Senator Fetterman: Protestors should be railing against Hamas, not Israel

The campus protests are “actually working against peace in Gaza,” having convinced Hamas that they have “won the PR war,” the Pennsylvania Democrat said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Senator John Fetterman told Fox News Tuesday that campus protestors should be against Hamas, not Israel, and that their demonstrations are actually “working against peace in Gaza.”

In his interview, the Pennsylvania Democrat began by breaking with the Biden administration’s pressure tactic on Israel of holding up the delivery of certain military aid, saying all munitions should be sent “immediately.”

“I don’t have conditions, I never have and I don’t imagine I ever will,” he stated, saying that the U.S. should follow the lead of its ally, which “knows the situation” on the ground a lot better.

“If anything, conditions should be on Hamas and its enablers and benefactors,” he said, in a seemingly oblique reference to the terror organization’s primary funder, Iran.

While Hamas “clearly don’t care about the Palestinian deaths… and in fact that’s the way they designed [their strategy],” he added, “Israel does care about minimizing civilian deaths.”

Turning to the issue of the anti-Israel campus protestors, he gave examples of how they should be aware of Hamas’ brutal nature but are not. First he noted that they “don’t seem to know what they’re protesting about.”

In many interviews with the media, students have betrayed their ignorance about basic Middle East geography and history, and have thrown in unrelated objectives such as defunding campus police and climate change.

Fetterman then added, “It’s not even about a ceasefire anymore, now they’re talking about divesting and harming Israel, it’s crazy.”

“It’s actually working against peace in Gaza,” he said. “Hamas is convinced that they’ve won the PR war” when they see all the college demonstrations.

“You know, if you’re going to protest anything, you should be protesting against Hamas and demanding that they take the cease-fire, or they can just send all these hostages back home,” which would end the war, he noted.

“We can’t ever forget that they started this,” he said, referring to Hamas’ October 7 surprise invasion of Israel in which 1,200 were massacred and 253 taken hostage, both alive and dead.

“They did the most terrible things to babies, children, women, torture, mutilating, systemic rape.”

It’s undeniable,” he added, “that antisemitism is often at the center of a lot of this protest thing and the speech that now is out there.”

He gave as an example the ubiquitous chant of “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free,“ saying that “Of course that’s calling for the destruction of Israel, and of course that’s hate speech.”

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The senator defended the students’ right to freedom of speech and protest, calling it “an American value,” but “what you have manifested on the campuses is not that.”