Biden ‘appalled’ by violence at LA synagogue, but DOJ won’t say if it’s seeking charges

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Biden ‘appalled’ by violence at LA synagogue, but DOJ won’t say if it’s seeking charges

President Biden is condemning threats to Jewish members of a Los Angeles synagogue after viral videos showed anti-Israel activists clashing with Israel supporters over the weekend.

“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 on X. 

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

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President Biden said he was ‘appalled’ at the incident outside of a Los Angeles synagogue on Sunday. (Getty Images)

His Department of Justice (DOJ), however, declined to comment. Fox News Digital sent two queries to the DOJ earlier on Monday asking whether the department would investigate or seek to prosecute the matter.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suggested Biden direct a probe into the incident himself.

“If only you were in charge of the FBI and Department of Justice and could order them to conduct a manhunt for every one of these pro-Hamas lunatics. Like you did for every grandma in a MAGA hat within a country mile of the Capitol on January 6,” Cotton wrote on X.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland’s DOJ did not respond to queries on whether it would prosecute the matter. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Biden’s supporters on the left, however, cheered his statement. Pro-Israel group Democratic Majority for Israel thanked Biden on X “for condemning the reprehensible targeting of Jewish worshipers at a Adas Torah.”

“We are grateful for your unwavering commitment to fighting antisemitism and for your leadership in the face of such hatred,” the group wrote.

Videos of the incident showed police in riot gear as pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activists got into physical altercations. 

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Israel and Palestinian supporters clash outside LA synagogue

Supporters of Israel clash with pro-Palestinian protesters blocking access to the Adas Torah Orthodox Jewish synagogue, in Los Angeles, June 23, 2024. (David Swanson/AFP via Getty Images)

In addition to Biden, it prompted criticism from Los Angeles’ progressive mayor, Karen Bass, for protesters blocking Jewish residents’ access to their synagogue.

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“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,” Bass wrote on X. “I’ll be meeting with Chief Choi tomorrow to further discuss the safety of Angelenos. 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.”

It’s the latest sign of tensions rising around the country in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack in southern Israel, and Israel’s responding invasion of Gaza to eradicate the Palestinian militant group.

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