John Fetterman to receive top Jewish college’s highest award for his stance on Israel

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Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. John Fetterman will receive the highest honor awarded by the top U.S. Jewish university this week, the New York City school confirmed to Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

While Yeshiva University celebrates the graduation of more than 1,700 students on Wednesday, the Washington Heights institution will award Fetterman its Presidential Medallion.

In a statement, the school called Fetterman an “American patriot and hero of Israel,” adding he has been engaged just as the student body has in battling antisemitism and seeking the return of hostages since Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of the Jewish nation.

Rabbi Ari Berman, Yeshiva’s president, said the junior senator from the Keystone State has shown an “unwavering and courageous commitment to moral clarity,” calling him one of the “true heroes” of the present day.


“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,” Berman said.

Fetterman called Yeshiva’s invitation “truly humbling” and said in a statement that the college’s commencement holds profound significance in the midst of growing antisemitism nationwide.

The lawmaker has confounded some of his Democratic colleagues in recent months, as he routinely makes public comments in support of Israel and its IDF’s actions in Gaza.

In a recent Fox News interview, he said he would “follow Israel on that,” when asked whether the IDF should incur into Rafah.

“[Israeli leaders] would know the situation more than I do,” he said.

He also has pushed back against statements by party leaders like Vice President Kamala Harris, after she suggested the U.S. will not rule out “consequences” for Israel if it goes into Rafah.


“Hard disagree. Israel has the right to prosecute Hamas to surrender or be eliminated,” Fetterman tweeted with a screenshot of a news story on Harris’ remarks.

“Hamas owns every innocent death for their cowardice hiding behind Palestinian lives,” he said.

Fetterman collectively criticized more than a dozen fellow Democrats following an April vote in which 13, plus Kentucky Republican Thomas Massie, opposed a resolution condemning Iran’s missile attack on Israel.

“I sincerely thought I’d never witness members of my party refuse to condemn Iran, one of the world’s leading terrorism sponsors, after launching hundreds of drones against our special ally Israel,” Fetterman said.


The lawmaker’s stance on Israel also led to an exodus of staff from his office, as three communications officials in his office departed for more left-leaning offices’ positions.

While his overtures regarding Israel have placed the senator at odds with his party at times, he’s often denied claims he is not a party-faithful Democrat. 

While Fetterman’s 2022 Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, notably branded him “Bernie Sanders 2.0” due to the then-lieutenant governor’s past endorsement swap with the Vermont Independent, he has repeatedly maintained that he is “not a progressive.”

He also rejected comparisons to moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz. – a former Democrat – according to the New York Times, and has called President Biden “my guy” for the 2024 presidential election. 

The commencement will take place Wednesday at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows, Queens, the university said.

Fox News Digital reached out to Fetterman’s office for further comment but did not receive a response by press time.