- Dr. Hesham Tillawi is a Palestinian American who hosts
a weekly Internet show called "Current Issues." http://www.currentissues.tv/
. Many impressive guests have passed through the portals of Dr. Tillawi's
show; such notables as Prof. Norman Finkelstein, Mordechai Vanunu and Cindy
Sheehan. (my apologies to those I have omitted, but the list is lengthy)
- And so, I was humbled and honored when Dr. Tillawi invited
me on the program. I had captured his attention with my essay "Freedom
of Speech, R.I.P.", in which I talked about his show. However, it
was my essay "Opening Jewish Eyes," that became the template
for his interview with me.
- I am a bit of an oddity, I guess; a woman from a conventional
Jewish home who has been vociferous in my criticism of Israel and its treatment
of the Palestinian people. My self-imposed task has been to try to educate
my Jewish brethren as to what is truly going on in the apartheid state
of Israel, since there is a virtual news blackout in this country. Along
with this education is my deepest hope that the great divide between people
can be lessened, if not eliminated. It's a daunting task, and I am but
one mere small voice.
- Current Issues is a two hour show and I knew that I would
be sharing my time with another guest. It appeared, for a while, that the
other guest was going to be Pam Schuffert.
- Two days before the scheduled event, I received a disturbing
email. It read:
- "Please be advised that the person speaking after
you on the Current Issues television program is a former Grand Wizard of
the Klu Klux Klan."
- The words sent a chill up my spine.
- The mail continued:
- " I realize that this creates a moral dilemma for
people seeking a just resolution to the conflict, to appear on shows like
this one. It would take one of the organizations working against us and
against an end to the Israeli occupation 30 seconds to connect you to someone
like David Duke and then dismiss everything you're fighting for."
- Yes, I was indeed facing a moral dilemma and friends
of mine counseled me not to go on the show. And yet, as a proponent of
free speech, I did not want to cancel. My hope was that I would be able
to listen to David Duke with an open mind and question him when it was
- Knowing that much of what I had heard in the past had
been innuendo and hearsay, I made a sincere attempt to learn more about
David Duke. I consulted with "google."
- The following quotes appeared:
- "When the American people saw the LA riots and crowds
of Blacks cheering O.J. Simpson (who was acquitted by the almost all Black
jury), they received a peek into their future."
- - Duke Web Site May, 2000
- "Hate crimes against Whites receive little attention,
while crimes against minorities become national headlines. By focusing
on crimes against minorities, the national media is fanning the flames
of racial hatred against Whites and leads to more anti-White attacks,"
states Duke. "The cover up of the racial aspect of this case should
make one think that Atlanta Braves baseball player John Rocker is right
about New York."
- - -Press release on Duke's web site 12/23/99
- (If you recall, Rocker, who was a 25-year-old left-hander
said, in a Sports Illustrated interview, that he would never play for a
New York team because he didn't want to ride a train next to some queer
with AIDS. Rocker also bashed immigrants saying "I'm not a very big
fan of foreigners. How the hell did they get in this country?" While
driving in Atlanta during the interview, Rocker spit on a toll machine
and mocked Asian women.)
- The list of Duke quotes went on:
- "Increasingly independent black economic, cultural
and political power gave Blacks more freedom to do what came natural to
them. Divorced from White influence and culture, they reverted quickly
to their genotype -- increasingly typical of black societies around the
world. Males exhibited exaggerated sexual aggression and promiscuity that
led to the dissolution of the Black nuclear family in America. Females
reverted to the age-old African model of maternal provisioning of children."
- "What we really want to do is to be left alone.
We don't want Negroes around. We don't need Negroes around. We're not asking
-- you know, we don't want to have them, you know, for our culture. We
simply want our own country and our own society. That's in no way exploitive
at all. We want our own society, our own nation...."
- A Duke interview with doctoral student Evelyn Rich,
who traveled around the country with Duke while conducting research for
her dissertation on the KKK. March 1985
- "White people don't need a law against rape, but
if you fill this room up with your normal black bucks, you would, because
niggers are basically primitive animals.
- "It's really the Jew Marxists who see the nigger
as their instrument, as their bullets, by which to destroy our society."
- -- The Sun (Wichita, KS), April 23, 1975
- Perhaps the O.J. quote and the media focus on "crimes
against minorities," can be rationalized and/or explained away. However,
there are certainly those in the media who dwell heavily on every
bad thing black people do, to the extent that many White people have
come to think that it is typical Black behavior. In other words, "They're
ALL like that."
- Most of the quotes were beyond disturbing. Since the
dates were not recent, a familiar question began haunting me. "Can
a leopard change his spots?"
