Protests against the sale of Palestinian land in the West Bank are nothing new. Attacks by counterprotesters like we saw in Los Angeles through dozens of videos online are. Those videos tell a very different story than the tales spun by politicians and media pundits. Their immediate and overtly anti-Arab and Islamophobic animus can not be ignored regardless of how normalized it has become over the last two decades.

“I’m appalled by the scenes outside of Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles. Intimidating Jewish congregants is dangerous, unconscionable, antisemitic, and un-American,” President Joe Biden said on X (formerly Twitter). “Americans have a right to peaceful protest. But blocking access to a house of worship – and engaging in violence – is never acceptable.”

What is happening right now is the same narrative spin we saw and continue to see regarding the campus protests and nearly every protest in U.S. history. Violence is usually perpetrated by law enforcement or the groups they align with (think the Ku Klux Klan, Proud Boys, pro-Israel protesters, etc) and later turned into narratives to demonize peaceful protesters. No, being loud does not constitute violence nor does it make a protest not peaceful.

People talk shit and shout at protests. That’s kind of the point.

It’s not until people start getting physical that violence ensues. That violence has a long history in the U.S. and the violence usually begins with police or far-right counterprotesters. Groups like the Proud Boys, just like the Klan, are notorious for this and police are notorious for letting them do what they want. There is no denying it. Similarly, the violence in LA escalated once police pushed pro-Palestinian protesters away from the synagogue into the streets and surrounding areas providing greater opportunity for violence.

“Elected officials and the mainstream media have politicized this incident as religious discrimination as opposed to a human rights issue,” Hussam Alyoush, Executive Director of the Council of Islamic Relations said in a statement. “We call on political leaders to condemn the organizations involved in the potentially illegal sale of Palestinian land and the counter-protesters who commit violence against anti-genocide protesters with the same fervor used for rightfully condemning antisemitism.”

That’s when pro-Israel counterpotesters followed the crowd and fighting broke out while police did little to intervene. Despite these obvious provocations and outright assaults, there is little mention of how it started. Most media reports don’t even indicate that the protests were responding to a real estate company selling land in the West Bank. 

Meanwhile, the Mayor of LA, Karen Bass, held a press conference to show a united front against antisemitism while standing on stage with Adam King who hosts a show on Alex Jones’s InfoWars alongside LAPD interim Chief Dominic Choi. Despite King claiming to be an Orthodox Jew after the event, King peddles antisemitic and Islamophobic conspiracy theories with some of the biggest racists in the U.S.

The rush by politicians to condemn acts before verifying whether those acts even occurred has been a prominent issue since October 7, 2023. Everyone including the president – who has access to more intelligence assets than anyone in the world – has fallen for propaganda not just on social media but in mainstream media as well. The way legacy media promoted so many stories that later turned out to be outright lies should be alarming to society at large. 

That it’s still happening even more so.

The Antagonist Magazine is a project made up of journalists, activists, and writers focused on amplifying the stories of marginalized communities. The goal is to educate the public by sharing narratives focused on independent voices. Born of an online community in 2019, our platform operates independently; free of corporate influence. Please consider supporting the work of dozens of writers from various communities.

Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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