The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said on Monday night that an old Jewish man who participated in a pro-Israel rally in California had died following a “physical dispute” with a protester who supported Palestine.
According to a department press release, 69-year-old Paul Kessler and an unidentified protester got into an argument on Sunday afternoon, and assistants answered reports of an assault at a rally on Westlake and Thousand Oaks Boulevards.
Visitors showed that Kessler had been involved in an actual fight with [pro-Palestinian] counterprotesters, the press release continued. Throughout the fight, Kessler slipped backward and hit his head on the ground.
The department stated that the likelihood of a hate crime has not been determined and that it is still looking into the incident.
According to the release, Kessler’s funeral at the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that homicide was the way of death and a severe head injury was the cause of death.
The police are asking anyone who saw or recorded the incident to give Detective Stump a call at (805) 384-4745.
Kessler can be seen on an internet video retaining his head and hemorrhaging on the ground. Leaning over him was a protester with a Palestinian flag embossed on her outerwear and “Free Palestine” as a sign in her hand.
Though he was not present for the dispute, a local man who attended the protest met Kessler shortly before he passed away. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, told News Digital that after leaving to retrieve something from his car, he came back to find Kessler bloody and sitting on the ground.
The man revealed that several witnesses, including the alleged offender, tried to call 911 but were unsuccessful.
He claimed that Kessler “was out,” with instances where he raised his head, grasped the back of his skull, and raised his legs up.”
He put an extremely tough jar against the back of his head. According to what the man told News Digital, his brain must have swollen.
Karen Bass, the mayor of Los Angeles, released a statement lamenting Kessler’s passing.
We lament the passing of the Jewish man who was hurt during a protest in Thousand Oaks and later passed away. We are unwavering in our denunciation of violence and antisemitism, Bass stated, as more information comes to light and is verified. At a time when tensions around the world are still rising, this death is a blow to our region. To make sure that acts of violence and hatred are held accountable and have repercussions, we need to step up our efforts. This hatred will not be tolerated in Los Angeles.
The pro-Palestinian demonstrator hurled a megaphone at Kessler, according to a post made on X by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on Monday night.
The unidentified man claimed that some of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators were very aggressive, shouting at the police and trying to provoke a reaction.
A video discussed with News Digital also featured shouts of “Allahu Akbar” coming from the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
According to a statement from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, violence against Jews has no place in modern society, and they will not put up with it within the Jewish community. and are going to exert every effort to stop it.
— Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (@JFedLA) November 7, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, as the group stated in a post on Monday night. We would like to remind you that this is the fourth significant antisemitic incident in Los Angeles this year alone, while we wait for more details from our security partners.
The post was shared by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who stated that the surge in xenophobia “had looked fatal.”
Jewish author Nadler
Jewish author Nadler wrote that a violent anti-Israel protestor in Los Angeles killed a 65-year-old Jewish man. Those who are good-willed and seeking peace are strongly encouraged to keep their distance from those who glorify and use violence. Aid in reducing the hateful tide.
He went on: Political discourse that is violent has repercussions. It dehumanizes and incites after a short while. Tragically, people can also get hurt or killed tonight. We are at a turning point in our nation’s history, and it is up to each of us to help restore peace.
The “murder” of Kessler, according to former Israeli Prime Minister Benny Gantz, is “an alerting light that must resonate all through the world.”
According to Israeli media, Gantz stated that the murderous ideology of Hamas, which was the cause of the horrific massacre on October 7, is not just an Israeli issue but one that the entire free world must unite against in order to fight and stand on the right side of history.