Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Wisconsin Forum schedules anti-Semite

A pro-business organization, Wisconsin Forum, has scheduled a series of speakers for 2006 - 2007 to come to Milwaukee. Unfortunately the list includes noted and controversial anti-Semite Joseph Sobran, scheduled to speak September 28th.

Sobran left National Review after his anti-Semitic views could no longer be tolerated by the magazine. Since then he has continued to promote his anti-Semitic views, and has associated with Holocaust deniers.

Sobran's presence as the first on the list of speakers is an outrage deserving condemnation from every conservative and liberal voice in Wisconsin. The organizers of the event should be ashamed of themselves. Or are they planning on inviting the Nazi party to speak next year?

Owen Robinson, perhaps ignorant of Sobran's history, announces the event "would be a blast to attend." I have sent an e-mail to Robinson,

Owen, I would hope you would join in the chorus
denouncing Sobran, his anti-{S}emitic views, and his
association with Holocaust deniers.

James Wigderson
I will let my readers know what he responds.

Were I on the Advisory Board of Wisconsin Forum, I would demand the invitation to Sobran be rescinded or I would resign from the board rather than risk having my reputation tied to an organization that apparently approves of Sobran's message. If I were the head of a "sponsoring organization", I would threaten to remove the sponsorship.

But since I am not, I can only condemn the event in the strongest of terms, and anyone associated with the event. After all, as the motto of Wisconsin Forum reminds us, "Ideas have consequences."

The president of Wisconsin Forum's Advisory Board is:
James T Barry, III
President, Colliers Barry
1232 North Edison Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Phone: (414) 271-1870 Fax: (414) 271-1478

Note: For background information on Sobran's anti-Semitism, I suggest starting with William F. Buckley Jr.'s "In Search of Anti-Semitism." Jim Naureckas wrote on the Philadelphia Inquirer's decision to replace George Will with Sobran in November 1995. I also suggest reading Richard John Neuhaus' comments on Sobran in First Things. And here is Sobran himself defending speaking in front of a Holocaust denial organization, and Sobran's defense of Holocaust Denier David Irving. (Conveniently, Irving maintains an archive of Sobran's columns.) Norman Podhoretz, Midge Dector and others have also condemned Sobran for his anti-Semitic writing.