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Georgia senator removes ad that made Jewish opponent's nose appear bigger

Anti-Semitism and race in America 07:40

Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia has pulled a digital campaign ad that was apparently doctored to make his Democratic opponent's nose look bigger, a spokesperson for his campaign told The Associated Press. Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, harshly criticized Perdue for the ad. 

According to the Forward, a Jewish news site, the ad featured grainy photos of Ossoff and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish. "Democrats are trying to buy Georgia! Help David Perdue fight back!" the ad read. 

The ad had been running on Facebook since July 22, the Forward reported.  

"Sitting U.S. Senator David Perdue's digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose. I'm Jewish," Ossoff tweeted Monday night. "This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history. Senator, literally no one believes your excuses." 

Perdue's campaign team told The Associated Press that it removed the ad from Facebook, but the senator has yet to apologize for the error. A spokesperson for Perdue told the outlet that the ad was an "unintentional error" made by an outside vendor during the editing process.

"Anybody who implies that this was anything other than an inadvertent error is intentionally misrepresenting Senator Perdue's strong and consistent record of standing firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate," the spokesperson said.

Ossoff pushed back, demanding Perdue take responsibility for the ad. 

"Perdue refuses to take responsibility for his extremely obvious anti-Semitic attack, seen by thousands," Ossoff tweeted Tuesday. "The Senator should find the courage to stop hiding behind his spokesperson." 

"I am sick and tired of politicians who insist, 'I take no responsibility,'" he added. "Perdue should take personal responsibility for his campaign, and donate the money he raised using a doctored image of my face to a nonpartisan group that promotes tolerance, peace, and reconciliation."

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams said in a statement that the "attack" has "no place in our politics." 

"Now more than ever, we have to combat the ugly hatred we've seen continue to rear its head in this country," she said."Senator Perdue must immediately fire the campaign vendor who made this ad, apologize to Jon Ossoff, and take responsibility for injecting these kinds of hurtful stereotypes into this election." 

The Republican Jewish Coalition, however, defended Perdue, calling him a "true friend to the Jewish community." 

"Since coming to the Senate, he has consistently condemned hatred," it tweeted Tuesday. "Senator Perdue has stood with the Jewish community in both combatting anti-Semitism and his unwavering commitment to the security of the Jewish state of Israel."

In May, the Anti-Defamation League reported that American Jews were targets of 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 — more than any other year over the past four decades. The spike was due in part to attacks on a California synagogue, a Jewish grocery store in New Jersey and a rabbi's New York home

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