A 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 over the weekend. Ben Garrison posted his invitation from the president on his Twitter account on Saturday.
In the days since, both Trump and Republican Party officials who vehemently condemned the New York Times for recently running in its international edition a cartoon seen by many as anti-Semitic have been urged to uninvite or condemn the cartoonist's invitation.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote on Twitter Monday that Garrison “should be shunned by the White House, not honored with [an] invite to the American People’s House.” The White House confirmed to Haaretz a Politico report Wednesday that the White House, which had stood behind the invitation initially, has since asked Garrison not to attend.
Read more: Trump's soft spot for anti-Semites is now a big problem for his Jewish fans | Opinion
Tablet's Yair Rosenberg called out hyprocrisy on Twitter, writing, "I retweeted this at the time, but as the guy still hasn't been uninvited, it bears worth emphasizing this administration's incredible hypocrisy on anti-Semitism & racism. The VP, among others, personally went after the NY Times for their anti-Semitic cartoon. Now: radio silence." The New York Times both apologized and ceased publishing political cartoons in the wake of the controversy.
While journalist Julia Ioffe, who herself was the target of right-wing anti-Semitism, wrote, "Waiting on @Liz_Cheney and @MeghanMcCain to condemn this." Cheney and McCain have both been vocal critics in recent months calling out what they see as rising anti-Semitism on the left in the U.S.
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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 George Soros pulling their strings. Above Soros, a green hand labeled "Rotshchilds" 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."
Ben Garrison posted his invitation to Trump's Social Media Summit, which will be held Thursday. In attendance 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.
"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.