John Fetterman: Hamas must go, I would be ‘last man standing’ for Israel

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman “would be the last man standing to be…on the Israeli side,” he told Politico in an interview earlier in December.

Following the October 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists in Israel’s South, Fetterman had become one of the most vocal defenders of Israel in the US Senate and subsequently became one of the progressive movement’s biggest critics after being previously hailed by some as an icon.

Asked if he was surprised that so many on the left disagree with him on Israel, Fetterman responded, “I mean, of course, I expected that there will always be a diversity of opinions and that as long as things go that the Democratic caucus might splinter more.

“I would be the last man standing to be absolutely there on the Israeli side on this with no conditions.”

He continues, “I grieve, and it’s awful the incredible civilian deaths and the suffering. It is awful. War is hell, as they say. But only one side has used civilians as human shields. Only one side has broken the ceasefires. Only one side will systematically rape, torture, and mutilate Israeli women and girls in the most unspeakable, awful ways. … Without destroying Hamas, there will be no enduring peace and a stable, two-state solution.”

Fetterman pressed on his views of Netanyahu

When asked if he believes that Netanyahu should remain in power, he responded: “[Netanyahu] is the leader that we have, and that is the leader that we’re working with.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech to US Congress on March 3, 2015, with US Speaker of the House John Boehner and President pro tempore of the US Senate Orrin Hatch applauding behind him (credit: REUTERS)

He responded, “To me, it’s not a referendum on Netanyahu. It is just what we have to do to stand with Israel. And I do agree with the prevailing opinion that Hamas must be destroyed.”

The interviewer asks a third time, “But should Netanyahu stay in power, yes or no?”

Fetterman says that he does not have a vote in it. He elaborates, “That’s for the Israeli citizens. They have much more at stake. But what I can say [is] I believe that an overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens would want a senator standing with them and their right to destroy Hamas [and not] somebody that would splinter or peel away when things continue and as more and more antisemitism continues to go across college campuses, across our nation.”

Fetterman: Israel has the imperative to destroy Hamas

In an interview on the View, Fetterman explained why he disagrees with placing conditions on further military aid to Israel, arguing that Israel “has the imperative to destroy Hamas.” He has consistently argued that Hamas must be destroyed for a viable two-state solution. 

Fetterman’s policies are consistently progressive, as an advocate of healthcare as a right, criminal justice reform, abolishing the death penalty, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and legalizing cannabis. 

Fetterman won against Republican Party nominee Mehmet Oz in the general election in 2022 with 51% of the vote, becoming the first Democrat to win this seat since 1962. He is the junior Pennsylvania senator, sitting alongside incumbent Senator Bob Casey. 

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