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Pro-Palestinian demonstration in Los Angeles: "And here we are again as a Jewish community, afraid of being ourselves"


Over the weekend, people demonstrated in numerous cities in the United States on protest marches – for the Israeli or the Palestinian side. On the fringes of a demonstration in Southern California, there had been fisticuffs between participants. A 69-year-old Jewish man was seriously injured and has now succumbed to his injuries.

The sheriff's office launched an investigation into Sunday's incident and said it did not rule out "the possibility of a hate crime." According to forensic medicine, the man died from a "head injury by blunt force" as a result of third-party negligence.

The dispute occurred on Sunday afternoon in the midst of two clashing demonstrations at an intersection in Thousand Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to police, the deceased had fallen in the melee and had sustained an injury to the back of his head. According to witnesses, he had previously been in a dispute with at least one counter-protester. Mourners were already laying flowers and candles on site.

The local Jewish community had already asked its members not to organize counter-protests at local pro-Palestinian demonstrations. It is important to avoid possible confrontations. The Jewish Federation of the greater Los Angeles area also warned of an increase in anti-Semitic crimes. "The fact is that now a Jewish man is dead," Rabbi Noah Farkas, president of the Jewish Federation, told the New York Times. And here we are again, as a Jewish community, scared, afraid of expressing ourselves, of being ourselves."

Hussam Ayloush, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles, also condemned the violence. It must not be misused for political purposes. "Our thoughts are with the family and the Jewish community at this difficult time," Ayloush said.