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L.A.’s Adas Torah Violently Attacked by Pro-Palestinian Protestors at Real Estate Event

A man is arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers as Israel supporters clash with pro-Palestinian protesters blocking access to the Adas Torah Orthodox Jewish synagogue, in Los Angeles, June 23, 2024.
(Credit: JNS via David Swanson/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, June 23, a large group of pro-Palestinian protestors gathered to block access to Congregation Adas Torah in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, resulting in an eruption of violent attacks on the Jewish residents of the area. According to several social media posts, the group targeted Adas Torah in response to an Israeli real estate event being hosted at the synagogue. In an attempt to restore order, Los Angeles police officers arrived in riot gear, ultimately arresting one person carrying a spiked post. There were many reports that the demonstrators used mace and bear spray on the Adas Torah congregants.

The violence was captured on video and circulated widely on social media, depicting verbal confrontations, punching and people being wrestled to the ground. The clash garnered plenty of attention, including from officials who condemned the attacks as blatant antisemitism.

“[Sunday’s] violence was abhorrent, and blocking access to a place of worship is unacceptable,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence. Those responsible for either will be found and held accountable.”

On Monday, President Joe Biden wrote on X that he was “appalled” by the scene outside Adas Torah. “Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic and un-American.”

Rabbi Dovid Revah of Adas Torah told KABC that people were “scared to come in” to the synagogue, and that these types of protests are “a violation of holy space.”

Sunday’s violence almost exactly mirrors that of the brutal Teaneck protest in March, which took place outside of Congregation Keter Torah, also in an attempt to block access to an Israeli real estate event. At the time, The Jewish Link reported that nearly 1,000 pro-Palestinian protestors made their way to the synagogue chanting anti-Israel slogans and attacking pedestrians. On that day, March 10, two arrests were made by Teaneck police, and many more Jewish residents were left feeling unsafe and shaken.

“[This protest] was a cynical attempt to target a religious institution under false pretenses as part of a coordinated and malicious campaign to harass Teaneck’s Jewish community,” Yigal Gross of the Bergen County Jewish Action Committee (BCJAC) told The Jewish Link in March.

Similarly, the recent attack on Adas Torah in Los Angeles was a targeted harassment campaign, with dozens of pro-Palestinian groups putting out calls to action on social media. Organizations such as Code Pink and the Palestine Youth Movement asked protestors to converge in front of Adas Shalom, using fear and intimidation tactics such as blasting megaphones and deploying pepper spray.

In the aftermath of the violence, the Los Angeles Police Department is continuing its investigation of Sunday’s events, including two more reported batteries. In a statement, the LAPD reiterated that while protesting is a first amendment right, “violence and crime will not be tolerated.”

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