President Joe Biden
President Joe BidenREUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

US President Joe Biden on Monday condemned the violence that occurred during an anti-Israel protest outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles on Sunday.

“I’m appalled by the scenes outside of Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American,” Biden wrote in a post on social media site X.

“Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship – and engaging in violence – is never acceptable,” he added.

Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, thanked Biden and wrote, “Thank you, President Biden, for drawing this line. Such a demonstration outside of a house of worship is blatant antisemitism and should serve as a wake up call to all.”

מתוך המהומה ב-LAבאדיבות המצלם

The violence on Sunday erupted after anti-Israel protesters gathered outside the synagogue, located in the Pico-Robertson section of Los Angeles, where a real estate fair was taking place.

The protesters surrounded the synagogue and prevented Jews from entering. In one video, protesters, their faces covered by "Palestinian" keffiyehs, are seen linking arms by the entrance of the house of worship.

Reports from the scene said that clashes broke out between the anti-Israel protesters and individuals who came to protect the synagogue. Members of the two groups pushed, shoved, and threw punches at each other, and one anti-Israel protester even sprayed bear mace at members of the other group, as well as at an independent journalist who was at the scene.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass commented on the violent anti-Israel protests in her city and said, "Today’s violence in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood today was abhorrent, and blocking access to a place of worship is unacceptable. I’ve called on LAPD to provide additional patrols in the Pico-Robertson community as well as outside of houses of worship throughout the city. I’ll be meeting with Chief Choi tomorrow to further discuss the safety of Angelenos."

She added, "I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for antisemitism and violence. Those responsible for either will be found and held accountable. I will be joining Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation Los Angeles Rabbi Noah Farkas, and other law enforcement and faith leaders in a community meeting this week as we talk about steps forward, together."