ATLANTA — Senator David Perdue of Georgia’s re-election campaign was assailed on Monday for a Facebook advertisement that enlarged the nose of his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, in a portrayal that critics immediately denounced as anti-Semitic.
The fund-raising ad, which the campaign has taken down, included grainy photographs of Mr. Ossoff and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish. “We must not let Schumer and the radical left buy Georgia’s Senate for Democrats,” the ad said.
The Forward first reported on Monday that the size of Mr. Ossoff’s nose had been exaggerated, citing graphic design experts who found that it appeared wider and longer than in the original image, a 2017 photograph from Reuters.
“This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,” Mr. Ossoff wrote on Twitter on Monday night. “Senator, literally no one believes your excuses.”
Mr. Perdue’s campaign said on Monday that what happened had been the result of an “unintentional error” caused by resizing and filtering the original image.
“Obviously, this was accidental,” the campaign said in a statement. “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.”
Mr. Perdue, Georgia’s senior senator since 2015, has found himself in an increasingly competitive re-election fight against Mr. Ossoff, with some polls showing the race as a tossup.
The ad was posted on July 22, according to data provided by Facebook. It registered at least 3,000 impressions, according to Facebook, which refers to the number of times that it appeared on users’ screens.
For centuries, depictions of Jews that embellish their noses have been used to malign them. The ad in Georgia also came as anti-Semitism has swelled across the country in recent years.
The Anti-Defamation League released an annual audit in May showing that anti-Semitic incidents had surged to record levels, with more recorded in 2019 than in any year during the four decades the organization has been tracking them.