LA: Elderly Jewish man beaten to death by pro-Palestinian protesters

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said that the protester struck Kessler with a megaphone.

By The Algemeiner Staff

An elderly Jewish man has died after he was beaten by an anti-Israel protester at a rally in California, according to law enforcement and local Jewish groups.

A verbal altercation broke out between the victim — identified in several media reports as Paul Kessler, age 65, from Thousand Oaks, California — and a younger protester, according to eyewitnesses.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said that the protester struck Kessler with a megaphone.

“While we wait for more information from our law enforcement partners, we remind you that this is the fourth major antisemitic crime committed in Los Angeles this year alone,” the federation said in a statement. “Violence against our people has no place in civilized society. We demand safety. We will not tolerate violence against our community. We will do everything in our power to prevent it.”

Videos posted online show the victim carrying an Israeli flag before he was struck and fell to the ground bleeding. He was rushed to the hospital before ultimately succumbing to a cerebral hemorrhage.

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The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department told local media that it was investigating the incident. As of this writing, no arrests have been made.

Video of the aftermath of the assault has been circulated on social media.

Viewer discretion advised: The video contains graphic content:

Monday’s death came amid a global surge in antisemitism, especially across the US and Europe, following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

Israeli Opposition leader Yair Lapid lamented Kessler’s killing in a tweet Tuesday, writing: “Paul Kessler was killed in Los Angeles because he was a Jew. It is not because of Gaza, it is because of antisemitism.”

“This is what happens when protesters glorify Hamas and call to ‘globalize the intifada.’ They don’t love Palestinians, they hate Jews.”