Fetterman says 30,000 Palestinians dead claim is bogus: ‘If they would just surrender…’

Sen. John Fetterman, a Democrat, rushed to Israel’s defense Friday, placing himself in continued opposition to his own party’s agenda.

Speaking on Fox News’s “Special Report,” he first chided his party for refusing to take part in a virtual sit-down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As previously reported, Netanyahu recently reached out to Republicans and Democrats hoping to speak with them, but Democrats refused.

“[Senate Minority Leader] McConnell said Netanyahu called him last week and asked for an opportunity to address the members of his [Republican] conference and he accepted,” The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

But when “Netanyahu asked to address Senate Democrats at their caucus lunch on Wednesday as well,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, “indicated that he had declined.”

Fetterman was not pleased.

Listen:

“I was very disappointed that our caucus wasn’t — we didn’t have the opportunity to do that,” he told Fox News. “I really wanted to hear from Netanyahu. In fact, I even asked the Republicans [through] back channels, just like, hey, can I just sit there? And I don’t even have to [ask] any questions.”

He continued by wondering why there haven’t been more calls and demands for Hamas to surrender versus for Israel to accept a potentially harmful ceasefire.

“And I’ve always been incredibly surprised why we’re not talking about where this was because of Hamas and the things that they’ve done and that why [isn’t there] a protest, [a] kind of a surge to demand that Hamas [surrender] on this,” he said.

“If you really want to end all the — just the misery and the death and the destruction — if they would just surrender, it would end tomorrow. Release everybody, send them home. And that’s been very frustrating,”  he added.

And finally, he pushed back on the claim that 31,000 Palestinians have died during the Israel-Hamas war.

“And then we’re talking about now there [are] 31,000 Palestinians that were killed, and, well, you’re not talking about, well, 13,000 or more are actually Hamas fighters on that,” he said. “So, why aren’t you breaking that out as well, too?”

“And then, if you do, and talk about the casualty ratio, it’s actually very clear that this isn’t a genocide or that the Israelis are targeting civilians. In fact, the only ones that [target] civilians, that’s Hamas,”  he added.

Despite concerns Fetterman would turn out to be a “progressive” loon, he’s in fact proven to be remarkably moderate in most of his stances, especially as it concerns Israel.

For this, he’s attracted the ire of his own party, with left-wingers writing column after column slamming him for being a supposed “sellout.”

“John Fetterman wants us to respect his pain – even as he mocks Palestinians,” a headline from The Guardian reads.

“John Fetterman Keeps Defending the Indefensible in Gaza,” another headline, this one from the socialist website Jacobin, reads.

Meanwhile, about two weeks ago a major pro-Democrat political action committee (PAC) withdrew its support for Fetterman, claiming he’d “betrayed” Democrats.

Of course, in angering Democrats, Fetterman has earned unexpected praise from the same Republicans who were relentlessly bashing him during his election campaign in 2022.

Take Donald Trump Jr., who in January tweeted, “How is it possible that John Fetterman in the last few months has seemingly become more based than half of the senate GOP???”

Good question.

He’s also been praised by the Zionist Organization of America.

“The right-wing Zionist Organization of America, which honored a string of Republican officials in recent galas in New York and Florida, has applauded Fetterman for siding with Republicans in voting against a measure calling for a Palestinian state,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

“ZOA President Morton Klein said some of the organization’s board have called for honoring Fetterman and that he himself was surprised by the senator’s firm pro-Israel stance,” the Post reported Friday.

Speaking with the Post, Klein said his organization had viewed the senator as “a bit of an oddball” up until his pro-Israel side came out.

“Now they see he’s not so bizarre; he’s a man who has moral integrity. It’s definitely helped his image among the people I talk to,” Klein said.

Vivek Saxena

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