(JNS.org) Pro-Palestinian activists wielding wooden sticks attacked participants at a pro-Israel solidarity rally in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 13. The rally, which was attended by more than 3,000 people, took place in front of the Federal Building in the neighborhood of Westwood. A pro-Palestinian protest drew roughly 200 people across the street. Four men were reportedly arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. One protester called out, “Free, Free Palestine” as he was placed in the police car, according to the Los Angeles-based Israel education organization StandWithUs.
In a conference call with 200 Jewish leaders – organized by the Secure Community Network (SCN), the security arm of national Jewish umbrella organizations – the Department of Homeland Security officials addressed concerns about violence at rallies and demonstrations connected to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Following a series of anti-Israel demonstrations around the globe – more than 50 in the U.S. – protesting Israel’s military operation to stop rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, some of which have resulted in violence, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a security advisory to Jewish institutions and synagogues encouraging heightened vigilance and recommending that institutions take steps to enhance their security and connect with law enforcement.
“While most of the demonstrations in the U.S. have been peaceful, we are encouraging Jewish institutions, organizations and synagogues to have a heightened sense of awareness, particularly in light of what is happening overseas,” “said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
The tenor at some of the anti-Israel rallies has been extreme with protestors chanting “Death to Israel” and other hateful messages and slogans. One such large-scale demonstration took place in Paris on July 13 in which two synagogues were attacked. Dozens of demonstrators tried to enter the synagogue at la rue des Tournelles, but were turned away by police. Protestors also reportedly hurled clumps of dirt at a kosher market. On July 11, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a synagogue outside of Paris in Aulnay-sous-Bois. Anti-Israel rallies were also held in Germany and some Latin American countries.
Two-thousand anti-Israel protestors in Frankfurt, Germany hurled stones at police and used a police megaphone to shout anti-Semitic slogans. According to the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, the group was made up of several Islamists and local neo-Nazi groups there. Frankfurt police also confirmed that a local synagogue had been vandalized, with the anti-Semitic slogan “F*** the Jews” written on the synagogues walls.