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 Extremism in America
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Hesham Tillawi
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Hesham Tillawi hosts and produces Current Issues, a weekly public access television show also available online, in which he interviews extremists and anti-Semites across the ideological spectrum. He also regularly posts commentary to his blog and to the Current Issues Web site, often focusing his attacks on Israel, Jews and the Jewish religion.

In a posting to his blog on November 23, 2008, Tillawi charged that the “Palestinian Holocaust…started way before the so-called ‘Holocaust’ of Europe and which continues to this very day.”

In defending a terrorist attack against a religious seminary in Jerusalem in a posting to his blog on March 31, 2008, Tillawi asserted the eight students killed by a Palestinian gunman at the Merkaz HaRav seminary, which included seven teenagers, were not innocent students but “Jewish terrorists,” a product of a Jewish religion that promotes racism and genocide.

Specifically, Tillawi claimed that while the yeshiva was “cleverly disguised under [a] religious-sounding name,” it was in fact “a training camp for Jewish terrorists.” He argued that Israel operates on the instruction of rabbis who consider non-Jews to be not human, and that “Jewish law” dictates a redemptive agenda that calls for the annihilation of the non-Jewish population in the Holy Land. He called for dismantling Jewish seminaries and “re-examining the racist tenets of Jewish thinking.” Tillawi also denied Jewish historical connection to the Middle East, describing Israelis as “the Judaic Europeans who think ‘God’ had given [the land] to them as a gift.”

In posts to the Current Issues Web site, Tillawi has repeated his criticism of Jews as brutal oppressors. In an article about the celebration of the Jewish holiday, Purim, which Tillawi called the “drunken lawlessness the commemoration (sic) of the slaughter of 75,000 innocent Iranian civilians at the hands of Jewish thugs,” he nicknamed Israel “he who wars against man and God.”  He further claimed that “now in the 21st century as Israel…manoeuvres (sic) to wipe out many more innocent Iranians in their lust for blood we can witness first hand the true story of Purim unfolding.”

Not only do Tillawi’s own writings often demonize Jews and Judaism, his pieces also refer to anti-Semites and anti-Semitic sources that denounce Judaism as a racist tradition. For example, Tillawi’s article about Purim links to an article by his close associate Mark Glenn, a contributor to the American Free Press, an anti-Semitic, conspiracy-oriented publication. Glenn, in that article, claimed that “warfare–in all its forms–is and always has been the glue holding the Jewish state together….It is the fuel that feeds the beast and keeps it alive and without it the great experiment in Jewish self-rule would disintegrate in short order.” 

On an episode of Current Issues that aired March 27, 2008, Tillawi interviewed Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician in an Israeli nuclear facility who was convicted for selling state secrets and much of the interview was dedicated to condemning the Jewish religion. Tillawi and Vanunu agreed that Judaism teaches that Jews are superior and that Israel is implementing a strategy to create a purely Jewish state. Prodded by Tillawi, Vanunu claimed that that the Jewish lobby controls the U.S. and charged that the majority of Jews believe that “God is going to make them the masters of the world and all the world will be its slave. You will be servants of these Jewish people.”

Tillawi also said that the whole world should be concerned about Israel having nuclear power and should call for Israel’s disarmament. He citied what he sees as the brutal, vengeful nature of Israelis and noted “the mentality of the whole country who think that God wants them to kill, and kill, and kill to redeem themselves. People who think that God wants them to cleanse the land of Palestine from the Christians and the Muslims because it’s Jewish only.”    

In addition to interviewing extremists and anti-Semites on his show, Tillawi maintains contact with them by attending events. In October 2007, he spoke at the “No More Wars for Israel” conference organized by anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Mark Glenn, who writes for the anti-Semitic newspaper, American Free Press (AFP). The two-day event in Irvine, California, consisted of a series of protests and lectures demonizing Jews and Israel and accusing both of controlling America and orchestrating the Iraq war. The event included Kaukab Siddique, who heads the anti-Semitic Muslim organization Jummat al-Muslimin; Charles E. Carlson, who co-founded We Hold These Truths, an Arizona-based extremist group that focuses on propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories; Michael Collins Piper,  a long-time writer for AFP; and Willis Carto, who publishes AFP and The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial publication.

At the October 2007 conference, Tillawi argued that the “Jewish lobby” started the Iraq war. He stated, “There is a book out there… it is a book that has changed the way Americans think. And that book [is] by those two professors, Mearsheimer and Walt… They named it wrong though, but there is something out there called the Israel lobby. They couldn’t say the Jewish lobby. I don’t know what the heck is the Israel lobby. … But you know what, if they think, by using the Israel lobby, they will reach a wider audience than using the Jewish lobby, than I say, go for it.”

In July 2007, Tillawi spoke at the Summer Conference for America’s Promise Ministries, a Christian identity organization. In 2006, he also spoke at a conference organized by the American Free Press, which included a series of speakers who lectured on conspiracy theories alleging Jewish control of America. Attendees included members of Neturei Karta, a very small group on the farthest fringes of Judaism that advocates the “dismantling” of the State of Israel until their messiah comes, and Theo Junker, a former Waffen SS officer who has built a shrine to Hitler in Sugar Creek, Wisconsin. At the AFP conference, Tillawi stated, “I am a Palestinian American. I came from a country that is occupied by Israel to the land of the free and the brave--turned out to be occupied by Israel too.”

Tillawi also hosts a weekly radio show focusing on Israel, Zionism and the Middle East on Republic Broadcasting Network, a conspiracy-oriented Internet radio station.  Guests on the show have included Australian Holocaust denier Frederick Toben; Michael Collins Piper and Philip Tourney, the former president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association (the USS Liberty was an American ship that Israeli war planes mistakenly attacked during the Six Day War in 1967, resulting in the deaths of Americans), which claims that the “Jewish lobby” is preventing the public from learning the “truth” about the incident.  In 2002, Tourney, the group's president at the time, spoke at a conference held by the Institute for Historical Review, a California-based Holocaust denial organization. Mark Glenn has appeared on at least 10 episodes of Tillawi’s radio show as a guest or co-host.  In October 2007, the show broadcast the “No More Wars for Israel” conference.



Hesham Tillawi
Overview
Recent Activity
Ideology
Extremist Affiliations
Background
In Their Own Words: Quotations from Hesham Tillawi and Guests

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