NY State Senate Candidate Decries Ad Depicting Him As Fiddler On The Roof

A Democratic candidate for state senate in New York who says he’s been targeted with anti-Semitic ads on social media told TPM on Tuesday that he suspects senate Republicans are behind them.

The ad cites an editorial that ran in Newsday headlined “Don’t fiddle with New York’s property-tax cap” and includes an image of Adam Haber’s face photoshopped onto the body of a character in “Fiddler on the Roof.” Haber said that the ads have been spotted on Facebook and Instagram, and his campaign provided TPM with a screenshot.

“Many people have contacted me to express how shocked and upset they were by this image,” he said in a Monday statement about the ad. “I’m thankful for the outpouring of support from our community, people of all faiths, equally appalled by the revelation of this factually incorrect and anti-Semitic attack. We continually see on the news the hateful and divisive vitriol from Donald Trump and it’s even sadder those same tactics are being used here on Long Island by my obviously desperate opponent and the Albany insiders running her campaign.”

Haber told TPM on Tuesday that he believes the ad distorts his face to make it look more angular and said that the ad is reminiscent of “the same kind of negative ads you would have seen in the 1930s Germany, you know, to be sinister.”

“I just couldn’t believe that at this day in age they would photoshop a picture in a negative stereotype associated with money to try and curry favor,” he told TPM. “I guess since Donald Trump has been so nasty, I’m assuming everybody feels comfortable on the local level to behave like he does, but it’s just unacceptable.”

It’s not clear who created and paid for the ad. Haber speculated that Republicans in the state senate were behind the ad because he said they’ve created similar social media accounts to attack other candidates. He said that the senate Republicans’ campaign arm has made several accounts in the same vein as “The Real Adam Haber,” claiming to expose the “Real” candidate.

A spokesman for the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee, Scott Reif, would not tell Newsday whether the committee had created the ad.

Other local officials have condemned the ad, including Democratic New York Assemblyman Charles Lavine.

“In the dark shadows of a presidential campaign polluted with fear, misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, contempt for the disabled and hatred for the outsider, it comes as no surprise that certain Republican elements now rely on anti-Semitism in an attempt to demonize Democratic New York State Senate candidate Adam Haber,” Lavine said in a statement. “I demand that Republican State Chairman Ed Cox, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and State Senate candidate Elaine Phillips delete the anti-Semitic advertisement and I call upon them to apologize to the Jewish and non-Jewish communities for such base and shameful conduct. Such desperate attempts at toxicity and divisiveness are repulsive and vile and must be condemned by every American, every New Yorker and every Long Islander.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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