(August 12, 2022 / JNS) Following the three-day conflict that saw more than 1,000 rockets fired by the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) into Israel, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee to fill the open Pennsylvania Senate seat to be vacated by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, is reaffirming his support for Israel.
In a statement to JNS, the Fetterman campaign said that he “is and always has been a pro-Israel Democrat.”
“He strongly believes that Israel has the right to defend itself, and has pledged to always lean in and support Israel’s security. He is proud to be supported by groups like Democratic Majority for Israel,” wrote communications director Joe Calvello.
Fetterman chose not to issue a public statement regarding the three-day conflict. That led to a self-proclaimed anti-Zionist taking a victory lap in a blog for the lack of some Democratic politicians being outspoken against the rocket attacks that took place from Aug. 5-7 or openly supporting Israel.
“[A] surprising number of Democratic politicians have been silent on the matter,” wrote Philip Weiss, a co-editor of the American foreign-policy outlet Mondoweiss. “And in my hopeful way, I think it’s a reflection of the fact that Israel is becoming a toxic brand inside the Democratic Party, so Dems are not rushing to embrace it.”
In his post, Weiss listed a dozen-plus sitting Democratic officials and candidates who remained silent on Israel’s three-day campaign against PIJ in Gaza in response to PIJ’s rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
“Nothing from John Fetterman running for Senate in Pennsylvania in a tight battle against a Trump candidate,” he wrote.
“I think the relative light showing for Israel on Twitter shows that Democratic politicians feel safe dodging this issue,” said Weiss. “And yes, this goes against the argument they need Israel for fundraising purposes. But they know it’s going to cause them problems on the street, and who needs it? So they’re staying away.”
“I strongly condemn the attacks on Israeli civilians by the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad in Gaza,” he posted on Twitter. “Israel has a right to do whatever it has to to defend itself [sic]. As senator, I will always stand with Israel and make sure the Iron Dome is fully funded.”
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