Two men have been booked on hate crime and assault charges for an incident in May during Israel's conflict with Gaza when a group of Jewish diners in Los Angeles was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse before a fight broke out.
Xavier Pabon, 30, of Banning, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, of Anaheim, were each charged Tuesday with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The charges also include a hate crime allegation.
The two defendants allegedly participated in the brawl on May 18 outside of a sushi restaurant in the western section of the city when a caravan of cars waving Palestinian flags stopped and people exited their vehicles and began throwing bottles and other items and yelling anti-Israel and anti-Jewish slurs at the diners.
"A hate crime is a crime against all of us," Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. "My office is committed to doing all we can to make Los Angeles County a place where our diversity is embraced and protected."
The attack took place in the Beverly Grove neighborhood in western Los Angeles, where there is a significant Jewish community, just hours after an afternoon demonstration near the Israeli consulate at which the Palestinian Youth Movement organized.
A wave of anti-Semitic attacks took place during May's 11-day conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, leading U.S. President Joe Biden to denounce the violence as "despicable, unconscionable, un-American."
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.