The wife of Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano missed the point when a reporter asked about her husband’s ties to a vocal antisemite, the Gab founder Andrew Torba. Rather than answer the question about the rise in anti-Jewish rhetoric, Rebecca Mastriano replied, “I’m just gonna say, as a family, we so much love Israel.”
“In fact, I’m gonna say we probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do. I had to say that,” she added.
The part about her husband being an election-denying insurrectionist and Christian nationalist was conveniently left out. Knowing that Doug Mastriano actively participated in the ex-President’s attempts to overturn a free and fair election, makes his silence and lack of repudiation of Torba, unfortunately unsurprising.
The social media platform, Gab, has been at the center of controversy for allowing widespread hate-filled posts targeting Blacks, the Jewish and LGBTQ communities, and women. Torba himself has made anti-Jewish statements.
“Jews and other non-Christians are ‘not conservative’ because it is ‘an explicitly Christian movement’ and because the US ‘is an explicitly Christian country,’ said Andrew Torba,’ according to The Jerusalem Post,
Pushing back on criticism for his comments, the CEO doubled down on his antisemitic views.
“We’re not bending the knee to the 2% anymore,” Torba said, a reference to the general estimate of the Jewish population in the United States. “We’re not taking it anymore, bud. We are taking back our culture. We’re taking back our country. We’re taking back our government. So, deal with it.”
Refusing to answer questions from CNN, Torba told reporters “I only speak to Christian news outlets. Repent and call on the name of Jesus Christ.”
Though the tech entrepreneur has denied working on the Mastriano campaign, Media Matters America posted the screenshot of an invoice showing a $5000 payment for “consulting,” to Gab, on April 28th of this year.
While Mastriano claims he “rejects antisemitism,” he didn’t address Torba personally or condemn his hateful words. It also hasn’t stopped the self-proclaimed Christian nationalist from attacking his Democratic Jewish opponent for Governor, Josh Shapiro.
Pennsylvania is not immune to the rise in violence and attacks on the Jewish community. In 2018, a gunman opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing eleven. Prior to the massacre, suspect Robert Bowers – known for posting anti-Jewish hate speech – posted on Gab, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Mrs. Mastriano’s statements continue a trend of deflection and side-stepping when pushed for answers. Mentioning her and her husband’s decade-long commitment to outreach in Jerusalem and Israel – but what she doesn’t do is explain the state senator’s association with Gab and Torba.
Matthew Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition said, “Jewish voters expect candidates to condemn antisemitism whether it comes from the far left or the far right – and to shun those who espouse it,” reported CNN.
Based on Rebecca Mastriano’s response, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Watch the clip below.
Tell me you’re a Christofascist without telling me you’re a Christofascist.
Doug Mastriano’s wife: “I'm gonna say we probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do.”
— Gabe Sanchez (@iamgabesanchez) October 30, 2022
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