Must Watch: Democratic Sen. Fetterman’s Act of Defiance Towards Harvard Over Anti-Semitism

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania continues to go against the grain of his party.

Fetterman addressed the graduating class of 2024 at Yeshiva University — an orthodox Jewish university in New York — on Wednesday as the commencement speaker.

While at the podium, Fetterman reminisced about his own graduation from his alma mater Harvard 25 years prior. The mention of the school was met with some boos before Fetterman told the audience, “I have been profoundly disappointed the way, Havard’s inability to stand up for the Jewish Community after Oct. 7.”


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Fetterman went further with his remarks saying, “And for me personally, I do not fundamentally believe that it is right for me to wear this today” before removing the red stole from his graduation regalia, indicating his status as a Harvard alumnus. The gesture was met with some gasps before Fetterman was given a standing ovation by the graduating class and faculty alike.

Harvard has been center stage for its response to pro-Palestinian encampments and agitators occupying its campus after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel. Demonstrations on campus lasted 20 days as occupiers demanded divestment by Harvard from corporations with ties to Israel. Newsmax reported a settlement was reached between Harvard and Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine.

While Harvard’s former President Claudine Gay resigned amidst plagiarism accusations, her testimony to Congress about the schools handling of students also factored in after these students published a letter saying Oct. 7 was Israel’s responsibility alone.

Newsmax also reported that prior to giving his address, Fetterman was awarded Yeshiva’s “Hero of Israel” award, which is the highest honor it bestows.

Does Sen. Fetterman surprise you?

Fetterman has been more outspoken than some of his Democratic colleagues regarding Israel in the wake of Oct. 7.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported, his office is covered with pictures of hostages held by Hamas while he wears dog tags around his neck to advocate for their release.

Per the JTA, Fetterman said in his address, “I’m just a senator with a big mouth that happens to be committed to Israel,” and expressed his disdain for the innocent lives impacted on the other side of the conflict.

“I actually grieve for all the innocent Palestinian women and children that Hamas is responsible for taking.”

Yeshiva’s President Rabbi Ari Berman said Fetterman was unanimously chosen as the speaker, telling the New York Jewish Week, “Standing for Israel is a source of great strength for our community, and it’s our privilege to honor him.”


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JTA reported that while police and security measures were taken, there weren’t signs of anti-Israel protests on Wednesday.

Fetterman is certainly breaking the mold concerning expectations since joining the Senate after his 2022 election.

Compare his speaking engagement to Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib who spoke at the People’s Conference for Palestine over the weekend.

Tlaib drew criticism from the appearance as the event also hosted Wisam Rafeedie, who has ties to Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization by the United States.

Not only has his support of Israel defied many of his Democratic colleagues, but he has also spoken frankly about the crisis at the border and the need to change it.

Fetterman stated in January, “We have a crisis at our border, and it can’t be controversial that we should have a secure border.”

While his fellow Democrats certainly won’t be elated with Fetterman for any of his more recent policy positions, its clear he’s putting his morals above his party.

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