Fetterman Rips Alma Mater Harvard During Commencement Speech

(FeaturedHeadlines.com) US Senator John Fetterman has been a vocal supporter of Israel and critic of pro-Palestine protests on college campuses, following a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023. Fetterman continued his outspoken support of Israel during a commencement speech at Yeshiva University, a private Orthodox Jewish institution in New York, on May 29, 2024.

Fetterman used the speech to criticize pro-Palestine demonstrations at his alma mater, Harvard. Fetterman said that he has been “profoundly disappointed” in Harvard’s refusal to address the protests, which the lawmaker characterized as an inability to stand up for the Jewish community. The campus protests have been characterized as antisemitic by some critics.

Fetterman promised the Jewish community that it will always have his support. The lawmaker removed his red Harvard graduate stole, contending that it was not right to wear the garb at the moment. Fetterman’s action prompted a standing ovation from the audience.

Ex-Harvard President Claudie Gay left the leadership role in January, after a plagiarism scandal and pushback to pro-Palestine activism on the college campus. Nevertheless, demonstrations continued at Harvard following Gay’s departure.

Yeshiva University’s name is rooted in a Hebrew word referring to an academy for the study of Jewish texts. There are multiple yeshivas in New York City, which is home to a large Jewish community.

On May 29, 2024, the same day as Fetterman’s commencement speech, a 58-year-old man allegedly attempted to run over a group of people outside a yeshiva in Brooklyn. The alleged perpetrator, Asghar Ali, is charged with crimes including attempted murder, menacing, and first-degree attempted vehicular assault.

Some of the charges also include hate crime enhancements. Both Jewish and Muslim people in New York have experienced a 100% increase in hate crimes, according to New York City Police Department statistics.

Considering the elevated threat to the Jewish community, it is no wonder why Yeshiva University was so receptive to Fetterman’s public display of support.

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