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ZOA: Mastriano’s Statement Falls Short – He Must Repudiate Torba; Not Enough to Say Antisemite “Doesn’t Speak” for Him

Greater Philadelphia and Pittsburgh ZOA: Mastriano’s Statement Falls Short – He Must Repudiate Torba; Not Enough to Say Antisemite “Doesn’t Speak” for Him

July 29, 2022

The Zionist Organization of America’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter and Pittsburgh Chapter call on Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano to unequivocally and immediately specifically repudiate the anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric and attacks made by Gab social media platform founder and CEO Andrew Torba, who is a vocal Mastriano supporter. Further, Mastriano must reject Torba’s endorsement and support.

Mastriano’s statement on the matter that he issued on July 28 (see it below) does not go far enough, and his minimizing of Jew-hatred by conflating it with economic issues and matters related to government policy in response to COVID are disturbing and insulting.

Greater Philadelphia ZOA and Pittsburgh ZOA together represent and serve the Jewish people, advance Zionism and support the pro-Israel community throughout the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mastriano is the Republican Party’s nominee for governor of Pennsylvania for the general election in November. On Thursday, July 28, Sen. Mastriano posted a terse statement on the matter of Jew-hatred to his twitter feed – though not on his campaign web site. The statement (see below) neglects to repudiate Torba or any of his anti-Jewish claims, accusations and demands, and it lacks any apology for any discomfort his association with Torba and Gab may have caused Jewish Pennsylvanians.

Were he to become governor, Mastriano would represent nearly 13 million Pennsylvanians and among these are hundreds of thousands of Jewish Americans. Pennsylvania is America’s fifth most populous state.
Mastriano’s statement in its entirety:

“Andrew Torba doesn’t speak for me or my campaign. I reject anti-Semitism in any form. Recent smears by Democrats and the media are blatant attempts to distract Pennsylvanians from suffering inflicted by Democrat policies.
“While extremist speech is an unfortunate but inevitable cost of living in a free society, extremist policies are not – and the only candidate in this election who wants to impose extreme policies on Pennsylvania – inflation, crime, lockdowns, and mandates – is Josh Shapiro.”

While ZOA appreciates Sen. Mastriano issuing a statement on the subject of “anti-Semitism,” and clarifying that Torba “doesn’t speak for me or my campaign,” Mastriano’s words fall short of what is necessary to put the minds of Pennsylvania’s Jews at ease given the breadth and frequency of Torba’s anti-Jewish verbal assaults — and Mastriano’s use of this situation to wage a political attack is unseemly.

Please see our entire statement at: