It is not often that Sen. John Fetterman’s political clarity lands on these pages, but he deserves credit for becoming the moral backbone of the Democrat Party in regard to Israel. It seems to be a hit with the right.
It comes with a price.
Today, there are reports that some of Fetterman’s Democratic colleagues are becoming weary of his staunch backing of Israel following the terrorist attack on October 7. Fetterman is not afraid to take no prisoners in this matter. He tweeted:
It’s disturbing that members of Congress have rushed to blame Israel over the Gaza hospital tragedy. Who would believe the words of a group that just slaughtered innocent Israeli civilians over our key ally?
It’s truly disturbing that Members of Congress rushed to blame Israel for the hospital tragedy in Gaza.
Who would take the word of a group that just massacred innocent Israeli civilians over our key ally?
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) October 18, 2023
I will always support Israel, and look forward to supporting any military, intelligence, or humanitarian assistance to accomplish the task.
The media has not covered the fact that Fetterman has adorned the walls of his Senate office in Gaza with posters depicting Israelis who have been kidnapped and held hostage by Hamas for nearly four weeks. It’s a bold move, considering that some of his Democrat counterparts proudly display terrorist banners outside their offices.
Fetterman met with the families of several hostages and promised to “display each innocent Israeli kidnapped from their homes by Hamas” until they were safely returned. We will not stop telling their stories until they are safely returned home.
I was profoundly moved to meet with survivors of the October 7th massacre and families of Hamas’ hostages. ⁰⁰Together, we began to post photos of the hostages outside my office to stress the urgent need to bring them all home.
My office is posting every last one. pic.twitter.com/Ymxw7wa8Mr
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) October 25, 2023
The senator’s supporters are fed up with his pro-Israel stance. Cecily Harwitt is one of the organizers who once supported Fetterman’s senate campaign last year, but now leads protests against him. She told NBC News she and others are turning against him “because [his] entire brand and his persona stand up for oppressed persons.”
Many other senators don’t live their lives by this value. It’s even more disappointing to hear him say that we cannot talk about a truce and that Israel can do whatever it wants.
Some critics say that Fetterman doesn’t really love Israel and is only playing politics.
Waleed Shahid is a progressive strategist. “I do not believe this is a belief that the senator and his staff hold sincerely,” he said. “I don’t think Fetterman or his staff are alone. I believe that most Democrats in Congress are afraid of the political and electoral consequences if they criticize the Israeli government even in the slightest.”
Of course, it remains to be determined if Fetterman’s commitment to Israel will not waver. The senator must deal with an upcoming aid package vote and an increase of antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment in Pennsylvania, his home state, and amongst the loudest wing of his party.