Sen. John Fetterman to receive award from Yeshiva University, touted as 'hero of Israel'

Fetterman, who has been one of Israel's biggest supporters in Congress, will receive the school's "Presidential medallion," and has been touted as a "Hero of Israel." 

Published: May 28, 2024 4:58pm

Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman will receive a high honor from a private Orthodox Jewish university on Wednesday, in recognition of his staunch support of Israel during its war with Hamas.

The recognition will take place at the Louis Armstrong Stadium in Queens, New York, during the Yeshiva University's commencement ceremony, which will honor more than 1,700 graduates. Roughly 5,000 people will be in attendance, according to a news release from the school.

Fetterman, who has been one of Israel's biggest supporters in Congress, will receive the school's "Presidential Medallion" – one of its highest honors – and has been touted as a "Hero of Israel." 

“Senator Fetterman is one of the true heroes of our time for his unwavering and courageous commitment to moral clarity, which has fortified our community and been a clarion call for our country,” the university's president, Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, said in a statement reported by The Hill. “At this critical moment in Jewish and American history, our commencement exercises mark not just an enormous accomplishment for our students, but also for the global community. During this dark period of rampant antisemitism and polarization across college campuses, Yeshiva University students stand out for their academic excellence, character and commitment to service.”

Fetterman's support of Israel has prompted backlash from Congress members in the far-left wing of the party, who stand with Palestine over Israel in the war with Hamas. The senator continued his support for Israel even after antisemitic protests broke out at college campuses over the war in Gaza. Hundreds of students were arrested and expelled over the protests.

Fetterman has also criticized the Biden administration for its decision to pause a shipment of bombs to Israel, after it threatened and invaded the Gazan city of Rafah. 

The Pennsylvania Democrat expressed gratitude and humbleness in being nominated for the award.

“It is truly humbling to be invited to share in this milestone with the graduates of Yeshiva University,” Fetterman said in a statement. “As we gather to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class, we must also acknowledge the profound significance of their journey within the context of the recent surge in antisemitism across the country. I thank Yeshiva University for the opportunity to join these students on this momentous day."

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