, the man had been beaten with a megaphone down and into the pavement. Little information or video has been leaked on the attack thus far.
Following news of his death, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles released a statement. In part, it said, “While we wait for more information from our law enforcement partners, we remind you that this is the fourth major antisemitic crime committed in Los Angeles this year alone. Violence against our people has no place in civilized society. We demand safety. We will not tolerate violence against our community. We will do everything in our power to prevent it.”
LAPD has ruled his death a homicide and is conducting a full investigation. So far, no suspects have been named, but they are treating this as a hate crime.
For the Jewish people in LA, this has been an incredibly difficult time. They are trying to balance their lives and commitments against demonstrations that go against their very people. Getting around LA has already been difficult for many prominent Jews due to the SAF protests. Now with the division in Palestine, they are coming under increased fire, no matter the side they stand on.