An elderly Jewish man is dead following a “physical altercation” at a pro-Israel rally in Thousand Oaks, CA in a shocking incident that comes amid an explosion of anti-Semitism over Israel’s war on the Hamas terror organization in Gaza.
On Sunday afternoon, 69-year-old Paul Kessler turned out to display an Israeli flag in support of the Jewish nation at a busy intersection where dueling rallies were taking place when he became involved in a confrontation with dueling pro-Palestinian protesters, falling and striking his head on the pavement after he was allegedly struck by a megaphone.
BREAKING: This is the last photo of Paul Kessler taken just 5 minutes before he was attacked by an anti-Israel protester yesterday afternoon. I received photos and videos from a source at the scene. pic.twitter.com/QBbLIO0lBM
— Christina Buttons (@buttonslives) November 7, 2023
When police arrived at the scene after receiving multiple calls, they found Kessler lying on the ground in a pool of blood at the intersection of Westlake Blvd. and Thousand Oaks Blvd. He was transported to the hospital where he would later succumb to his injuries.
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
According to a press release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, “An autopsy was performed on November 6th and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force head injury and the manner of death homicide.”
“The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident and has not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime,” the agency said. No arrests had reportedly been made as of Monday night.
Kessler’s wife was reported to be in a “in a state of total shock” as local Jewish leaders and organizations mourned his death and called for justice.
(Video: Fox 11 Los Angeles)
“We are devastated to learn of the tragic death of an elderly Jewish man who was struck in the head by a megaphone wielded by a pro-Palestinian protester in Westlake Village. Our hearts are with the family of the victim,” the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said in a statement.
— Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (@JFedLA) November 7, 2023
“While we wait for more information from our law enforcement partners, we remind you that this is the fourth major antisemitic crime committed in Los Angeles this year alone. Violence against our people has no place in civilized society. We demand safety. We will not tolerate violence against our community. We will do everything in our power to prevent it,” the statement read.
“I’m heartbroken to hear of the tragic death of an elderly man today after having been struck at a protest in my district. My prayers are with this man’s family and friends. Our whole community grieves at this senseless loss of life. I call for peace in our community,” Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell said in a post to X, formerly Twitter.
The incident comes as leftists continue to whip up hatred against Israel, including sitting members of the U.S. Congress with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) having recently promoted the slogan “from the river to the sea” which has been widely interpreted as a call for the genocide of the Israeli people.
The phrase has been chanted at mass protests on college campuses and on the streets of America where Jews have found themselves to be in increasing danger from left-wing mobs.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference about the investigation into Kessler’s death on Tuesday morning.
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