An elderly Jewish man, Paul Kessler, tragically passed away after an apparent assault at a pro-Israel rally in California involving a pro-Palestinian protester.
The incident occurred in Ventura County, resulting in Kessler falling and hitting his head during a physical confrontation.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and is considering the possibility of a hate crime. Witness accounts suggest that Kessler was involved in a physical altercation with pro-Palestinian counter-protesters. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles stated that a pro-Palestinian protester allegedly threw a megaphone at Kessler.
Anti-Israel protesters resume chanting as Paul Kessler is taken away in an ambulance.
“As a man is being taken away on an ambulance for being knocked unconscious… this is the kind of respect these Palestinian protesters are giving.” — source from the scene of the deadly attack. pic.twitter.com/BLBoOhXoO9
— Christina Buttons (@buttonslives) November 7, 2023
Kessler’s autopsy confirmed his cause of death as a blunt force head injury, ruling it a homicide. Online video footage shows Kessler on the ground, injured, while a protester holding a “Free Palestine” sign leans over him.
The department is seeking witnesses or footage of the incident to aid in the investigation. In response, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles condemned violence against the Jewish community, affirming their commitment to preventing such acts.
This tragic incident has drawn attention and concern from political figures like House Judiciary Chairman Rep Jerry Nadler, who emphasized the need to separate from violence and urged for peace amid rising antisemitism.
Content warning ⚠️ – an elderly Jewish man has been killed by a pro Palestinian protestor who hit him over the head with a megaphone at yesterday’s Israel rally.
Sadly, the victim has passed away from internal bleeding.
May his memory be a blessing and his attacker be… pic.twitter.com/41ZXNutwvK
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) November 7, 2023