Dueling rallies on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 7, outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles showed strong feelings about renewed Israel-Gaza violence.
On the south side of the street at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., protestors held Palestinian flags, which flapped in a reporter’s face as the people waving them chanted slogans, infusing strong emotion into a demonstration critical of Israel held outside the Israeli consulate’s office in West Los Angeles.
Chants alternated between being anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.
“Netanyahu you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide" went one chant. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" went another during the rally, which, according to a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) official estimate, drew approximately 300 people.
The rally began at 4 p.m. and ended around 7 p.m.
The event turned the sidewalk on the south side of Wilshire Boulevard, near Barrington Avenue, into a scene of controlled chaos. The sound of car horns filled the air. Pro-Palestinians sang their chants into microphones. Many of them students, the crowd pushed up against the curb, their bodies pressed up against large pro-Palestinian banners, as buses and other cars drove by.
Across the street, a somewhat more subdued gathering of supporters of Israel drew about 100 people, according to an LAPD estimate.
The rallies took place even as rockets flew between Israel and the Gaza Strip, an escalation of violence in the wake of the recent abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers – and the subsequent revenge killing by Israelis of a Palestinian teenager.