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Ali Abunimah Assaulted by LAPD; Pro-Israel Demonstrator Rants to “Eliminate Muslim”


I filmed the LAPD assaulting me at pro-Israel demo

By Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada)

Officers of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) assaulted me without provocation as I spoke to and filmed participants at a pro-Israel rally on the north side of Wilshire Blvd. by the Israeli consulate this evening.

I was handcuffed and threatened, and I caught it all on video above. There is now a second video of the incident, filmed by a third party, below.

Across the road, on the south side of Wilshire, was a Palestine solidarity rally called for by a number of peace and justice groups to protest Israel’s rampage of lethal violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

I arrived directly to the pro-Israel counter-demonstration without first having been to the Palestine solidarity rally. I wanted to speak to people and record their opinions.

As I was arriving, I heard one participant say: “A good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” I approached him and asked him, “What could make all this stop?” He answered: “Eliminate Muslims” and launched into an anti-Muslim tirade.

Another person heard him and objected to his words, telling me, “That’s not true. Terrorists are the problem,” and “I have a lot of Palestinian friends.”

We were having a conversation when, without any warning, I was assaulted by LAPD officers. I was profiled: one officer asked, “Are you with the Palestine?”

In the video, the officers claim that I had disobeyed an order. This is untrue. I was assaulted and restrained without warning and when I asked the officers to stop assaulting me and let me go, they put handcuffs on me.

One officer can be heard on the video saying, “I know you are trying to fire everyone up.” This is also untrue – I was asking questions and listening to the answers.

I believe he may have said this because he suspected that my camera was still running. An officer also said that they were trying to “keep the peace” and “keep me safe,” all while physically assaulting me.

After the video cuts, the sergeant was called. I was questioned about my political beliefs and asked, “Which side are you on?”

I answered, “I am on the side of peace and justice.” The sergeant asked, “Which side is that?”

I responded, “Which side do you think it is?”

The sergeant said they would remove the handcuffs if I agreed to leave the scene and not come back.

In effect, I was forced to stop reporting and leave the scene or risk arrest. In order to avoid further violence and harassment I agreed and I was escorted across Wilshire Blvd. where I joined the Palestine solidarity rally, which appeared to have several hundred people, more than the dozens waving Israeli flags and chanting, “Who are we? Israel!”

Second video

This video shot by Scott Bixler shows the incident from another angle, showing that the LAPD assault and battery was entirely unprovoked.

LAPD-Israel collaboration

In my book The Battle for Justice in Palestine, I write about the close cooperation between Israel and US big city police departments, including the LAPD.

In January, as Rania Khalek reported, LAPD top brass went on their most recent junket where they fell in love with Israeli drones.

I wonder if it is that cooperation that predisposes officers to see anyone suspected of being “with the Palestine” as a threat.

What is clear is that I was profiled and treated as a threat like so many Angelenos, particularly people of color.

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  • You raise an important point, Ilisha: you just discovered the results of what happens when a single group (the Palestinians in this case) monopolizes all of the world’s attention, posing as the only “oppressed” group in existence, at the expense of all the others, many of which are in considerably worse situations than the Palestinians ever were. Why do we never hear of the illegal occupations of Tibet by China, Northern Cyprus by Turkey and Western Sahara by Morocco? Because the Palestinians make so much noise that they have succeeded in convincing the world that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank (which is legal, in contrast to the other three I just mentioned) is the only case of occupation that exists. This distortion is unfair to all the other victims the world knows today, or rather, has forgotten or ignores because the Palestinians hog all the attention all the time. It’s time for the real victims of oppression to stand up and push the Palestinian cause where it belongs, i.e. at the bottom of the scale of ongoing humanitarian emergencies.

  • “…discerning individuals…”? Like you, I presume? People who have verbal diarrhea and sound like they’re on meth? I don’t think so. You can’t have a rational debate with anyone. You clearly need professional help, and that’s beyond what I can do for you. Go refill your prescription. I would recommend valium in your case.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Who do they think they are, the UDBA? Wait, actually they do.

  • Guest

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    Post by M4L (Muslims for Liberty).

  • Ahmed Ali Shah

    I feel that the Torah and the Talmud are worlds apart. Zionism is feeding off of the teachings of the Talmud, whereas the Torah goes against everything the Zionist movement supposedly stands for. You should read up on when and how the Talmud was authored, and the circumstances that existed at the time. I’m sorry if any of my questions made you feel uncomfortable.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Yeah, I’d LOVE to see you meet exactly the fate you wish for us Mooslims.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    At least the Bosniaks do have a country (actually 25% of it) and are not walled in

  • Heinz Catsup

    That Baba dude looks familiar… I think I saw him before in that one episode of Diego Bunuel’s “Don’t tell my Mother…” (Iran edition).

  • Sam Seed

    Muslims are species???

  • Ahmed Ali Shah

    Okay, but do people give more importance to the Talmud nowadays or the Torah?

  • mindy1

    I am not sure, but I believe that the Talmud is a scholarly interpretation of the laws revealed to the Jews by God.

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