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Fetterman slams Harvard in pro-Israel commencement speech at Yeshiva University


Patrick McDonald, Article

During his commencement address at Yeshiva University in New York City on Wednesday, Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) took off his Harvard University stole in protest of Harvard’s response to anti-Semitism on its campus. His gesture received a standing ovation from both students and faculty.

Yeshiva University awarded its Presidential Medallion to Fetterman for his efforts in combating anti-Semitism and fighting to return home the captives that Hamas abducted during its Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel.

“Standing for Israel is a source of great strength for our community and it’s our privilege to honor him. Everyone was very excited about it,” university president Rabbi Ari Berman told New York Jewish Week.

[RELATED: Harvard commencement disrupted by 1,000 anti-Israel protesters]

“While I was putting together my speech, and I started to reflect the way probably all of you do. And I was reflecting . . . [on] my last graduation, and that was . . . 25 years ago. And I was graduating from Harvard University,” Fetterman said, with some members of the crowd booing the mentioning of the Ivy League school.

“But today, I have been profoundly disappointed [in] Harvard’s inability to stand up for the Jewish community,” Fetterman declared. “And for me personally, I do not fundamentally believe that it is right for me to wear this today,” Fetterman said, removing his Harvard stole. The senator’s action elicited cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd.

Fetterman also expressed his support for the Jewish state during his speech.

“I am just a senator with a big mouth that happens to be committed to standing with Israel,” Fetterman said to a round of applause from the audience. “And my voice, and my office will stand with Israel.”

“The Jewish community everywhere deserves our support, and I promise you will always have mine. I will not stop speaking out . . . until every last hostage is brought back home,” he continued.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce released a report in May claiming that Harvard repeatedly failed to take action against anti-Semitism on its campus following Oct. 7.

[RELATED: Jewish prof set for early retirement after ‘outright institutional antisemitism’]

“The Committee’s report proves that former President Gay and Harvard’s leadership propped up the university’s Antisemitism Advisory Group all for show,” said U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the committee. “Not only did the AAG find that antisemitism was a major issue on campus, it offered several recommendations on how to combat the problem—none of which were ever implemented with any real vigor.”

“This shocking revelation reveals an inner look at how dysfunctional Harvard’s administration is and the deep-seated moral rot that clouds its judgement,” Foxx continued.

Earlier this year, Harvard received a failing grade from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) regarding its response to campus anti-Semitism.

Campus Reform has contacted Sen. Fetterman, Yeshiva University, and Harvard University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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