Photo Credit: Official portrait
Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa).

Senator John Fetterman (D-Pa), a staunch supporter of Israel, has urged President Joe Biden to maintain his backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even if it potentially costs him votes in the upcoming presidential election. In an interview with The Telegraph, Fetterman, known on Capitol Hill for his casual dress sense of hoodies and shorts, cautioned the president against “pandering to the fringe” of pro-Hamas protesters.

In recent months, Fetterman has emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s most vocal advocates for Israel. He has adorned the walls of his office with photos of hostages held by Hamas and called on the Biden administration to provide whatever weapons Israel requires for military operations in Gaza.


Fetterman told Axios on May 20 that the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to seek an arrest warrant against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “trash” and the ICC has “destroyed their own credibility.”

On May 13, 2022, Sen. Fetterman, 54, was hospitalized following an ischemic stroke. The stroke was induced by a clot caused by an irregular heart rhythm. His doctors implanted a pacemaker and defibrillator and he was discharged from the hospital on May 22, 2022. On February 8, 2023, Fetterman was hospitalized overnight and, a week later checked himself into Walter Reed Hospital due to clinical depression. He remained hospitalized for about two months, undergoing treatment, and was discharged on March 31. He returned to the Senate on April 17.

Funny point: after Fetterman’s discharge, online conspiracy theorists suggested he had been replaced by a body double.

On Saturday, Fetterman told The Wall Street Journal that, more than a year after his discharge from the hospital, he may be an unusual kind of Democrat, but he would remain a Democrat nevertheless. “I might have a different view on things like Israel, and some other ones,” he said.

But there are deeper observations of the changes Fetterman has undergone in the past year. Annie Karni, reporting for The NY Times, noted that the Senator’s “sharpest break with the left has been on the Israel-Hamas War. A firm backer of Israel before the war, he decided early in the conflict that he would offer unconditional support for Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He has relentlessly hewed to that stance, at times provocatively.”

Fetterman has long navigated a complex dynamic with the left, challenging its strict ideological purity while still championing various progressive causes. His unwavering stance on Israel has drawn intense criticism from left-wing activists who feel betrayed by his position. Protesters have picketed his district offices, and online he has been derisively dubbed “Genocide John” by his detractors.

In an early May appearance on Fox News, Fetterman was asked if he supported Israel’s military operations in Rafah, and his response was: “I defer to Israel on that. They would have better knowledge of the situation than I do.”

Fetterman has been uncompromising in his support for Israel, even in the face of Democrats’ pro-Hamas activism. Last November, when confronted by protesters advocating for Hamas outside the U.S. Capitol, he defiantly waved an Israeli flag. On another occasion, Fetterman told a pro-Palestinian activist that she should instead “be protesting Hamas” rather than Israel. He has criticized platforms like TikTok for propagating “warped” narratives about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that fuel societal divisions. Moreover, when President Biden threatened to withhold certain arms supplies to Israel, Fetterman described the threat as “deeply disappointing.”

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