Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy defends Israel amid Iran’s drone attack and criticism of IDF’s military action in Gaza: ‘There is no country that is consistently attacked by their enemies and then told to use restraint’

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has come to the defense of Israel as the country repels drone attacks from Iran.

‘There is no country that is consistently attacked by their enemies + then told to use restraint when defending themselves (despite superior military) more than Israel,’ Portnoy, 47, wrote in a post on X.

Portnoy stressed that he’s hoping for a peaceful solution in the region, while defending Israel amid widespread criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s military action in Gaza.

‘I want peace for all innocents in Middle East,’ Portnoy wrote. ‘I also fully support Israel’s right to exist + defend itself.’

Portnoy previously spoke out in support of Israel in the wake of Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attacks, which resulted in more than 1,160 civilian deaths, according to Agence France Presse’s tally in February. In total, more than 34,000 have died in the ongoing Israel–Hamas war, including at least 33,000 Palestinians, 224 humanitarian aid workers, 179 United Nations employees, and 95 journalists.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has come to the defense of Israel amid attacks from Iran

Portnoy is hoping for a peaceful solution in the region while defending Israel's statehood

Portnoy is hoping for a peaceful solution in the region while defending Israel’s statehood

While he was born to a Jewish family in Swampscott, Massachusetts, Portnoy insists his support of Israel isn’t based in religion or his ethnicity, but rather his belief that the country has a right to exist.

‘People keep asking me to speak out on the Israel terrorist attacks because I’m Jewish,’ Portnoy wrote in a Barstool op-ed in October. ‘(For the record I did speak out about it almost instantly by the way) but it shouldn’t matter that I’m Jewish.

‘This is a basic human rights issue,’ he wrote in October. ‘Everybody should be outraged. It shouldn’t matter what religion or race you are. Anytime innocent men, women and children are brutally murdered, raped and kidnapped in broad daylight the entire world should be outraged.’

Hamas has denied sexually abusing any of the 1,200 Israelis who were killed or the 253 who were taken prisoner on October 7, although a team of United Nations experts found compelling evidence that some degree of sexual violence took place.

‘Hamas once again proved that they are a terrorist organization that will never make peace with Israel or the West,’ Portnoy continued. ‘They are no different than Isis or Al Qaeda in that regard.

‘Unfortunately now Israel now has no choice but to defend themselves in the strongest way possible just like the United States would do if this happened on our soil.’

Iran launched the most recent attack in response to a strike widely blamed on Israel on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month which killed two Iranian generals. Israel said Iran launched 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles.

Israel on Sunday hailed its successful air defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran, saying it and its allies thwarted 99 percent of the more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory. But regional tensions remain high, amid fears of further escalation in the event of a possible Israeli counter-strike.

President Joe Biden said he would convene a meeting of the Group of Seven advanced democracies on Sunday ‘to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.’ The language indicated that the Biden administration does not want Iran’s assault to spiral into a broader military conflict.

By Sunday morning, Iran said the attack was over and Israel reopened its air space.

The two foes have for years been engaged in a shadow war marked by incidents like the Damascus strike. But Sunday’s assault, which set off air raid sirens across Israel, was the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Israel has over the years established – often with the help of the United States — a multilayered air-defense network that includes systems capable of intercepting a variety of threats including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones and short-range rockets.

That system, along with collaboration with the US and other forces, helped thwart what could have been a far more devastating assault at a time when Israel is already bogged down in its war against Hamas in Gaza and engaged in low-level fighting on its northern border with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. Both Hamas and Hezbollah are backed by Iran.