A Republican senator was under fire Tuesday for a campaign attack ad that depicted his Democratic challenger, who is Jewish, with a larger nose. The ad has been taken down.
The ad was posted Monday on the campaign page for Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., against 2020 challenger Jon Ossoff. It included a Reuters picture of Ossoff from 2017 alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the tag line, “Democrats are trying to buy Georgia!” However, Ossoff’s nose in the picture appeared enlarged, sparking accusations of anti-Semitism by Ossoff and others online.
“Sitting U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s digital attack ad distorted my face to enlarge and extend my nose. I’m Jewish. This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,” Ossoff said in a press release. “Senator, literally no one believes your excuses. You can start with an unqualified apology to Georgia’s Jewish community.”
Ossoff also shared an image of himself alongside the ad’s photo to show the difference.
Perdue’s campaign removed the ad shortly after it was posted and issued an apology, insisting it was simply a mistake due to using an “outside vendor.”
“In the graphic design process handled by an outside vendor, the photo was resized and a filter was applied, which appears to have caused an unintentional error that distorted the image,” a campaign spokesperson said in a press release. “Obviously, this was accidental, but to ensure there is absolutely no confusion, we have immediately removed the image from Facebook.”
“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.”
A large or hooked nose has been a common physical stereotype attributed to Jewish people for centuries. The earliest depictions are found in the 13th century when many artists’ renditions of Jewish people presented them with “bad” noses as a distinguishing physical trait. It would also serve as one of the key physical descriptors promoted by Nazi Germany to help promote fear of and discrimination against Jewish people .