Yesterday, Forward reported that the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano, responded to critiques “over his association with Gab, a social media platform rife with antisemitism, by highlighting his campaign announcement, where a man donned a tallit and blew a shofar.”
At a campaign stop, Mastriano said, “The irony — Rebbie and I were lambasted in our announcement rally for having too much Jewish symbology in our announcement. We had a shofar, a prayer shawl. And then suddenly the Democrats and the media can’t make up…then suddenly you’re an antisemite. Like make up your mind! You know, you have too much Jewishness in your in your events, now you’re antisemetic. I mean, it’s bizarre.”
The report notes that many Jewish people have taken issue with the appropriation of blowing a shofar at political events — which has become “a trend for far-right Christian nationalists like Mastriano to signal that they see their campaigns as a spiritual quest.”
Recently, Mastriano has made attempts to hide his far-right extremism by running away from reporters and regularly deleting Facebook Lives from his campaign pages; ostensibly to prevent the press from uncovering the extent of his conspiracy theories and far-right wing rhetoric.
Forward: Mastriano fights back against antisemitism accusations, citing use of shofar
By: Jacob Kornbluh | August 3, 2022
- “The Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania is pushing back against Jewish criticism over his association with Gab, a social media platform rife with antisemitism, by highlighting his campaign announcement, where a man donned a tallit and blew a shofar. At a campaign stop in New Castle, northwest of Pittsburgh, on Tuesday, the nominee, State Sen. Doug Mastriano called it ‘bizarre’ that he was ‘lambasted’ by Democrats and journalists for, as he put it, ‘having too much Jewish symbology in our announcement.’”
- “Blowing a shofar at political events has become something of a trend for far-right Christian nationalists like Mastriano to signal that they see their campaigns as a spiritual quest. But many Jews take issue with such appropriation of their ritual objects.”
- “Amid mounting pressure, Mastriano last week condemned ‘antisemitism in all forms’ and disassociated himself from Torba, who frequently shares his antisemitic beliefs online. But he stopped short of denouncing the site or asking for a reimbursement. Following that, Gab users stepped up their antisemitic postings — including death threats and calls for violence against Jews.”
- “On Tuesday, a group of Jewish leaders and elected officials condemned Mastriano for refusing to provide a reasonable explanation for why he paid Gab a consulting fee. At the New Castle event, Mastriano declined to take questions from reporters, and did not directly address the issue of his involvement with Gab during his remarks. He did allude to the criticism, however, saying: ‘I don’t see anyone extreme in this room here. I just see Americans that love their country.’”
Read the full report here.
Published: Aug 4, 2022