Biden Condemns Protest Outside Los Angeles Synagogue as Antisemitic

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President Biden on Monday forcefully condemned as antisemitic a pro-Palestinian demonstration that took place a day earlier at a synagogue in a Jewish area of Los Angeles.

The situation turned violent when pro-Palestinian demonstrators and Israel supporters clashed on Sunday afternoon outside Adas Torah, a synagogue in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles. Video images posted on social media showed scuffles breaking out, punches being thrown and people chasing others down the street.

President Biden, as well as Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles, took issue with the protesters choosing to demonstrate outside a synagogue in the first place.

“Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American,” President Biden said in a statement posted Monday on social media. “Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship — and engaging in violence — is never acceptable.”

The Los Angeles Police Department sent officers to the scene in response to calls about several physical altercations, which ended with two reports of battery. One person was arrested on a charge of having a spiked post at the protest. The person, whom officials did not identify, was cited and released. The department said on Monday that it was still investigating the reports of battery.

Mayor Bass said in a statement Sunday night that she planned to meet with Chief Dominic Choi of the Los Angeles Police Department on Monday. She asked the department to provide extra patrols in the neighborhood, as well as outside houses of worship.

“I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence,” she said in the statement. “Those responsible for either will be found and held accountable.”

Ms. Bass said she also planned to convene a community meeting with faith leaders, law enforcement officials and others “as we talk about steps forward, together.”

The episode at the synagogue drew condemnation from other state and local leaders in California..

“The violent clashes outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles are appalling,” Governor Newsom said in a statement. “There is no excuse for targeting a house of worship. Such antisemitic hatred has no place in California.”



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