“Current Issues,” a weekly television show hosted by Palestinian-American Hesham Tillawi, has become a megaphone for Holocaust deniers and white supremacists seeking to broadcast their hatred and anti-Semitism into American homes. Tillawi has hosted a “who’s who” of American anti-Semites on his show, including David Duke, Willis Carto, Edgar J. Steele, Mark Weber and Bradley Smith.
Residence: Lafayette, Louisiana
Ideology: Anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial
Extremist Affiliations: No formal affiliations
Media: Weekly “Current Issues” television show, broadcast on “Bridges TV” network
Hesham Tillawi (nee Mohd) is a Palestinian-American living in Lafayette, Lousiana. He claims to hold a doctoral degree in international relations from Bernelli University, an unaccredited distance-learning institution located in Virginia. He was elected vice president of the Palestinian American Congress’ national executive committee in 2004.
Tillawi hosts and produces “Current Issues,” a two-hour interview / call-in show that began broadcasting in 2004 on a local-access cable channel in Lafayette. The show was briefly picked up by Bridges TV, an American Muslim television network with cable and satellite distribution agreements in major American media markets, but was dropped from the schedule in June 2006. “Current Issues” continues to be broadcast on public-access cable and is also available over the Internet.
Hesham Tillawi is an example of a radical anti-Israel activist who has moved from “anti-Zionism” into unvarnished anti-Semitism.
Tillawi traffics freely in classic anti-Jewish stereotypes, alleging frequently that Jews control the media and the American government, and that Jews clandestinely orchestrate world events for their own benefit. Most notable in this regard is his claim that Jews were responsible for conducting the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States, and that Jews maneuvered the U.S. into invading Iraq for Israel’s benefit.
Tillawi consistently uses “Current Issues” to showcase white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and other anti-Semites.
Former Klansman David Duke has appeared on “Current Issues” three times to peddle his brand of Jew-hatred. Duke warned that there is a “worldwide Jewish extremist media and government [effort]” to corrupt children with violence and promote drug use; to “destroy…the home and the family”; to wipe away “individual cultures and freedoms” and institute “a new age of darkness.”
Another guest on Tillawi’s show has alleged that Jews are somehow aligned with demonic forces. “Call it anti-Christ, call it Satan, call it whatever,” Russian-born Jewish covert to Christianity Israel Shamir said on “Current Issues.” “This kind of force tries to defeat Christ, and it is heavily armed with tools of Jews.”
Among the Holocaust deniers Tillawi has hosted on his show is Bradley Smith, who has crusaded since the 1980s to bring Holocaust denial to college campuses. He also interviewed Fredrick Toben, a Holocaust denier from Australia. In his interview Toben propounded his theory that Jewish and Zionist forces invented the threat of Islamic terror to “squash dissent” and serve as a “decoy” distracting world attention from a different goal: demolishing the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and replacing it with a rebuilt Temple of Solomon.
Mark Weber, who directs the California-based Institute for Historical Review, has been a guest on Tillawi’s show more than once. When not trying to chip away at the Holocaust’s historical evidence, Weber attacks Holocaust commemoration efforts. “Holocaust remembrance is not a noble effort motivated by sincere concern for humanity,” Weber told Tillawi’s viewers. “This campaign is an expression of Jewish-Zionist power and it’s designed to further Jewish-Zionist interests.”
Tillawi has interviewed an eclectic mix of anti-Israel activists, New World Order and 9-11 conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and Holocaust deniers on his show, but is not formally affiliated with any extremist groups.
