Threats of violence against Jews along with an attempted jihad car-ramming in Los Angeles earlier this week have resulted in heightened security in the area.
On Wednesday, a Muslim man walking two dogs began to scope out the crowd gathered at LA’s Shaarei Tefila Synagogue before yelling Anti-Semetic threats at the concert-goers. The crowd was attending a holiday concert in the Fairfax District in celebration of Sukkot when a man they’d never seen before approached them on foot and began to yell, “F**k the Jews!”. Security officers at the synagogue provided by Magen AM described the man as being in “an absolute rage,” yelling “I’m a real Muslim, and I’ll show you what real terrorism looks like.” One trained security officer told CBSLA, “I could see in his eyes that he wanted to attack.”
A valet parking attendant working across the street from the concert corroborated security’s recollection of events explaining the Muslim man was yelling and cursing before being overheard saying, “I’m going to come back.” The Muslim man returned just 20 minutes later, but this time in a black Toyota Corolla with the license plate 8NLG062. The man hurled his car into an alleyway at high speeds where 20 to 30 women and children were gathered. The worshipers jumped out of the way of the vehicle, and luckily no one was injured. A video captured the Muslim man in his car, and additional security was immediately called in.
The volunteer group Shabbat Angels, which comprises trained veterans and martial artists, ascended on the scene to provide extra security for the event, alongside LAPD and Magen AM. Shabbat Angels are well known in the area and often escort members from the Jewish community through LA’s city streets.
Magen AM has been in touch with the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI. LAPD Captain Lillian Carranza explained they would be investigating this incident as a hate crime and assured Magen AM they would be sending extra patrols to the area.
This is not the first time the Jewish community has been the victim of targeted hate crimes. In May, which just so happens to be Jewish American Heritage month, violent members of a pro-Palestinian group waved Palestinian flags. They yelled Anti-Semitic slurs at outdoor diners at a restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard. Chants of “Death to Jews” and “free Palestine” could be heard coming from the vehicle before bottles were launched at diners. Two men then exited the vehicle and approached the diners seated at tables in front of the restaurant, asking who was Jewish. After two men identified themselves as Jewish, they were attacked.
The latest data recorded from the FBI on hate crime statistics show that the Jewish community continues to be the most targeted group in America. This does not include new incidents recorded in 2020 or 2021. More than 200 Anti-Semitic incidents were recorded in May 2021 alone after Hamas launched attacks on Israelis for 11 days before a ceasefire was called.