A Day of Fury: The Antisemitic Pogrom at a Los Angeles Synagogue

A Day of Fury: The Antisemitic Pogrom at a Los Angeles Synagogue

Clashes broke out on  Sunday around Orthodox synagogue Adas Torah in Los Angeles as approximately 150 pro-Hamas protesters surrounded a real estate fair that was being held at the synagogue in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson.  The event was for people interested in purchasing a home in Israel. LAPD in riot gear surrounded the synagogue, but despite reports of fist fights and rock-throwing, the violent protest was allowed to continue for several hours. 

The initial protests were organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement LA and Code Pink LA.

Several commentators noted the deplorable coverage of the antisemitic pogrom in the mainstream media. The attack was notably absent from the first three pages of the print edition of the LA Times and only merited a brief story on its website. 

“Doesn’t belong here,” Rabbi Hertzel Illulian told CBS News. “I don’t think the Jewish would go in front of a mosque or the Christian people would go in front of a mosque to do such a thing, nobody would accept this, but here, when it comes to Jews and Israel everything is kosher, everything is okay.”

Shervin Eli Natan, the co-founder and President of the United Jewish Coalition, posted a blog in the Times of Israel pointing at what he believes are the causes of the antisemitic attack. 

“The Jews of Los Angeles are no longer safe,” he wrote. “The events of June 23rd brought to life the darkest nightmare many of us hoped we would never witness on American soil. Los Angeles, once a city of dreams, now harbors domestic terrorists.”

Natan wrote that the stage for antisemitic violence was set by the left-wing “defund the police” movement and the lax policies of Soros-backed District Attorney George Gascon.

Natan and others accused Mayor Karen Bass of instructing deputies to stand down and not intervene. Bass released a statement condemning the violence, but many found it lacking.

“Today’s violence in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood today was abhorrent, and blocking access to a place of worship is unacceptable,” Bass tweeted. ”I’ve called on LAPD to provide additional patrols in the Pico-Robertson community as well as outside of houses of worship throughout the city. I’ll be meeting with Chief Choi tomorrow to further discuss the safety of Angelenos. I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence.”

But Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tweeted, “Pro-Hamas and Hezbollah extremists violently attacked American Jews in Los Angeles and the politicians ordered the police to do nothing to defend them. Radical leftists and Islamists are ruining our country.”

Jarrett Stepman of the Daily Signal described the response by the mayor as “few words with no answers”. He notes that the term “antisemitism is barely used, only appearing in near the end of the statement, and no mention was made of the mob targeting a synagogue. The mayor referred to a “place of worship,” suggesting that other “houses of worship” might be targeted.

Indeed, despite a large a violent mob, there was only one arrest of a man who was allegedly holding a flag with a spike at the end of it. The man was released Monday morning.

The LAPD released a statement that appeared to blame both sides.

“The Los Angeles Police Department will be investigating … two reported batteries,” said a statement from the department. “We will always protect the First Amendment rights of those wanting to protest. Violence and crime however, will not be tolerated.” 

Several Jews who were present at the incident were critical of the police response. Journalist Daniel Greenfield tweeted, “The LAPD allowed terrorist supporters to occupy both sides of the synagogue while keeping Jewish counterprotesters out. Only a narrow protected lane allowed access.”

Noah Pollack tweeted,  “I was there today for an event at the shul. @LAPDHQ let the Hamas supporters take over the sidewalk in front of the shul and block its entrance. In fact, LAPD had formed a cordon around the front of the shul to keep Jews out and Hamas supporters in. I tried to enter with my kids through the front door and was turned away not by Hamas supporters but by the LAPD. Anyone who wanted to attend had to use a secret back entrance. @KarenBassLA and @LAPDHQ are an absolute disgrace — it’s clear the police have been instructed to help the Democratic Party street animals do their thuggery. They were definitely not there to protect the right of Jews to enter their shul.”

President Biden released a statement decrying the antisemitic attack that was criticized by Sen. Tom Cotton.“If only you were in charge of the FBI and Department of Justice and could order them to conduct a manhunt for every one of these pro-Hamas lunatics,” Cotton tweeted. “Like you did for every grandma in a MAGA hat within a country mile of the Capitol on January 6.”

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