Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) on Sunday told a pro-Palestinian protester that he could not understand his heckling because of his stroke.
"The joke is on you. I had a stroke. I can’t fully understand what you are saying," Fetterman told the heckler. The senator was speaking at a rally for Sara Innamorato, who is running for Allegheny County executive, when a man yelled at him about the war between Israel and Hamas.
"Four thousand-plus dead children in Palestine! Nine thousand-plus dead civilians! Get off the stage," the man yelled. Fetterman then told the man his stroke prevented him from understanding his jeers before police escorted the disrupter out of the event.
The incident is the latest example of the backlash from progressives Fetterman has faced over his support for Israel.
In the wake of Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, Fetterman said he "unequivocally" supports "any necessary military, intelligence, and humanitarian aid to Israel," adding that "the United States has a moral obligation to be in lockstep with our ally as they confront this threat." He also supports "Israel neutralizing the terrorists responsible for this barbarism," he said.
Last month, hundreds of protesters from left-wing Jewish organizations including IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace gathered outside Fetterman's Philadelphia office to call on him to support a ceasefire. The crowd also had a caricature of Fetterman wearing a shirt that accused him of being "silent on genocide," according to the Philadelphia Enquirer.