(JTA) — Groups of pro-Palestinian protesters attacked Jews in Los Angeles and New York City this week.
In an altercation Tuesday night recorded on video, a group of men waving Palestinian flags attacked diners at a sushi restaurant in the neighborhood of Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, throwing punches, bottles and other objects. The diners included a group of Jewish men.
Another man at the scene, who was not Jewish, told the local CBS affiliate that he and his group also were attacked and that he was pepper-sprayed when he tried to defend the group. He added that the attackers used antisemitic language to determine who at the restaurant was Jewish.
In an incident Monday night in Los Angeles recorded by a security camera, an Orthodox Jewish man was chased by a caravan of Palestine supporters. He escaped unharmed.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Anti-Defamation League wrote on social media that it was “outraged” over reports of the attack.
“Criticism of Israeli policy is not always antisemitic. Violent attacks while yelling antisemitic slurs is a hate crime,” the organization wrote.
The Israeli-American Council, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that says it aims to “strengthen the bond” between the U.S. and Israel, issued a statement calling the attack a “hate crime” and saying it was “deeply concerned” by the report.
Sinai Temple, the city’s largest Conservative congregation, sent an email to its members Wednesday acknowledging the attack and calling on law enforcement “to seek out the perpetrators, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and make clear that such crimes of hate will not be tolerated in our city or in our country.”
“We at Sinai who stand with Israel will not succumb to intimidation,” the temple’s rabbis and cantor wrote in the letter.
In New York City, one person was burned when two fireworks were thrown from a car amid an altercation with anti-Zionist protesters in a heavily Jewish New York City business district, according to police.
Additional videos circulating on social media appeared to show other physical altercations between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in New York City.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been an increase in antisemitism in the United States both online and on the ground during the conflict, which has seen large pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country. As of Thursday, the ADL tallied one hundred and ninety three antisemitic incidents in the week since the conflict began, compared to one hundred and thirty one the previous week.
The New York City altercation occurred at about the same time as a pro-Israel demonstration in the city that also attracted pro-Palestinian counterprotesters. It took place in the Diamond District, a Midtown Manhattan street with many Jewish-owned businesses.
In two videos posted Thursday to social media, a group of men wearing the colors of the Palestinian flag can be seen yelling while holding a Palestinian flag.
Later in the video, one of the pro-Palestinian protesters shoves a man. A crowd of pro-Palestinian protesters wearing scarves on their heads then walks down the middle of the street guided by police.
The New York Police Department told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that two commercial fireworks were thrown from a car, and one person sustained a minor burn.
The department’s Arson Investigation Squad and a detective squad are investigating the