Following criticism from American Jewish groups, the White House canceled the invitation of a cartoonist known for anti-Semitic drawings to an event of social media influencers scheduled for Thursday.
A White House official told Haaretz on Wednesday that Ben Garrison's invitation to the event, which drew strong criticism, has been revoked. The news was first reported by Politico. Garrison, who originally shared his invitation on Twitter, has yet to respond to the news.
The cartoonist, who depicted U.S. government figures as puppets of George Soros and the Rothschilds, was invited to the White House by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Garrison, who draws right-wing, self-proclaimed "politically incorrect" comics under the title "GrrrGraphics," uploaded the illustration in question in 2017, as a potshot at then-National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus. It shows Jewish billionaire Soros pulling their strings. Above Soros, a green hand labeled "Rothschilds" manipulates him.
The Anti-Defamation League blasted the "blatantly anti-Semitic" illustration, saying that "the thrust of the cartoon is clear: McMaster is merely a puppet of a Jewish conspiracy." The Huffington Post noted that according to Garrison's website, the cartoon was commissioned by Mike Cernovich, a blogger and radio personality associated with the alt-right. Cernovich is known for peddling the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, his anti-feminist views and warning against "white genocide."
Garrison had tweeted his invitation to Trump's Social Media Summit. Thursday's attendees will be a variety of right-wing figures who are concerned about what they perceive as new limits on free speech, as social media platforms clamp down on hate speech and harassment.
- Trump's Soft Spot for anti-Semites Is Now a Big Problem for His Jewish Fans
- The anti-Semitism Fest Where Russian Spies, Code Pink and David Duke Meet and Greet
- The White Supremacist Movement Is Down - but Definitely Not Out
"Honored to be invited to the White House!" Garrison tweeted on Saturday. "Thank you Mr. President!" In a quoted tweet beneath it, Garrison wrote "meme warriors assemble!" and posted a comic of a number of pro-Trump and alt-right figures, including the icon Pepe the Frog and the president himself crowned with gold laurels, depicted as ghosts frightening "the left," who clutches a blanket made of the mainstream media.