LA Israeli and Palestinian reflect on a conflict thousands of miles away

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We hear from Israeli and Palestinian voices in Southern California regarding the conflict in the Middle East. Photo by Shutterstock.

Police are investigating an attack on a group of Jewish men Tuesday night in the Beverly Grove area as a possible hate crime. Witnesses say three men punched the restaurant diners while shouting slurs and throwing bottles at them. No one was seriously injured.

Eyewitnesses say the attackers were part of a pro-Palestinian caravan traveling through the neighborhood, but that has not yet been confirmed.

It’s yet another example of heightened tensions over what’s happening in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians, and how those tensions extend to local communities in Southern California.

KCRW spoke with two Angelenos with strong connections to and feelings about the conflict.

Filmmaker Rolla Selbak talks about balancing her sympathies for both sides in the conflict. “On one hand, we have to understand the plight of the Jewish people, right? You understand they've been suffering for decades and hundreds of years. And so you want them to have a place of peace, somewhere where they can live in peace. We understand that, of course. But I think the split is how that shouldn't come at the cost of oppressing another group of people.” 


“You understand they've [Jewish people] been suffering for decades and hundreds of years. And so you want them to have a place of peace, somewhere where they can live in peace. ... That shouldn't come at the cost of oppressing another group of people,” says filmmaker Rolla Selbak. Photo by Connie Kurtew.

Journalist Elad Massuri says living in America broadens your perspective on the conflict. “Here, you see things from different angles, you’re more balanced, you try to see the other side. And I really feel that on top of the pain that I feel, especially on a morning like this, hearing what happened in Melrose, in West Hollywood … yes, I think I’m more balanced. I think I’m willing to listen to the other side. Always willing to sit and talk with Palestinians. With Arab people from Israel and from around the world, and to hear their pain to hear how we can make things better.”


“I think I’m willing to listen to the other side. Always willing to sit and talk with Palestinians. With Arab people from Israel and from around the world, and to hear their pain to hear how we can make things better,” says journalist Elad Massuri. Photo by Ian Fisher.

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