Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman ignored questions about his position on the Israel war while being confronted by a professor of international human rights.
Daniel Kovalik, 55, is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and says that his questions were not only ignored, but that he was assaulted by someone who was accompanying the senator.
Earlier this month, Fetterman said that he would “always stand with Israel,” and decried fellow lawmakers calling for a ceasefire, saying he looks “forward to supporting any military, intelligence, or humanitarian aid to get the job done.”
Now is not the time to talk about a ceasefire. We must support Israel in efforts to eliminate the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children.
Hamas does not want peace, they want to destroy Israel. We can talk about a ceasefire after Hamas is neutralized.
— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) October 18, 2023
“We must support Israel in efforts to eliminate the Hamas terrorists who slaughtered innocent men, women, and children,” Fetterman wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on October 18. “Hamas does not want peace, they want to destroy Israel. We can talk about a ceasefire after Hamas is neutralized.”
— Dan Kovalik (@danielmkovalik) October 29, 2023
On October 29, Kovalik posted a video of himself asking Fetterman why he refuses to support a humanitarian ceasefire amid the rapidly rising civilian casualties.
“I just took on John Fetterman for his failure to support a ceasefire for #Gaza and was assaulted,” Kovalik wrote in the post. “Come see the violence inherent in the system.”
As Kovalik questioned Fetterman, he addresses someone off-camera who seems to be trying to stop the line of questioning.
“I can talk to him [Fetterman], I voted for him,” Kovalik says. “I’m sorry, this is a democracy.”
Fetterman ignores the questions.
“Ten thousand people in Gaza have been killed, half are children. The pope is calling for a ceasefire, the UN has called for it,” Kovalik continues. “I’m just asking, you’re a good guy, I voted for you, I know you’re a nice guy, this is important.”
The off-camera person accompanying Fetterman again tells Kovalik that he needs to leave.
At this point, Fetterman walks away as Kovalik appears to be shoved out of the building.
By Monday morning, the video had 3.7 million views.
A group of 16 former campaign staffers, calling themselves “Fetterman Alumni for Peace,” have also publicly condemned Fetterman’s stance.
“Watching the United States military apparatus beat the drum for war—promising the Israeli government unconditional weapons support, a blank check for more destruction that will lead to the killing of more innocent Israelis and Palestinians, including children—has been hear-wrenching. Watching you lead that charge has felt like a gutting betrayal,” the letter states.
“These are not the values that we believed you to hold, and these are not our values.”
The signatories have remained anonymous but were confirmed to be former staff members by The Intercept.