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Fetterman won’t admit that he’s become one of Biden’s many Israel critics

Fetterman has grown increasingly critical of Biden’s approach to Israel — but he insisted on Tuesday that wasn’t the case.

  • Sen. John Fetterman says “uncommitted” voters are “wearing a MAGA hat.”
  • But he’s also become a critic of Biden on Israel himself — just from the other direction.
  • On Tuesday, he insisted that wasn’t the case: “That’s not critical. It’s just I disagree.”

In February, Sen. John Fetterman had a strong message for President Joe Biden’s critics on the left.

“If you’re not willing to just support the president now, and say these kinds of things, you might as well just get your MAGA hat because you now are helping Trump with this,” the Pennsylvania Democrat said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” at the time.

In an interview with Business Insider at the Capitol on Tuesday, he indicated that he was specifically referring to the Uncommitted movement, which has driven voters in several states to cast “uncommitted” ballots in protest of Biden’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

Some of those voters continue to withhold their support for Biden until he changes course.

“What is damaging is if you’re talking about ‘abandon Biden’ or ‘I’m uncommitted for voting,'” Fetterman said on Tuesday. “Then, you know, you’re wearing a MAGA hat.”

Since Fetterman first made his “MAGA hat” comments in February, he has criticized the Biden administration multiple times on Israel, suggesting that the president is “pandering to the fringe” as he’s sought to implement a temporary cease-fire in Gaza and discourage Israel from retaliating against a recent Iranian missile and drone attack.

On Tuesday, Fetterman insisted he wasn’t being critical — just disagreeing. And he argued that doing so wasn’t damaging to Biden in the same way that he says the president’s left-wing critics are.

“No, I haven’t been critical. That’s not critical. It’s just I disagree on certain aspects of it. That’s reasonable,” said Fetterman. “[I’m] 10,000% all about Biden, I love that guy, I’m proud to call him my president. It’s really just very different than the fringe that’s talking about uncommitted, or to abandon Biden, or anything like that.”

But Fetterman’s contention that he hasn’t criticized Biden doesn’t hold water.

The Pennsylvania senator said it was “appalling” that the Biden administration allowed a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza to pass at the UN Security Council. He has repeatedly criticized the administration for discouraging Israel from invading Rafah, which the US fears could lead to even more civilian deaths. He has also forcefully argued against conditions on Israel aid as Biden suggested they may be on the table.

And on CNN on Sunday, Fetterman said he did not agree with Biden telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not participate in any offensive against Iran.

“I think we should follow and have Israel’s back in this situation. I don’t agree with the president,” said Fetterman, before adding that he believes Biden is “fantastic.”

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks, Fetterman has emerged as a staunchly pro-Israel voice, alienating many of his old progressive allies in the process.

At times, the Pennsylvania senator has found himself to the right of most Democrats on the issue. He was one of just two Democrats — the other being Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — who refused to cosponsor in December a resolution supporting a two-state solution in Israel.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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