Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, defended fellow Democrat, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, against attacks on the reverend’s record with Israel.
“Reverend Warnock is a beloved friend and ally of Georgia’s Jewish community and a friend of Israel,” Ossoff told The Forward on Wednesday. “Kelly Loeffler’s baseless attacks on the reverend make me sick.”
Ossoff and Warnock are running in two separate key Georgia Senate races that could determine the fate of the Senate’s control. Ossoff, a media executive, will face off on Jan. 5 against Sen. David Perdue and Warnock, a senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, will take on Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Loeffler last week hit the pastor for signing a letter last year comparing Israeli control of the West Bank to “previous oppressive regimes,” such as “military occupation of Namibia under apartheid South Africa.”
“@ReverendWarnock has a long history of anti-Israel extremism,” Loeffler wrote on Twitter. “He defended Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Semitic comments. He embraced the anti-Zionist BLM organization. And he thinks Israel is an “oppressive regime” for fighting back against terrorism.”
Warnock signed the letter after a trip to Israel and Palestinian territory with fellow clergy members.
The letter suggests that the group while visiting occupied territory witnessed: “The ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians in a political wall reminiscent of the Berlin Wall,” along with “The heavy militarization of the West Bank, reminiscent of the military occupation of Namibia by apartheid South Africa.”
The group said they had witnessed Jewish and Palestinian perspectives. Still, they said they were shocked at the “unstoppable gobbling up of Palestinian lands to almost render the proposed two-state solution unworkable.”
The group said they witnessed: “The laws of segregation that allow one thing for the Jewish people and another for the Palestinians; we saw evidence of forced removals; homes abandoned, olive trees uprooted or confiscated and taken over, shops and businesses bolted with doors welded to close out any commercial activities.”
But Ossoff praised Warnock’s “interfaith leadership.”
“His spiritual leadership and his interfaith outreach are deeply appreciated across our state,” Ossoff said Wednesday. “Maybe Senator Loeffler should focus her attention on David Perdue who lengthened my nose in his attack ads.”
In July, Perdue’s campaign took down an ad that seemed to enlarge Ossoff’s nose, prompting Ossoff’s campaign to accuse the senator of anti-Semitism. The campaign said it was an “unintentional error” from an “outside vendor.”
Warnock’s campaign, too, denied accusations of anti-Israel positions.
“Reverend Warnock has deep respect for the invaluable relationship the United States has with Israel and how Georgia continues to benefit from that friendship. The reservations he has expressed about settlement activity do not change his strong support for Israel and belief in its security – which is exactly why he opposes ending direct military aid to such a strong ally,” Warnock campaign spokesperson Terrence Clark said in a statement to Fox News.