Homeland Security officials discuss protest violence with Jewish leaders

Top Department of Homeland Security officials spoke with Jewish leaders concerned about violence at rallies and demonstrations connected to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

There were 200 Jewish officials on the July 14 conference call organized by the Secure Community Network, the security arm of national Jewish umbrella organizations.

“While the majority of protests have been peaceful, pro-Israeli demonstrators in Boston and Los Angeles were physically assaulted by anti-Israeli protesters this past week, and synagogues in Paris have been attacked by violent protesters,” the statement said.

“SCN discussed the security implications of operations in Gaza on Jewish communities both domestically and worldwide, and reviewed security protocols for planned rallies and demonstrations in support of Israel,” it said.

At least three Jews were taken to the hospital in Paris as a result of clashes July 13 between protesters and young Jewish men who guarded the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue.

In Los Angeles, four people were arrested in Los Angeles over the weekend, allegedly for wading into a pro-Israel demonstration brandishing sticks.

Separately, the Anti-Defamation League published an alert July 15 “encouraging heightened vigilance” for Jewish institutions and synagogues and “recommending that institutions take steps to enhance their security and connect with law enforcement.” — jta