A video of a five-year-old being told she “looks like a terrorist” after attending a Jerusalem-related protest in Los Angeles has sparked outrage from pro-Palestinian activists.
In footage posted to Twitter, protester Rawan Yasim filmed her encounter with Donald Trump supporters who showed up as part of a counter-protest over the US president’s decision to recognise the contested city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
She and members of her family, including young cousin Talia Shehada, were on their way home from a demonstration on Sunday when Ms Yasim alleged a counter-protester called the little girl a terrorist.
“You called my five-year-old cousin a terrorist?”, Ms Yasim asks a man wearing American flag shorts after she has begun filming the interaction.
“She looked like one,” he retorted, as members of his party laughed. “It doesn’t matter what age you are.”
The counter protesters began filming their own video as an argument erupted over the limits of freedom of speech. “Representing over here Trump-style,” one of the counter-protesters says.
The little girl said the racist remark made her feel “sad”.
“We started passing by the counter protesters and they were parked, actually, right next to us,” Ms Yasim told AJ+.
“They were yelling at my mom and aunt too because they were wearing a hijab.
“I mean obviously I’ve been called those things before. I just want the world to know you don’t call a five-year-old a terrorist.”
The US president shocked even some of his county’s closest allies on 6 December by following though with a campaign trail promise to formally recognise the holy city as Israel’s undivided capital.
Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move that has never been recognised internationally. Both sides claim it as their capital and the city’s status remains a major stumbling block in peace talks.
While welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, many other world leaders – including the US Middle Eastern allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia – have expressed concern that the controversial move could spark renewed violence in the region and wider Muslim world.
Four Palestinians have died in clashes in Gaza and the West Bank and protests across the globe continue.