Pro-Palestine protestor ‘stalked’ Paul Kessler before alleged fatal punch: witness

A Jewish man who died after a clash between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in California was “stalked” by his alleged attacker, who hit him with a megaphone moments before he died. said a witness.

“[The man] “Because, like I said, he stalked us…he came here with a megaphone to do the same thing,” Jonathan Oswaks said Tuesday when the man he alleges appeared on Sunday afternoon. told the story of how he first attacked Paul Kessler.According to him, he held a megaphone to his ear. jewish journal.

Oswaks, 69, warned the man, “‘Keep that thing out of your ear,'” and the would-be attacker turned toward Kessler, also 69, who was standing across the street holding an Israeli flag. Oswaks claimed that .

“Then all of a sudden I saw a punch. I knew I saw a punch because it was a white megaphone that was flying through the air,” he claimed.

Kessler is believed to have then fallen backwards, sustaining serious head injuries. He was taken to a hospital, where he died in the early hours of Monday.

Jonathan Oswaks (second from right) addressed the crowd from the spot where Paul Kessler fell on Tuesday.
Getty Images

“My heart broke when I heard that. [of his death]ozwaks told the Los Angeles Times.

Oswaks, who is Jewish and works as an engineer, said he met Kessler through the Nextdoor app just a few weeks ago.

Oswaks said the two were together counter-protesting at a pro-Palestinian demonstration on October 29, when aggressive demonstrators pushed them onto the street and fired guns at them.

Oswaks said police were unable to identify the perpetrators because protesters were changing masks and hoods.

Undeterred, Oswaks and Kessler organized a huge show at Sunday’s pro-Palestinian protests.

Paul Kessler died early Monday at a hospital from severe head trauma.

While the men were waiting by a fountain at a designated intersection, Oswaks claimed on Tuesday that he received a call from a friend who told him that his face appeared on a social media live and that he was being “watched.” did.

Oswaks said he looked up and saw three men sitting on a bench filming.

“I recognize one of them as the murderer,” he claimed. “The other guy was an extreme agitator. The other guy was just a young guy, so I couldn’t say much about him.”

Oswaks and Kessler then met up with a friend of Kessler’s who brought an Israeli flag, an American flag and a Gadsden flag, he said.

“Paul insisted on flying the Israeli flag,” Oswaks recalled.

“I asked him at least three times to give it to me. Paul was much smaller than me. He was like David. He was proud to have raised that flag against the giants. Ta.

Chalk artist Elana Colombo drew a Star of David where Kessler fell.
AFP (via Getty Images)

“[Paul also warned me] At a protest of this kind, when someone picks up a megaphone and puts it in your ear with the intent of harassing you, it’s assault. ”

The men decided to split up around the intersection, he continued.

“Soon, there were guys videotaping me and Paul was standing behind me…with a megaphone in my ear. That’s exactly what happened.” [Kessler] Told me it was going to happen,” Oswaks claimed.

Oswaks asked the man to back up, and the gunman offered him water or food.

“[I said] “I don’t want anything but space from you. Please come back,” he insisted.

Oswaks said the man then crossed the street and then got into an argument with Kessler.

Ventura County Sheriff Jim Freihoff said no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Kessler’s death.

“The megaphone came from above. [of the group]” he said at a press conference.

“There were probably about 10 people… close to me and they could tell right away what was going on, so it was blocking my view.”

Oswaks claimed he did not know Kessler was injured until later.

Speaking from the scene of the alleged beating on Tuesday, he criticized the authorities’ response to the incident.

“Where is the megaphone? Why didn’t the police retrieve the megaphone? Why didn’t the police retrieve the Israeli flag? What are the police doing?” he argued.

Ventura County Sheriff Jim Freihoff declined to comment at a news conference early Tuesday on whether the megaphone was removed from the scene or whether it was believed to have played a role in Kessler’s injuries.

Flowers and flags have been placed at the exact spot on the sidewalk where the alleged assault on Paul Kessler took place.

A 50-year-old Moorpark man was briefly detained Monday while police executed a search warrant, but no one has been arrested or charged in connection with Kessler’s death, Freihoff added.

The medical sales representative’s injuries were caused by falling backwards, but he also had injuries to his face that “may have been caused by bruising,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Youngs said.

“This is the same bull. This is what’s happening on our streets. They’re letting people go through our shopping centers and they’re destroying our shopping centers,” Oswaks said.

“There’s no police presence anywhere. Nowhere! None of you are safe. I don’t know if you realize it. It’s not reported on the news. This is the trick. I hope it will be successful.”

Ozwaks was joined at Tuesday’s press conference by people holding placards calling for the release of 240 Israeli hostages held by Hamas since October 7, the Jewish Journal reported.

A woman leaves flowers at the scene where Kessler collapsed.
AFP (via Getty Images)

Some people held Israeli and American flags, and flowers and Yahrzeit candles marked the spot where Kessler fell, the newspaper added.

Earlier in the day, Elena Colomba, a recent convert to Judaism, spent hours marking the bloody spot where Kessler lay waiting for an ambulance with a Star of David drawn in blue chalk. Reporter Jacob Garbier wrote about X:

“We, the Jewish community, have been saying for the past 30 years that what’s happening on the streets, what’s happening on social media, what’s happening in our schools, what’s happening on our campuses is intolerable and unsustainable. We have said it over and over again for days,” Elan Carr, CEO of the Israeli American Council, told reporters.

“And we have also said that if this situation continues unabated, someone will die.

“By the way, my friend and colleague, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said these words three nights ago: If this continues, someone is going to die. And we… I’m here today.”

Carr argued that Kessler had a First Amendment right to protest by displaying an Israeli flag.

“For that act…Paul paid the ultimate price. He paid with his life,” he said.

“We have come here today not only to testify to what happened, but to make a demand… Enough is enough. The attacks on Jews are over… All people of goodwill [should] Let us stand in complete solidarity against this vile and vicious rise of hatred. ”

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