Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has been a staunch supporter of Israel since the country was rocked by a Hamas terrorist attack last month, but his support for the Jewish state has some of his supporters pushing back at the freshman senator.
Fetterman has issued several statements supporting Israel’s right to defend itself in wake of the attack, including saying that he “fully support[s] Israel neutralizing the terrorists responsible for this barbarism.” Cecily Harwitt, an organizing consultant who supported Fetterman during his 2022 Senate campaign, told NBC News that she believes his support for Israel goes against his “persona” of “standing up for oppressed people.”
“A lot of other senators haven’t lived their whole life by that value. So it’s just that much more disappointing that he’s coming out, saying we can’t talk about a cease-fire [and] essentially writing a blank check to Israel to do whatever it wants,” Harwitt told the outlet. “Progressive voters are his core base. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know that he has changed his mind on things in the past when presented with new information,” she added. “I hope he does the same thing now.”
Fetterman has been steady in his support of Israel, even in the face of calls from protesters to support a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. In a statement issued on Oct. 18, Fetterman said that “now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire.”
“Now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire. We must support Israel in their efforts to eliminate the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children. Hamas does not want peace, they want to destroy Israel. We can talk about a ceasefire after Hamas is neutralized,” Fetterman said.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has also placed posters of the missing hostages taken by Hamas outside of his Senate office and vowed to keep them up until “they are safely returned home.”
Fetterman, who has branded himself as a progressive, has strayed from several other progressive Democrats in Congress who have called for a ceasefire or refused to condemn Hamas for its terrorist attack against Israel.
The conflict has resulted in more than 6,000 deaths in Israel and Gaza, according to the Associated Press, along with the deaths of at least 33 Americans. Hamas is currently holding hundreds of civilians, who they captured during the attacks last month.