FAIRFAX DISTRICT (CBSLA) — Pastor John Edward Cager III called for unity Thursday outside of Los Angeles City Hall where community leaders came together to condemn hate in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic attacks.
“If you love Los Angeles, love Jewish Angelenos,” he said. “If you love Los Angeles, love Muslim Angelenos.”READ MORE: 1 Killed, 1 Injured In Santa Clarita Crash
The pastor of Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church was joined by Hedab Tirefi of the Islamic Center of Southern California and Associate Rabbi Adir Posy of Beth Jacob Congregation.
“As I stand here before you today denouncing the hate and violence aimed at Angelenos, Jewish and others, I call upon our city leaders and my fellow interfaith leaders to denounce hate and violence in every shape and form,” Tirefi said.
“We cannot allow the importing of the Hamas war to our beloved city,” Adir said. “L.A. is the second city of every national and ethnic group in the world.”
The calls for peace and unity came after a video posted to social media showed a group of men attacking patrons outside of a Beverly Grove sushi restaurant late Tuesday night. Witnesses and victims said the men jumped out of a vehicle and assaulted anyone they thought was Jewish.READ MORE: Evacuation Orders For 349-Acre King Fire In Lancaster Lifted, No Injuries Reported
One of the victims, who is Jewish, spoke with CBS Los Angeles on Thursday about the attack.
“They slowed down, particularly at our table, and started yelling at us, ‘Do you support Palestine? Are you with us,'” the man who did not want to be identified said. “We turned around to sit down at our table and a bottle of glass hits the sidewalk next to us and then another one came.”
The assault continued with the men from the car using metal stanchions and their fists. They then fled the scene.
“When we look at these incidents, we deem them to be criminal in nature and to be motivated by hatred and we are treating them as hate crimes,” Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Dominic Choi said.
LAPD is also investigating another incident from the night before caught on security video. In that video, an Orthodox Jewish man is seen being chased through a parking lot by a caravan of people waving Palestinian flags. The man was able to get away unharmed.MORE NEWS: Southland Residents Receiving Unemployment Insurance Must Actively Seek Work As Of July 11 In Order To Keep Benefits
Authorities said they believe both incidents are connected, but would not say what evidence they had to support that conclusion. There have been no arrests.