An alleged violent attack on Jewish people eating at a restaurant earlier this week is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to officials in Los Angeles.
Footage of the incident showed a group attacking people at the Sushi Fumi restaurant in Los Angeles’ Beverly Grove neighborhood.
The incident triggered condemnation from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, who said there is “no place” for discrimination and anti-Semitism “of any kind in Los Angeles.”
“We as a city condemn last night’s organized, anti-Semitic attack,” he added. “Jewish Angelenos, like all residents, should always feel safe in our city.”
Garcetti confirmed that the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident.
We as a city condemn last night’s organized, anti-Semitic attack.
Jewish Angelenos, like all residents, should always feel safe in our city.@LAPDHQ is investigating this assault as a hate crime, and we will respond with the full force of the law.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) May 19, 2021
The Los Angeles Police Department told Fox News and other news outlets that the incident was being investigated as a hate crime. Three suspects are being sought.
Witnesses told ABC7 that a pro-Palestinian group yelled anti-Semitic remarks at the diners, and video footage showed men punching another man on the sidewalk.
Glass bottles were then hurled at their table, he said. The video shows the men get out and push his friend to the ground, according to the witness.
“I realized I had to take something to scare them. There were many girls behind us. I was scared that they would attack everybody,” he said, adding that he grabbed a rope barrier.
Video of the incident was sent to Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, who said, “It’s absolutely outrageous. We’re not going to allow this in the city of Los Angeles,” according to KTLA. “We’re not going to bring the conflict from the Middle East here and allow people to be attacked on our streets because of what they look like and what they appear ethnically,” Koretz said.
The attack, and a number of other attacks in major metropolitan areas, came amid renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas—a designated terror group since 1997—in recent days. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that the two sides would engage in a ceasefire, while a Hamas spokesperson also confirmed the development to news outlets.