David Silon

Whither LA

A historical look at the relationship between Israel and Los Angeles (14:53)

As with everyone else in the world, I also watched closely the events that took place on the 24th, at the Adas Torah synagogue in the Pico/Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles. This follows on the heels of other “protests” by these antisemitic savages such as what took place in front of a Jewish school in the neighborhood of Valley Village just four days previously, and in March, before the Oscar ceremonies in Hollywood. This, not to mention all the mob “protests” and encampments on the college and university campuses throughout the California State University system including those in the LA area – at UCLA, UC Irvine, USC, and even minor “protests” at Cal State Northridge where my nephew was studying. (Thank goodness he graduated, so now he’s out of there).

Since October 7th, and as someone who was born and raised in LA, and currently lives in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley, in the very house he grew up in, I’ve often been asked by family and friends living abroad if I, as a Jew, currently feel safe here. Well I, personally, haven’t experienced any intense antisemitism since junior high school. And my neighborhood has always been a pretty friendly area. But there were some rare minor incidents recently, such as when I saw a “Palestinian” flag flying from a passing car. So I would usually say that I feel saf-ER, especially when compared to other cities in the west like New York, Chicago, London, Berlin, or Paris. Even in Montreal where my uncle lives, things really aren’t much better. And for a man in his 90s, living in a retirement home, his safety more than anything else (aside from Israel’s safety of course) is the thing that keeps me up at night.

One thing that differentiates LA from those other cities I just mentioned, including their metropolitan areas, is that the LA area is a very, very big place. It covers a whole bunch of neighborhoods outside of downtown and also independent cities that are either within, or adjacent, to it, including East Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, the myriad of neighborhoods and cities of the San Fernando Valley, and so many other places. Juxtapose this area over a map of Israel and one will find that it is almost four times as big as the State of Israel itself. So if something happens in one neighborhood, those neighborhoods that are far away from that spot, usually aren’t affected at all. In other words, Pico/Robertson is far away from me. Valley Village and Cal State Northridge are not. There have been exceptions though, such as the Rodney King riots or the George Floyd riots, but those are the exceptions.

So will I end up seeking refuge in Israel? Well, I’m watching events, and eyeing my suitcases, very closely. For right now though, I think I’ll stay where I am, in the house I grew up in. Many moons ago, I had the privilege of visiting Israel with the intention of making aliyah. But while there, I suffered from a terrible illness called “home sickness,” which is why I came back to LA in the end. I’m still debating with myself whether I did the right thing or not. It’s one of those things today’s diaspora Jews always struggle with – country of origin or country of ancestry and heritage. Especially from the west, one should ideally make aliyah by choice and not by force. And I have nothing but respect for those Jews from western countries who chose to make aliyah.

If there is anything positive that came out of October 7th, it is that it has taught me to be even more proud of my Jewish heritage and my connection to the country my ancestors came from, as well as being equally proud of the history and culture of the city where I came from, including its Jewish history, which began in 1841, and its connection to the ancestral homeland, which began in 1854. I can safely say with the fullest of confidence that, regardless of where I live, my relationship with Israel will never cease.

About the Author
David currently lives in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles pursuing many interests. He is totally anti-Zionist and is a pro-Israel blogger who also blogs about the histories of the other Arab-occupied indigenous peoples of the Middle East and North (see His booklet, The Occupied Territories [by David Marc], about these indigenous peoples, is currently sold on Amazon.
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