ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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US Senator Fetterman: ‘There’s only one clear right side and that’s with Israel’

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., holds a small Israel flag as he heads to the chamber for a vote, at the Capitol in Washington, January 25, 2024. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., holds a small Israel flag as he heads to the chamber for a vote, at the Capitol in Washington, January 25, 2024. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

US Senator John Fetterman, a Democrat in Pennsylvania who has been a vocal supporter of Israel since the outbreak of the war, says he will continue to stand by Israel even given the attacks he has been subjected to by pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activists and protesters over the past few months.

Fetterman has been hounded at his home and at his office — which is adorned with Israeli flags as well as posters of the hostages held in Gaza — by protesters accusing him of supporting “genocide.”

He has responded by waving Israeli flags at them on multiple occasions.

“It’s been incredibly easy to be on the right side, and I believe the right side is with Israel,” he tells Channel 12 tonight.

“It’s my job as a senator to be on the right side on any issue. And after what happened, especially after October 7, there’s really only one clear right side and that’s with Israel,” he says in response to a question on how he has been navigating the protests.

The senator has met with families of hostages in Gaza on a number of occasions and says he was “blown away” by their “grace and poise,” in light of the horrific events of October 7.

“I was struggling to maintain my composure, because I can imagine, I have three young children…and I can’t imagine what if they’ve been there,” he says.

Amid vocal calls for a ceasefire after four months of war, he says: “If you’re going to protest demanding a ceasefire, why aren’t you instead demanding that the hostages be brought home again, and why aren’t you demanding that Hamas surrender?”

“All of the death and trauma and damage would stop in that moment. Until Hamas can be effectively neutralized, I can never support a ceasefire, until every last hostage is brought back home,” he says.

Asked if he is concerned about the upcoming presidential election, and the growing anger with US President Biden over his own support for Israel, Fetterman says he is “concerned about the election, but concerned doesn’t mean I don’t believe President Biden is going to win. I really do fundamentally believe that he will.”

“It’s a difficult situation and he’s been able to navigate all of that as well too,” he says.

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