Rioters ostensibly participating in Black Lives Matter protests against the killing last week of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis tore through a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Los Angeles Saturday night, ransacking stores and vandalizing a synagogue.
“Fuck Israel” and “Free Palestine” were among the messages scrawled on the outside of Congregation Beth Israel on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles.
— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) May 31, 2020
The riots in the area also disrupted synagogues that were attempting to reopen legally for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Saturday marked both the Jewish Sabbath and the holiday of Shavuot.
The Forward reported:
Rabbi Moshe Pinto was on his way to the Baba Sale shul on Fairfax Avenue Saturday afternoon with several of his students for mincha services. Shavuot, the Jewish holiday which began May 28, marked the first time Baba Sale had hosted prayer services since the statewide shelter-in-place order was instituted in March.
But Rabbi Pinto was unable to see as far as the building, let alone make it to the door, as the group was blocked by a mass of civilians and police that were fighting for control of the street. Fairfax Avenue, which also abuts the Grove shopping mall, appeared to be the epicenter of looting activity.
Some of the civilians, he said, hurled epithets at the group, and one person threw a stick at one of his students.
“It was like looking at antisemitism, but in a time of rage,” Pinto said.
The Los Angeles Jewish Journal noted that several Jewish groups condemned the antisemitic attacks:
Liora Rez, director of the Stop Anti-Semitism watchdog, said in a statement to the Journal, “Once again we see vile anti-Semitism being disguised as activism. To vandalize a synagogue during this horrific time does nothing but further divide a broken country.”
Breitbart News learned Sunday of several stores owned by Jews in the Beverly Hills area, including a kosher supermarket, that had been looted by rioters.
Hearing that an Orthodox neighborhood in LA has been hit hard by looting. "Every store destroyed. Things are on fire all over," a friend with family there tells me. This is video of Syd's Pharmacy & Kosher Vitamins on Beverly Blvd. #laprotest pic.twitter.com/pf9SfkQ9ec
— Johnny Kunza (@johnkunza) May 31, 2020
Police and the National Guard imposed a curfew overnight. More protests are expected Sunday.
Author: Joel B. Pollak