Fetterman says college protests are ‘working against peace in Middle East’

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said the ongoing pro-Palestinian college protests are “working against peace in the Middle East.”

Fetterman has been outspoken about his support for Israel, saying recently that the pro-Palestinian encampments on college campuses were “pup tents” for the militant group Hamas. Host Margaret Brennan asked Fetterman on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the protests on Sunday, asking him whether he considers flying the Palestinian flag during the demonstrations to be antisemitic.

“No, I don’t think that … but I will, I will say that these kinds of protests haven’t been helpful. And ironically, they are actually working against peace in [the] Middle East as well,” he said. “And it’s also very strange to me that now they’re not actually protesting for a cease-fire now, and there’s been a very valid cease-fire that’s been on the table now.”

“And Hamas has been refused to take that on, and I don’t know why we’re not — if we’re going to protesting why aren’t we protesting that they are demanding Hamas to take that kind of a cease-fire, and then that would end all of that — the trauma and the chaotic going on there in Gaza?” he added.

The U.S. has been pushing for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza to secure the release of the hostages being held by Hamas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week the “time is now” for a cease-fire, saying that it is up to Hamas to agree to Israel’s proposal and “compromise.”

Fetterman continued to emphasize Sunday that the war could end if Hamas agreed to release all the hostages.

“Can’t forget that the situation right now could end right now, if Hamas just surrendered and they just sent all of those hostages home again. And that’s also the thing that I’ve been frustrated to is now, that those hostages should be really in front of the conversations about the situation in Gaza,” Fetterman added.

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