- I wrote a letter to Dr. Tillawi voicing my concerns.
I certainly did not want to cut and run in the 11th hour. He was reassuring
and we decided that I would talk at the beginning of the show and stay
on the line while Mr. Duke spoke. I was invited to "jump in"
at any point.
- Technology has a way of interfering with the best laid
plans, and, the night of the show, the phone system in Louisiana refused
to cooperate. I was able to speak about my history as well as my feelings
about apartheid Israel for the first half hour. However, once Mr. Duke
came on the show, my connection kept cutting out and cutting off. There
was much I could not say.
- David Duke talked about the Israeli / Palestinian situation
eloquently. I found myself in agreement with much of what he said. And
yet, before long, the peace train came to a screeching halt.
- An uncomfortable feeling began welling up inside me.
Perhaps it was when a Black caller was engaging in some amicable dialogue,
and Mr.Duke emphasized his desire to keep his heritage together and reassured
the Black man that he felt the same way for Black people. What was he saying?
I had so many questions and the telephone company had muzzled me. I wanted
to question the content and intent of his remarks. Duke proceeded, "God
created different races and they should be preserved." Was this a
return to the old "separate BUT(un)equal" status for Blacks?
I wondered. Duke went on to comment about how Jews have tried to integrate
the Blacks and destroy them. Destroy them? As a proponent of civil rights,
I have never viewed integration as destructive. I have never viewed intermarriage
as destructive. I would have loved to have engaged in the dialogue. I would
have loved to have questioned David Duke. I thought about the quotes I'd
copied from the Internet.
- For a brief moment, I was able to reconnect and asked
Mr. Duke about the Internet quotes. (selecting a fairly mild one from the
list) Duke stated that they were the work of the Anti Defamation League.
Now, believe me friends, the ADL is no friend of mine, but how could they
have manufactured the words along with the careful citations? He further
excused the quotes since they were "old." Ah yes, it was the
- "Well," I told myself, "I certainly have
changed over the years. Onward and upward."
- Mr. Duke stated that he was never a part of a "violent"
Klan. Were there nonviolent KKK divisions? My head was flooded with the
images of cross burnings and lynchings.
- Call me a "bleeding heart liberal." I've been
called worse. However, I am keenly aware of what has been done to the Black
race on many levels. And, though I do not excuse criminal behavior, I feel
that context is important. Much of what we see is a matter of economics
- Lest we not forget that that Blacks were dragged to this
country and put in bondage. They were treated abysmally and forbidden to
learn to read. They were considered a percentage of a person. Let the White
man examine his heritage. And while we are scrupulously taking our inventory,
let's look at the series of articles about how AIDS was a man made disease,
created in laboratories by White men, and spread throughout Africa in vaccines.
(please refer to the work of Dr. Leonard Horowitz)
- Forgive me for digressing and allow me to return to some
of David Duke's comments. He brought out the old favorite about the "Jews
killing Christ" and how Jews want to do away with Christianity. He
then quoted some vile passages from the Talmud. I am not doubting that
these passages exist and they are sickening indeed. However, I must add
that I do not know anyone who has even read the Talmud. Perhaps it is woven
into the fiber of the ruling class, but it remains a mystery to the rank
and file secular Jew. In addition, most of the Jewish people I know are
barely acquainted with the Bible. I suspect that they pull out
a verse during holidays but I cannot be certain.
- Recently I read an article by Allan C. Brownfeld.
- He made an important point:
- "When Orthodox Jews read the Bible, they are reading
a very different book with a different meaning from the Bible as read by
non-Jews or non-Orthodox Jews"
- I am not trying to present "ignorance" as a
defense. I am merely trying to look more closely at a situation
in which many people are ill informed. I am trying to examine a situation
that is causing violence and suffering in our world. I am trying to find
a way to educate those who have been plunged into intentional darkness.
I am trying to understand.
- Last summer, I spoke with a non Jewish man who was once
in the process of converting to Judaism. I asked him if he had to study
the Talmud. He replied, "Yes." I asked him about the contents
and if he observed anything racist. He stated "It was just a series
of rules to live by." Obviously this man had not been given the racist
- As for Mr. Duke's comment about Jews hating Jesus, I
must again admit ignorance. I have heard Jews say that Jesus was not God.
I have heard Jews call Jesus a teacher and/or a reformer. Granted, my circle
of Jewish references does not blanket the entire religion, but neither
does Mr. Duke's. I do not doubt that there are Jewish people who have said
heinous things about Christ, but I, for one, have never heard them.
- When the show ended, I was left with a feeling of tremendous
sadness. I felt that I had not achieved my goal as a healer and peacemaker.
