Update (7/25/22). Torba responded to this article on July 22 by reiterating that he is against Jewish people joining his movement, stating: “We don't want people who are atheists. We don't want people who are Jewish. We don't want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country.” He also added: “Ben Shapiro is not welcome in the movement unless he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.”
Doug Mastriano consultant and Gab CEO Andrew Torba has a message for right-wing Jewish commentators including Ben Shapiro and Dave Rubin: You’re not welcome in our movement unless you “repent” and renounce your Jewish faith.
As Media Matters reported, Mastriano said in a campaign filing that he paid $5,000 to Gab for “consulting” services on April 28. HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias subsequently reported that the payment seems to be for new followers, as “every new account currently being created on Gab automatically follows Mastriano.” (Torba has denied this while Mastriano has responded by retweeting someone calling the strategy “creative campaigning.”) Mastriano has also praised Torba, who has endorsed Mastriano.
Gab caters to far-right extremists, including those who have been banned from other platforms. The site is filled with antisemites, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis. One of its users was the mass shooter who allegedly killed 11 people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in 2018.
Torba acts as the voice and leader of Gab and has made clear that he welcomes antisemitism on the site. Media Matters looked at recent activity on his account, which new Gab users automatically follow, and found that Torba reposted claims that Jews are “subversive”; that they’re in control of the government, media, and financial institutions; and that they’re Christ killers. He also reposted a conspiracy theory blaming Jews for “white genocide” and praise of Gab for offering “differing opinions” on the Holocaust.
In recent days, Republicans and Democrats have criticized Mastriano for his close ties to Gab. Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said, in part, that “Mastriano’s campaign unfortunately seems intent on sending a message of exclusion.”
Torba recently confirmed that he wants to exclude Jews, including prominent right-wing commentators.
On July 15, as Right Wing Watch documented, Torba responded in a video to criticism of him and Mastriano by singling out right-wing commentators Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro as examples of people he doesn’t want in his movement. Rubin and Shapiro are both Jewish; Rubin is also gay.
Torba stated: “These people aren’t conservative. They’re not Christian, right? They don’t share our values. They have inverted values from us as Christians. So don’t fall for the bait, right? Don’t fall for the bait of Populism Inc. Don’t fall for the bait of this pseudo-conservatism, big tent nonsense. This is a Christian movement, and this movement needs to be centered on the gospel and truth of God’s word and of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior and king. That is the only way that this is going to work.”
After his remarks attacking Rubin and Shapiro were highlighted, Torba reaffirmed on July 21 that they aren’t welcome unless “they repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.”
Torba also previously reposted an April 13 Gab post that criticized Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager for being Jewish.