In their own words: Quotations from Tillawi and guests:
From “Current Issues,” October 6, 2005
Hesham Tillawi interviews former Klansman David Duke:
David Duke: “These people who run Israel and support this neo-con cause are absolutely evil people, just the heart of evil. You see the evil not just in what they’re doing to the Palestinian people and the people in Gaza; you can see it in what they’re doing in America. Look at the Hollywood media and the morality it teaches our children. Who dominates that media? who teaches our children nothing but violence, [and] promotion of drugs? … Who destroys the home and the family? This is evil, what’s going on.… We have to defend ourselves from this worldwide Jewish extremist media and government and globalism that is wiping away the individual cultures and freedoms of this planet and bringing us to a new age of darkness. These neocons literally brag about the fact that they want to start World War IV, they will wash the world in blood unless we stand up and we expose them and defeat them…”
Hesham Tillawi: “A lot of my friends are Jews, I have no problem with Jews, I am exposing Zionists and I’m exposing those Jews who are controlling your life, your children’s life, the future of your whole family, that’s the ones (sic) I want to expose.”
From “Current Issues,” December 15, 2005
Hesham Tillawi interviews Israel Shamir, a Jaffa-based anti-Semitic writer:
Israel Shamir: “Jews have no doubt really deep rejection of Christ, denial of Christ; they still keep it, that is why they are easy tools in the hands of the anti-Christian force – call it anti-Christ, call it Satan, call it whatever. Anyway, this kind of force that tries to defeat Christ, and it is mightily armed with tools of Jews.”
From “Current Issues,” February 23, 2006
Hesham Tillawi interviews Willis Carto, anti-Semitic activist and founder of now-defunct Liberty Lobby:
Hesham Tillawi: Mr. Carto, OK, now before we went to war against Iraq, whatever Israel did and whatever Israel wanted they would basically give it to them on a silver platter, if not a golden one. Now, the situation is different. Now our own people are dying for Israel, now the whole country is being bankrupted because of Israel. And I understand what you’re saying about the media, but I’m sure there is enough people out there who know what’s going on. Why the American people are not up in arms to rectify this situation?
Willis Carto: They have no leadership. If they do have leadership, he gets cut down immediately or gets ignored by the press. Anyone who stands and says, no, this isn’t right, our men are getting killed and it’s not benefiting the United States and we should not be fighting wars for other nations, anyone who says that is ignored...
On Radio Free America with Rick Adams, August 12, 2005:
Hesham Tillawi: Palestinians are occupied by Israel; also the United States is occupied by Israel politically. The difference between the Palestinians and the Americans is that the Palestinians know that they are occupied, they know the enemy…but in the United States is the other way around; Israel is occupying the United States politically.
Rick Adams: And economically too I might add.
Hesham Tillawi: And of course economically, correct. They have a stranglehold on Congress and the administration…the American people are in the same shape that the Palestinians are in, because the media is controlled, the government is controlled, the economy is controlled, and actually they are in worse shape than the Palestinians...
Hesham Tillawi: There is a good book written by Henry Ford called The International Jew, and my own personal take on the protocols: I don’t care if it’s authentic or not, I don’t care if it’s real or if somebody just dreamed them up. The thing is they are being used as blueprints. If you read the protocols and look at what’s going on right now, and [inaudible] government, who controls them, the money, who etc. the media, who controls it, all these things are in the protocols. So I don’t care if it’s authentic or not, they are using it as a blueprint.
From an email to David Duke, posted online August 12, 2005:
To Dr. David Duke
David thank you for your comments about me on your radio show on the 12th. I am honored to be a friend of yours and I do consider you a good friend and I am a supporter of your cause. I would rather live in a white America than a Zionist America. Please tell your listeners to rest assured that Hesham Tillawi is a friend of the White movement. My show is to provide my guest with a platform to speak freely and to help them bring out their ideas and opinions to the public. Some times I resort to challenging questions to give them an opportunity to dispel some of the myth about them in the public eyes. My comment about whites and Mexicans was to give you the opportunity to about some of these myths out there which you did in a brilliant way, also my comment about you having a hard time shaking racism off, it was meant to give you the opportunity to dispel the biggest myth about David Duke out there that he is a Racist. My comment was not that David Duke was a racist and having a hard time shaking it off, but that David, due to the Zionist media, is having a hard time getting away from this label that the Zionists charged him with in order to destroy him and destroy his political ambitions. I am sorry that some of the listeners especially those on Stormfront did not see it that way. Any how, I am glad you came on the show, and please come back.
Hesham Tillawi, PhD