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Jewish Journal

Demonstrations over war on Gaza shut down Wilshire (video)

by Ryan Torok

August 10, 2014 | 3:52 pm

<em>Pro-Palestinian protestors march on Wilshire Boulevard. Photo and video credit, Ryan Torok</em>

Pro-Palestinian protestors march on Wilshire Boulevard. Photo and video credit, Ryan Torok

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched on Wilshire Boulevard today, closing down the street. Their ultimate destination was the headquarters of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.

The Aug. 10 rally drew pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist demonstrators. Photo by Ryan Torok. 

About 1,000 people showed up to protest and counter-protest at the Wilshire Federal Building at 1 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department--fewer numbers than originally anticipated.

There were no reports of arrests.

This was the second consecutive week that, prompted by Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, passionate Angelenos have come together in Westwood and in West Los Angeles, many either waving Israeli flags or Palestinian flags, depending on what side they are on.

Those on the pro-Palestinian side have been denouncing Israel's recent Operation Protective Edge, a deadly military offensive in Gaza. 1,910 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have died, according to most recent reports.

Meanwhile, the pro-Israel counter-protests in Los Angeles have supported Israel's right to defend itself in the face of rocket fire from Hamas, the governing party in Gaza.

Today, law enforcement agencies, including the Los angeles police department and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department kept the two sides separated.

Los Angeles Police Department officers separate demonstrators outside of the Israeli consulate.

Pro-Israel demonstrators came together on the north side of the street at Wilshire boulevard and Veteran avenue.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered on the south side of the boulevard.

Around 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, the pro-Palestinian demonstration left the Federal Building and marched its way eastbound on Wilshire toward the Israeli consulate, leaving behind the Federal Building and the pro-Israel counter-protest.

It couldn't leave them behind entirely. A group of pro-Israel demonstrators expressed their solidarity with Israel outside the Israeli consulate, which is located at Wilshire boulevard and Barrington avenue, a couple of miles away from the Federal Building.

“If we can't fight in the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] for a couple more yers, this is what we can do," 16-year-old Yeshiva High Tech student Daniella Coen told the Journal, joined by a group of friends outside the consulate building.

Grassroots organization L.A. Jews for Peace staged a demonstration outside the israeli consulate at the same time that the larger pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests convened at he Wilshire Federal Building.

L.A. Jews for Peace, which has called for Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza and was calling for Israel to end its military activities there before Israel and Hamas entered into a cease fire last week, is critical of Israel but comes down on it less harshly than many of those in the pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

Yossi Khen, a former IDF soldier, attended today's L.A. Jews for Peace rally. He said approximately 40 people showed up to express how it's important to "show a different voice for Jews."

Last week’s cease fire expired last Friday. The two sides entered into another 72-hour cease fire on Monday morning, Middle East time.

From left: Maya Aviishak; Yoni Coen; Sam Hadara; Ilana Gindi and Daniella Coen turn out for Israel. 

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