I do believe, however, that Dr. Tillawi was extremely fair and I admire
him. Unfortunately, the circumstances were beyond his
- I went on the show Current Issues to help; to educate.
I'd hoped to share my feelings of outrage concerning Israel's treatment
of the Palestinians. And yet, I did not want to be complicit in any remarks
that I felt were ambiguous. I did not want my silence to be misconstrued
as tacit agreement. That has been my motivation for speaking out about
the horrors that are being perpetrated on the Palestinian people.
- "What you do to the least of My brethren, you do
- While everyone has a right to cling to his heritage,
I have a right not to cling to mine. I believe that, at the end of the
day, we are all ONE. Our differences are merely tricks of the mirror; illusions
and distortions that are part of our physical journey on Planet Earth.
- And so, I will continue to consecrate my life to dispelling
the myth of separateness, and will try to remain vigilant in my commitment
not to fall prey to the hatred that is ruining our world.
- I wish I could do more.
- Copyright: 2005
- Hi Judy,
- I finally read your essay and found it very interesting.
I liked it, but I have some comments.
- First of all, I am like you in that I believe we are
all one, and that this is something I also preach to others. However,
David Duke, like my ex-boyfriend, have some difficulties with this viewpoint.
I believe that you and I must simply accept that others do not share our
viewpoints, without vilifying them. Only if they are actively involved
with creating governmental policies that discriminate against others based
on race, religion, gender,etc, are they to be vociferously opposed with
our votes and campaign efforts.
- I would never vote for David Duke, but I fully respect
and will defend to the death his right to speak his mind and what he believes
to be true.
- Unfortunately, Zionist racists who are actually responsible
for the murders of thousands of people are rewarded with lots of money
and influential positions-- Sharon, Wolfowitz, Perle, Netanyahu, all the
Israeli prime ministers. David Duke is not responsible for any deaths
of anyone that I know of. There may have been some KKK krazies who lynched
some Blacks, but thank God they are in jail now. Sharon, the Butcher of
Beirut, still gets invited to the White House! The late Israeli Minister
of Tourism by the name of Ze,evi who was assassinated by Palestinian militants,
he used to go around and say in public that Palestinians were "cancer
and "lice who "need to be removed--- no wonder he was assassinated!
Same with Rabbi Meir Kahane--- his book was so racist "They Must Go!,"
referring to Palestinians. Most Israeli politicians speak publicly in
extremely racist terms with regards to the Palestinian people. In fact,
I now believe that the word "terrorist is a racist term, that is constantly
used by OUR politicians. They can get away with that racist term publicly.
- I don't believe that David Duke currently says things
anywhere that bad as what Israeli politicians say, especially not today.
Some of his old quotes are indeed completely offensive, but I think he
has changed his tune significantly. I think he has evolved to a certain
degree, yet I do not share his beliefs on Blacks, and "preserving
the race as something to necessarily strive for. Yes he does believe that
"White European culture" should be preserved. I say that's fine,
as long as in our laws provide for all citizens to have the right to preserve
their unique cultures, but only within the context of a democratic government
where everyone has completely equal rights before the law. But if some
White Euro-Americans want their kids to go to a school that has only White
Euro-Americans then I believe it is their right ONLY if it is a private
school. Same with Jewish people who want to send their kids to a Hebrew
school--- that's their right. But these kinds of private schools should
NOT be paid for with our tax dollars. Only public schools should get our
tax dollars support, in my opinion. By the way, if I had kids (which I
don't) I would want them to attend a culturally diverse school, probably
just a good public school. But if I were a multi-millionaire, I might
send my kids to a high-end private school that is also culturally diverse.
- The gate-keepers of the media in this society are not
allowing David Duke's voice to be heard, primarily, I believe, because
he is very correct with regards to his warnings of the dangers of Zionism,
something most Americans have been purposefully kept in the dark about
by these same gate-keepers. One cannot even buy one of David Duke's books
in any mainstream bookstore like Barnes & Noble! But believe it or
not you can buy Hitler's "Mein Kemf" (with a forward by ADL
leader Abe Foxman)!
- I admire David Duke's courage in speaking out against
Zionism despite the vilification he has to endure from, in particular,
Zionist activists such as the ADL (the masters of defamation).
- I think it's interesting to hear of his viewpoints, and
can accept many of his viewpoints, while completely rejecting others.
- By the way, I have written an article about my position
on White Pride which can be found at my website www.marwenmedia.com.
- I am forwarding this e-mail exchange to others on my
list too, because others also grapple with all of this and so I think it's
helpful to open the dialog with others.