The wife of the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Governor on Saturday night claimed that her husband “loves Israel more than a lot of Jews do”.
Doug Mastriano, who is running against Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro for the post, held a press conference and was asked by Nathan Guttman of Israel’s Kan 11 News to respond to an antisemitic attack on Shapiro as well as his association with Gab, a social media network favored by extremists.
Before Mastriano could reply, his wife Rebecca stepped up to the podium and said, “I’m just going to say as a family, we so much love Israel. In fact, I’m going to say that we probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do.”
“The reason why I say that is because we’ve given for, I would say at least 10 years, outreach to Israel and Jerusalem. We have visited Israel for five years. We’re just an average family. We’re not wealthy wealthy people,” she added.
In July, the Republican Jewish Coalition called on Mastriano to stop promoting his campaign on Gab.
Mastriano later made clear he rejected antisemitism.
Former US President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Mastriano’s candidacy, recently came under fire after he criticized US Jews and asserted that they do not appreciate what he has done for Israel.
“No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.
“Those living in Israel, though, are a different story - Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.! U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel - Before it is too late!” added Trump.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later responded to Trump and said, "Donald Trump’s comments were antisemitic and insulting, both to Jews and our Israeli allies. We need to root out antisemitism everywhere it rears its ugly head. We need to call this out."
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, said he did not think Trump’s remarks amounted to antisemitism.
Netanyahu said he thought Trump’s comments were a matter of him feeling not appreciated for his unprecedented support for Israel.
"I think it reflects his frustration, which happens to many politicians when they feel they don't get all the credit they deserve for the things they did. By the way, I have to tell you, I'm not an exception. All of us belong to that," he said.