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LAPD Investigating Attack On Jewish Men As Possible Hate Crime By Pro-Palestinian Group

   DailyWire.com
Palestinians hold up their national flag as they celebrate the beginning of the truce with Israel in Gaza City on November 21, 2012.
MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating whether an attack on a group of Jewish men dining in the Beverly Grove neighborhood late Tuesday night was a possible hate crime committed by a pro-Palestinian group.

Cell phone footage posted on social media reportedly showed a confrontation that occurred shortly before 10 p.m. outside Sushi Fumi on the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard.

Witnesses told L.A.’s CBS News affiliate that a caravan waving pro-Palestinian flags approached the restaurant, then a mob of men dressed in black physically attacked the group of Jewish diners sitting outside while yelling anti-Semitic slurs. One man, who the outlet emphasized is not Jewish, said he was pepper-sprayed after defending the group and went to a hospital for care. Another unnamed eyewitness said about thirty men exited the vehicles “and started running toward the tables and asking indiscriminately, ‘Who’s Jewish?’”

“Two guys said they were, and they proceeded to beat them up,” said another unknown person from the scene. “They are apparently going around the city and asking who’s Jewish and beating them up.”

Law enforcement said five people had been punched, kicked, or injured by broken glass, but no one was seriously injured. The restaurant was not damaged. The ordeal lasted about 15 minutes, witnesses said. Authorities are looking for at least three suspects who fled in a vehicle described as possibly a black Jeep.

Another incident involving a caravan was reportedly caught on video the night before in the same vicinity of the city.

According to CBSLA, “Police are also investigating a security video recorded Monday night which appears to show an Orthodox Jewish man being chased by a caravan of people waving Palestinian flags near Rosewood and La Brea avenues,” about two miles east of Tuesday night’s attack. The man was not hurt and escaped.

L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz, a Democrat whose district includes both areas, described the incidents as “anti-Semitic hate crimes that are unconscionable.” Koretz’s father escaped Nazi Germany in late 1939.

“These violent acts will not go unchecked,” Koretz said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. “We will do everything necessary to bring these criminals to justice and to restore order on our City streets.”

Koretz, who is Jewish, said he visited the sushi restaurant late Tuesday night after being briefed by LAPD and committed “to deploy more resources to the region and bring justice for the victims who were brutally beaten.”

“We will never allow for anyone to strike fear into our hearts because we are Jews,” he continued. “We are not going to allow the violence in the Middle East to spill out onto the streets of Los Angeles. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion but never through violence. Pro-Palestinian protestors cannot be allowed to viciously assault random people on the street because they happen to look or be Jewish.”

The L.A. Daily News reported that “a large crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators” had gathered at the Israeli consulate in West L.A. earlier in the day on Tuesday at a rally organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement. According to the outlet, “thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators” also rallied in Westwood last weekend.

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