New York, LA Investigate Attacks as Hate Crimes

In both cases, assaults on Jewish victims happened during pro-Palestinian demonstrations
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2021 4:20 PM CDT
New York, LA Investigate Attacks as Hate Crimes
Supporters of Palestinians march Thursday in New York's Times Square.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The nation's two largest cities are investigating attacks on Jewish bystanders by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The New York and Los Angeles police departments are looking into the assaults this week as possible hate crimes. In New York, a man was kicked and beaten by several people when pro-Palestinian marchers fought pro-Israeli counterdemonstrators and police Thursday night in Times Square, the Wall Street Journal reports. Police, who are looking for suspects in the beating, did not say whether the man was hurt. Video of the beating was posted online. "We will bring the perpetrators of this vicious act of hate to justice," Mayor Bill de Blasio posted Friday. The chairwoman of the police Hate Crime Review Panel said, "Yesterday was an attack on this man simply because he is Jewish."

In West Los Angeles, a string of cars was rolling slowly through an area with synagogues and Jewish schools, with people waving Palestinian flags and one saying "Israel kills children" into a megaphone, when men got out and confronted Jewish diners sitting outside a sushi restaurant. At least one person was hurt in the fight, per the New York Times. Part of the attack was captured on video. Witnesses said the men threw bottles at the diners and used anti-Semitic slurs. Dozens of men from the caravan ran to the restaurant and asked, "Who’s Jewish?" they said. One witness said, "It was prepared, they came to fight with Jewish people.” Anti-Semitic attacks often rise during Middle East violence, an expert said. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he hoped for quick results from the investigation. "We have to recognize this for what it is: It's anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic." (Read more antisemitism stories.)

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