WATCH: Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestinian Protesters Clash at UCLA ‘Encampment’

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

LOS ANGELES — Roughly 2,000 pro-Israel counter-demonstrators gathered at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on Sunday to protest near a “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” that was set up last week on campus.

As they arrived, many had to walk a gauntlet of about 100 pro-Palestinian activists, some of whom were from the encampment. Local Black Lives Matter activists had also called upon supporters to oppose the pro-Israel protesters.

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

Families, including small children, endured the screaming, taunting, and banging of the pro-Palestinian mob — with no UCLA security separating them.

One UCLA official told Breitbart News the university lacked sufficient personnel to provide security for the pro-Israel protesters. However, there were dozens of security officers guarding the “encampment.”

Other access routes to the central plaza were blocked. One private security employee told Breitbart News that the activists’ own security guards, dressed in fluorescent jerseys, had authority “over” her.

In other words, UCLA had effectively delegated security to the pro-Palestinian activists — the same people who have excluded media from their encampment, as Breitbart News reported Friday, assaulting journalists who dare to enter the public space.

Inside the pro-Israel protest, the mood was festive, if tense. Proceedings began with The Star-Spangled Banner and Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. There were speeches by campus leaders and local Jewish community representatives, followed by celebratory Israeli music, to which the crowd responded by singing and dancing.

Roughly 2,000 pro-Israel demonstrators protested opposite the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, April 28, 2024. (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

At the edge of the crowd, opposite the pro-Palestinian protesters, two pro-Israel protesters held photographs of the Israeli hostages — 133 of whom are still being held by Hamas, about 100 of whom are thought possibly to be alive.

Pro-Israel counter-demonstrators hold up photographs of Israeli hostages as pro-Palestinian protesters hold an anti-Israel banner, UCLA, Los Angeles, April 28, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

There were several scuffles, as pro-Palestinian protesters briefly entered the pro-Israel crowd, and as the two sides faced off outside the rally, with no security in between them other than the Palestinian activists in fluorescent jerseys.

At one point, a pro-Palestinian activist tried to seize an Israeli flag, and a fight broke out that was quickly broken up.

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

Pro-Israel demonstrators began taunting the many masked pro-Palestinian activists with chants of “Show your face!”

Many of the pro-Palestinian signs were radical, Islamist, or otherwise offensive. One activist on the Palestinian side held up a sign that said “Fuck Biden. Fuck the USA.”

An anti-American sign on the Palestinian side as pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrators clash, UCLA, Los Angeles, April 28, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

The barricade around the “encampment” also had some offensive slogans, including some that reflected the anti-police rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter movement. One panel said “Fuck UCPD,” referring to the campus police force — which has, thus far, allowed the encampment to continue undisturbed.

An anti-police slogan on a wooden barricade at the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” at UCLA, Los Angeles, April 28, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators appeared to have vandalized UCLA property; one walkway had been spray-painted with the slogan “Say No to Genocide.” However, as the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper, reported Saturday, activists at the encampment have been permitted to receive large deliveries of food, and to use campus bathrooms.

There were occasional moments of civil dialogue at the edges of the protest, though taunts were far more common.

A pro-Israel protester and a pro-Palestinian protester debate each other on the sidelines of protests at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, April 28, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

UCLA is situated in the heart of one of the most pro-Israel areas in the country, surrounded by Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Westwood, which have large Jewish populations, including Persian Jews who escaped Iran’s Islamic revolution.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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