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John Fetterman, 'hero of Israel,' will receive high honor at Yeshiva commencement

Aliya Schneider, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in News & Features

Yeshiva University will honor Sen. John Fetterman for his staunch support of Israel with a medallion that last year went to the inventor of Israel’s Iron Dome.

The private New York City-based Orthodox Jewish university will honor the Pennsylvania Democrat at its May 29 commencement with the Presidential Medallion, the school’s highest recognition for global leadership.

The university, which supports the alliance between the United States and Israel, called Fetterman an “American patriot and hero of Israel” and “a beacon of hope and strength for the country and the world.”

The honor was last year given to Daniel Gold, head of Israel’s Defense Research and Development Directorate and the inventor of the Iron Dome, Israel’s air defense system.

The university praised Fetterman for deeply engaging in “the post-October 7th battle against antisemitism” and “pursuit of justice” for hostages still in Hamas captivity.

“It is truly humbling to be invited to share in this milestone with the graduates of Yeshiva University,” Fetterman said. “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.”

The senator is known for his memes on X, and being blunt and unapologetic in his views. The Middle East has been no exception.

The senator has put himself at odds with pro-Palestinian protesters and has unequivocally supported Israel in its war against Hamas. This has rubbed progressives the wrong way who say they supported Fetterman’s campaign and now feel betrayed by him.


Progressives called on the Florida Democratic Party to disinvite Fetterman as a keynote speaker for a major fundraiser earlier this month, and he faced protesters at the event.

His views have pleasantly surprised conservatives, on the flip side.

Fetterman said in an interview earlier this year that he has been open about not being a progressive. He called himself a progressive prior to his 2022 swing-state Senate bid, but described himself as “just a Democrat” on the campaign trail, distancing himself from the label.

Yeshiva University has 7,400 undergraduate and graduate students across four campuses in New York City, according to the school, and more than 1,700 graduates this year.

The commencement will be at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Queens, and more than 5,000 people are expected to attend, including students, faculty, and guests.


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