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Los Angeles protest delays city council motion to fund Zionist security forces

By staff

LA protest against city funding of Zionist "security" forces

Los Angeles, CA – On Tuesday, July 2, protesters congregated outside and within the Los Angeles City Hall to disrupt the city council’s motion to provide $1 million to Zionist security forces.

Introduced by Council Members Katy Yaroslavsky (Council District 5) and Bob Blumenfield (CD-3), the proposed funding follows attacks by Zionists on Palestine solidarity activists. However, the successful mobilization of anti-Zionist forces led the city council to delay their vote on the motion.

The city council motion came up as a response to the Palestinian Youth Movement’s protest of a “real estate event” held on June 24 by My Home in Israel. That company markets Israeli settlements to American Jews. Like their attack on the UCLA Gaza solidarity encampments, Zionist counter-protesters came to the protest in West LA and initiated clashes with pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

National and local politicians willfully ignored this context, focusing on the location of the real estate event – the Adas Torah synagogue – in order to smear Palestine solidarity activists as “antisemitic.”

President Biden’s X account published, “Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American. Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship – and engaging in violence – is never acceptable.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called upon LAPD to further patrol the neighborhood, vowed to secure funding for security, and described the protest as “Antisemitism in the heart of one of our Jewish communities.”

On June 26, Council Members Yaroslavsky and Blumenfields’ response to the clashes was the introduction of a motion to allocate $1 million to support the Jewish Federation, Magen Am, the Jewish Community Foundation, and/or additional organizations in order to increase “community security services, training, and grants” for the “Jewish communities of Los Angeles.” The proposed recipients of this funding have known links to both the Israel Defense Forces and LAPD as well as a track record of attacking demonstrators at Palestine solidarity actions.

During the press conference outside the city hall and the public comments at the July 2 city council meeting, activists spoke about their experiences of Zionist intimidation and violence at pro-Palestine protests throughout Los Angeles. Speakers also linked the IDF to LAPD through their common training and tactics. They recommended that the city council allocate these funds for affordable housing, green spaces, and other social needs in LA.

Luis Sifuentes of Freedom Road Socialist Organization led his speech with the chant, “Viva, viva Palestina.” He said, “Fascists can attack us for demonstrating our solidarity with Palestine with complete impunity. And now they’re trying to get millions, more money, for supposedly security. But it’s not going to stop here. They’re going to keep asking for more.”

While activists’ efforts led to the delay of the city council’s vote, a new proposal will likely expand the recipients to communities of various religious denominations but also increase the funding to $2 million. When the amended motion is up for a vote, the people of Los Angeles will mobilize once again to demonstrate their rejection of Zionism.

#LosAngelesCA #PalestinianYouthMovement #LAPD #IDF