Israel supporter, 69, dies after being struck at Central Coast demonstration

November 6, 2023



A pro-Palestinian demonstrator allegedly attacked a 69-year-old Jewish pro-Israeli demonstrator at a Central Coast rally on Sunday, and a day later, the victim died of his injuries.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victim as Paul Kessler of Thousand Oaks. Reports suggest a pro-Palestinian demonstrator struck Kessler in the head with a bullhorn. Video footage posted on social media appears to show Kessler lying on the ground with blood pouring out of his head after the attack.

At about 3:20 p.m. Sunday, multiple citizens reported a battery had occurred at the intersection of Westlake and Thousand Oaks boulevards. Simultaneous pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations were taking place at the intersection.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found Kessler suffering from a head injury. Witnesses indicated Kessler was involved in a physical altercation with a pro-Palestinian demonstrator or demonstrators. During the altercation, Kessler fell backward and struck his head on the ground, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Responders transported Kessler to an area hospital for advanced medical treatment. Kessler succumbed to his injuries on Monday. 

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on Monday and determined Kessler’s cause of death to be blunt forced head injury. Medical examiners determined the manner of the death was a homicide. 

Sheriff’s personnel are investigating the death. The sheriff’s office has not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime. Investigators request that anyone who witnessed the incident or has knowledge of it contact Detective Stump at (805) 384-4745.

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All these people who are protesting never say they are against Hamas killing of women and children and if you asked them to tell you what has happened in the last 25 yrs that they feel has been against Palestinian people by Israel to make them hate Israel and Jews they can’t tell you. Israel has been out of Gaza for yrs and the palestinian people elected the terrorist group Hamas to run them and Hamas is the ones that have abused them

Sad outcome of soft-on-crime government.

The Gaza war is a good lesson for us to learn from. We need to junk those that thrive on creating animosities and political biases, specifically Talk Radio, Fox News, OANN, NewsMax, MSNBC, CNN, Epoch Times.

Most of it comes from internet sites such as facebook,instagram and especially tiktok

Hate crime…How about charging him with murder?

I refuse to take side between two entities that choose to exchange dead babies in each other grievances. There are no sides to take, but the hard choice remains, to see the dignity and value in each other.

Until we acknowledge each other’s grief, and our own culpability in causing it, grievances will remain.

It is not anti-Semitic to insist Israel end a 40+ year occupation. It is not pro terrorist to acknowledge justifiable anger and hopelessness of Palestinians . Nor can you ignore centuries of persecution of

Jews no matter where they live.

The results we see are not surprising.

Until we mourn the loss each other’s children as we would mourn the loss of our own, we are doomed to a world of callous indifference.

And we resolve ourselves to a future of dead babies in exchange tired grievances.

The mere fact this is being downvoted is a very telling commentary on where we are right now. Nothing in this comment was negative in any way and was promoting peace. I guess this is where we end up after the rise of fascism and authoritarianism hiding behind hate and a bible.

Not at all surprised this was downvoted. There’s no hate quite so strong as Christian love. Can’t wait for the Boomer generation to die out.

A downvote does not always mean that someone saw negativity or had their feelings hurt. For boomers it means that we don’t agree with the message, in this case that Iseral should try to understand and make nice with terrorist that killed thousands of their people.

Boomers know what happens when murdering regimes are allowed to propagate, World wars.

Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard. Boomers are considered the most self absorbed generation in a long time.

I think you are confusing Boomers with The Greatest Generation. That generation that actually did something about murderous regimes.

Art of war; know thy enemy. Requires understanding them.

Try making peace with Hamas. They are the drivers of the immense hatred, to the point of using the Palestinian people as shields, preventing them from leaving, stealing humanitarian aid for years to build their tunnels and amass weapons. “From the river to the sea…” means getting rid of Jews.

You can’t make piece with insane brainwashed people who just love to kill and torture people you lock them up for life or end life no other way. They have been doing this forever

Hyper partisan thinking, under a false sense of righteousness or religiosity, is an avenue for some, as they deal with the vicissitudes of life. Helps people cope. Personally, I think partisan or ideological thinking is misguided, based on a need to feel, rather than searching for solutions to problems we all face together. Possible solution to partisan thinking:

First step is to stop demonizing the other side. That is what we can learn from Gaza. The effects of demonizing the other side.

Second step, decouple the mind from anger media. Just don’t watch or listen to it.

Third step, take regular walks in nature.

Fourth step, clean up the diet from unhealthy foods.

Fifth step, charity work.

Do you know why boomers voted down? It is because during our upbringing no one removed or erased our history. From our history we learned from our mistakes and successes. We learned that zealots are impossible to negotiate with. We learned that ego or greed driven enemy can be negotiated with.

That’s why we vote down, “been there-done that”!!!!

What history was erased? Maybe turned into a pabulum, sanitized to avoid controversy? The US is an experiment. Yes, with flaws like slavery, Antebellum South and Confederacy, but I agree with Boris Johnson “Last best hope of mankind.”

BTW a zealot was originally a member of an ancient Jewish sect that aimed at a world Jewish theocracy and resisted the Romans until AD 70. It is interesting how our history forms our thinking through the concepts we use.

Well said

Hamas targeted and killed babies while at least Israel is trying not too. Israel has not been in control of Gaza for yrs it has been Hamas terrorists that the people voted for! No one wants to mention Hamas they just say Palestine people which I don’t consider Hamas in that group

Respectfully I disagree with your intimation that there is some sort of moral equivalence here with the recent attack by Hamas terrorist. Yes, any civilian casualty is an abomination but Israel and the IDF are not lighting people on fire, raping women, and putting babies in ovens, etc.

This is not a land or border dispute. Hamas and its affiliates (Hezbollah. Iran, and many western progressive types) are guilty of promoting and engaging in genocide, the type of which the world has not seen since Nazi Germany.

And by the way Israel is the Ancestral homeland of Jews. Not talking 1948 but 2500 bc. Further, 20 percent of the Israeli population are Arabs many of Palestinian origin. Some are Supreme Court justices and some even serve as elected officials in the government.

Hate crimes only work in one direction. This will probably result in misdeamenor charges.

Yes, and quite often driven by some religious ideology.