December 17, 2007
Israeli Consulate in L.A. evacuated
Updated 8:47 p.m. 12/18/2007
Several other Jewish organizations in the same building at 6380 Wilshire Blvd. also were evacuated.
A "very suspicious" package was found Tuesday at about 2:45 p.m. PST near the entrance of the 17-story building, which also houses the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Israeli Scouts and the local Young Judaea offices, according to Hagar Meged, the Jewish Agency's alliyah emissary in Los Angeles.
On inspection, the package turned out to be a backpack containing only personal items. A block of Wilshire Boulevard was evacuated, Meged said. Ten police cars and a SWAT team arrived at the building to investigate. Meged said the evacuation was orderly, but "it was kind of scary to leave everything in the middle of the day."
A Consular spokesman said the evacuation was quick, and officials allowed workers to re-enter the building after a brief delay. "It was nothing," he said, then used the Hebrew phrase for "suspicious package" that is part of everyday life in Israel.
"It was just a hefetz hashood." Officer Jason Lee of the Los Angeles Police Department said that no threats had been received, adding, "Some people will phone in anything these days."
-- Journal Staff and JTA