Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Doug Mastriano serenaded with ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ parody

Is the Republican pandering to the Jews he’s accused of dog whistling?

Lately I’ve been thinking of a line from “Fiddler on the Roof”: “God, I know we’re the chosen people, but once in a while, couldn’t you choose someone else?”

It came to me again as, on the eve of the elections, Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate dogged by accusations of antisemitism, had a bizarre tribute paid to him at a Bucks County rally: a parody of “If I Were a Rich Man” apparently titled “Douglas Mastriano.”

A video from the rally shows Jaymie Bellet, identified on her Facebook page as “a singer/songwriter and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah” accompanying herself on guitar. Her lyrical riff on Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock’s song isn’t exactly Weird Al — heck it ain’t even Randy Rainbow. Here it is anyhow.

Would it be cynical of me to say that Mastriano’s campaign, which has been receiving flack for its candidate harping on the fact his Jewish opponent attended a “privileged” Jewish day school (and rebuking claims of antisemitism by invoking a love of Israel) may have pulled this performance out of the hat to assuage concerns the could-be governor doesn’t like Jewish people? Well, call me a cynic, then! 

The video was hard for me to get through, but I managed to make it all the way up to the line “We love your tours of Gettysburg where we can learn from the history you bestow/Nothing we could get from Shapir-Oh God please no” before wanting to take a nap until the next election cycle.

What are we to make of the display? Well, it’s a bit late in the day to be pandering to Jews. On the other hand, given the musical’s wide appeal, and the singer’s decidedly Messianic bent, it may not be Jews who Mastriano’s people are trying to convince. (Mastriano’s alliance with Messianics is nothing new.)

That said, if Mastriano were making a straightforward appeal to constituents, there’s already a “Fiddler” number for that: “Do You Love Me?”

We’ll find out if they do on Tuesday.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.