Fetterman gets standing O when he rips off Harvard hood at Yeshiva University commencement

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman expressed how “profoundly disappointed” he was with his alma mater during a commencement address at Yeshiva University.

During a dramatic moment while addressing graduating students at the private Orthodox Jewish university on Wednesday, Fetterman removed the ceremonial academic hood representing Harvard University.

The Pennsylvania Democrat told his audience at Louis Armstrong Stadium in Queens that he was not satisfied with Harvard’s handling of antisemitism on campus following the attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists last October.

(Video Credit: Yeshiva University)

“I was reflecting when was my last graduation and that was literally a quarter century ago, 25 years ago,” Fetterman said.

“I was graduating from Harvard University but today I have been profoundly disappointed the way Harvard’s inability to stand up for the Jewish community after Oct. 7,” he continued.

“For me personally I do not fundamentally believe it is right for me to wear this today,” the senator added, causing the crowd to gasp with his next move.

He then removed the Harvard crimson hood and promptly got a standing ovation.

“The Jewish community everywhere deserves our support,” he said. “And I promise you will always have mine.”

(Image: Screenshot)

Earlier this year, Fetterman lamented that he did not even recognize Harvard in the wake of the attack on Israel.

“As an alum of Harvard — look, I graduated 25 years ago, and of course, it was always a little pinko,” Fetterman said at the time. “But now, I don’t recognize it.”

His comments had followed the headline-making resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay who had been unable to answer a question condemning antisemitism while testifying before Congress and after she was repeatedly accused of plagiarism.

“In that region, it’s our strongest ally, and we have a very special kind of relationship,” Fetterman had said of Israel at the time.  “I don’t understand how anybody could vote against the Iron Dome or want to harm Israeli businesses or the nation or anything. I’ll never understand that. Calling them ‘colonizers’— like, where does this come from? It must be TikTok or some kind of obscure classroom talk.”

Fetterman graduated in 1999 from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a Master of Public Policy degree. Yeshiva University declared him a “Hero of Israel” and presented him with the Presidential Medallion during the 93rd annual commencement ceremony on Wednesday.

“During these challenging times, the leadership, service, and moral clarity of this American patriot and hero of Israel have been a beacon of hope and strength for the country and the world,” read a press release.

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of the university said Fetterman “is one of the true heroes of our time for his unwavering and courageous commitment to moral clarity, which has fortified our community and been a clarion call for our country.”

“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,” he added in a statement.

 

Frieda Powers

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