GOP senator slammed for using 'blatant antisemitism' in ad against a Democrat

GOP senator slammed for using 'blatant antisemitism' in ad against a Democrat
Jon Ossoff MSNBC Screengrab

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia is among the incumbent Republican senators who is seeking reelection this year, and the race is becoming increasingly bitter. In fact, a recent attack ad against Perdue’s Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, is drawing criticism for using anti-Semitic imagery.


A fundraising ad from Perdue, according to the New York Times’ Rick Rojas, depicts Ossoff — who is Jewish — with an enlarged nose. The ad shows Ossoff with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, in a 2017 photo from Reuters and claims: “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia.”

Perdue said that the alteration came from someone outside of his campaign and was not meant to attack Ossoff for being Jewish, but Ossoff doesn’t believe him. In a statement on Monday night, Ossoff argued, “This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history. Senator, literally no one believes your excuses.” And the liberal/progressive Jewish organization Bend the Arc, in a tweet, slammed the ad as "blatant antisemitism":

But Perdue’s reelection campaign, in an official statement, said of the altered Reuters photo: “Obviously, this was accidental…. Anybody who implies that this was anything other than an inadvertent error is intentionally misrepresenting Sen. Perdue’s strong and consistent record of standing firmly against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate.”

Rojas notes that according to The Forward (a Jewish publication), graphic design experts confirmed that in the ad, Ossoff’s nose appeared longer and wider than it originally appeared in the 2017 photo.

“For centuries,” Rojas explains, “depictions of Jews that embellish their noses as large and hooked have been used as a form of anti-Semitic caricature. The ad in Georgia also came as researchers have found that anti-Semitism has surged across the country in recent years, manifesting itself through violence and vandalism as well as in more subtle ways.”

Georgia, like Texas, is arguably a light red state at this point — Republican-leaning overall, but not deep red like Idaho, Wyoming, Mississippi or Utah. In 2018, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams (who is being mentioned as a possible running mate for former Vice President Joe Biden) narrowly lost to Gov. Brian Kemp. And Democratic strategists are hoping to flip the seat that Perdue presently holds.

Recent polls have found the race to be surprisingly close: a recent Civiqs poll, for example, found Ossoff leading Perdue by 2% — which was within the poll’s margin of error. A Fox News poll conducted in June found Perdue ahead by 3%.

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