Jewish Man Killed In Altercation At Pro-Israel Rally

An elderly Jewish man was killed at a pro-Israel rally in California in the Thousand Oaks community area of Los Angeles during a physical altercation with a pro-Palestinian protester on Sunday afternoon.

Investigators determined that Paul Kessler, 69, had struck his head on the ground after falling backward. Kessler was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on November 6.

Kessler was one of several pro-Israel demonstrators who showed up to a pro-Palestinian protest that was advertised as a “peaceful protest” on X.

Over 70 people attended the event and authorities who were patrolling saw no indication of violence erupting 15 minutes prior to the incident.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Kessler’s death as a homicide caused by “blunt force trauma.”

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that the conversation between Kessler and the Pro-Palestinian protestor was heated.

“They were both on an even ground, and they were yelling at each other, and then the man brought his megaphone up and hit Paul, and Paul went down,” the witness said.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ tweet also matched the witnesses’ account that Kessler was struck in the head with a megaphone.

The pro-Palestinian protestor involved in the incident with Kessler told deputies that he had called 911 after the fall. The protestor, whose name has not been released, is 50-years old and had been briefly detained and had his home searched.

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement in relation to Kessler’s death, calling it a “tragic and shocking loss.”

“While we strongly support the right of political debate, CAIR-LA and the Muslim community stand with the Jewish community in rejecting any and all violence, antisemitism, Islamophobia, or incitement of hatred,” the statement said.

At this time, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is asking that no one jump to conclusions in regards to this being a hate crime while they complete their investigation.